The term Heroism has its many subjective meanings and most people would refer a Hero/ine to a patriot who protects his/her country from invasion, a soldier who keeps a country's sovereignty and pass it to next generation or an Olympic gold maker, besides to the everyday hero/ine at every household who passes through a lot of ups and downs to provide better living for their family.
Every one might have a hero based on their respective reasons and conditions. Yet qualities of heroism varies. Most of the above mentioned heroism require winners and losers. Winning comes with a cost and a hero is made out of losers. However,there are also acts of heroism which don't need bullets or require losers. For instance, changing society's outlook on certain perceptions and making huge paradigm shift is the act of true heroism despite making such difference proves a huge task.
“I started my fight, not by telling people, but showing people that am capable to contribute. I have one disability but I have 99 abilities.” The above statement was given by the born Orator,disability advocate, lawyer and human rights activist Yetnebersh Nigussie recently while receiving her award of Right Livelihood an award described as “The Alternative Nobel prize” for what the Sweden-based right livelihood award foundation described as “her inspiring work, promoting the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities.”
Yetnebersh's courage to become an equality champion and advocate in her contribution to create inclusive conditions for future generations by connecting national realities with international frameworks is very impressive that earned her international recognition on a fight to raise awareness on peoples with disability's despite the societies outlook on people with a disability is still a challenge on developing countries like Ethiopia ,where 17 % of the population lives with some kind of disability.
Yetnebersh Nigussie was born on January 24, 1982 in Amhara, Wollo, Ethiopia. At age 5 Meningitis s caused her to lose both of her eyes sights. Just like the saying “When God opens the door he will open the window,” for Yetnebersh this incident spared her the tragedy of becoming a victim of early marriage.
Her mother who feared that her visually impaired daughter would be vulnerable to rape made her journey to Addis Ababa to her other relatives. In Addis Ababa she received medical treatment but the doctors were unable to restore her eyesight.
She attended primary classes at Shashemane Catholic School for the visually impaired .The school wh helped her to build self-confidence and taught her a strong English language skills and more importantly showed her that women could be leaders. She continued her secondary classes at Menelik II Senior Secondary School.
“The turning point for me came at the age of 12, when I joined a mainstream school for the first time. I had no friends for six months. Everyone played in the gamboling ground but no one noticed me. I was different .But I scored the best grades in school. Seeing this everyone wanted to befriend me so that I could help them out. I became popular and I thought ‘If I can excel, if I can upturn things, I can help others,” says Yetnebersh. She is presently a Senior Inclusion Advisory with the Austrian NGO Light for the World, She fights for the inclusion of the 15% about 1 billion of the world’s population living with some kind of disability.
“Focus on the person, not the disability” My role is to link the two communities, of people living with disability and able-bodied women, that have faced historical discrimination,” she says
During her learning times, she was not only focused on the academics but also has chaired more than 6 student clubs. She joined Addis Ababa University and acquired her first degree in law and master’s degree in social work. Her leadership didn’t end in school. In the university, she chaired Addis Ababa University Anti-AIDS Movement 2004-2005 and founded the Addis Ababa Female Students Association in 2006.
Speaking to the Thompson Reuters Foundation,Yetnebersh was quoted saying, “I really want to see a world where nobody is discriminated for being a person living with disability because of his or her disability or any other status.” Leading a life with disability is never an ideal situation and she realized it while growing up especially in a third world nation like Ethiopia.
“I know I’ve received the best quality education but it was very expensive. I’m an advocate for quality inclusive education. Mothers don’t want their daughters who are visually or hearing impaired to go to school because they are afraid of violence. We see so many girls in Africa being kept home because of the fear of rape,”Yetnebersh added.
“Women living with disability in Ethiopia face multiple layers of discrimination,” she noted adding, 60% of women with children having disability are single mothers as the stigma drives fathers to abandon them.
“Even marriage and having children are difficult for women with disabilities in Ethiopia,” Yetnebersh says. “Most are not married, because there’s a stereotype that women should be able-bodied to get married.”
Asked the big achievement in her life Yetnbersh said, “Every little milestone is a big achievement, but I can highlight some in my life. The first is my education. The second is my decision to study law, because law was considered to be a Men's subject in Ethiopia. I am among the first three blind women who went to law school. The last but not least is my family. I'm now married to a nice man and have two lovely daughters”.
Yetnebersh is the first president of Occupation Lawyer and Disability Rights Activist. She is also one of the founders of the Ethiopian Center for Disability and Development (ECDD) Students with Disabilities Addis Ababa University which is now a major organization that works for inclusion of PWD in every aspect included.
“I count ECDD establishment as a big achievement in my life because there was no institution responsible for persons with disability beforehand. Now nearly all universities in Ethiopia have a similar organization. With the establishment of the ECDD we succeeded in getting disability included in the development discourse, and it is now a major organization.”
She served in more than 20 organizations voluntarily out of which the Ethiopian National Association of the Blind Women’s Wing came out to be the one she chaired for 4 years.
For her very amazing contribution to this world, she has received many awards which she really deserved. Among the awards and recognition she received,The Amanitare award for sexual and reproductive health advocates, 2003, Johannesburg, South Africa,Best HIV/AIDS national activist, awarded by General Medical Practitioners Association, 2005, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia World difference 100 award, awarded by International Alliance for Women (TIAW), 2011 Above all she was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for 2013-14 by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management organizing committee of Ethiopia.
BY FASICA BERHANE
Today’s guest is Dr. Asmeret Andebirhan Birhane. She was born and raised in the heart of Addis Ababa. She is currently working at Lebeza Psychiatry Specialized clinic. She is founder and CEO of Lebeza Psychiatry consultation P.L.C. She completed her primary and secondary school at Cathedral Nativity Girls School and Nazareth School respectively. She did her post graduate training in psychiatry at Addis Ababa University. At this moment in time, she is Secretary General of Ethiopian Psychiatric Association (EPA).
She started her carrier at Aksum University by establishing college of health science by Collaborating with different neighboring universities for assistance. Later she was transferred to Mekelle University Ayder Hospital College of Health Sciences, Department of Psychiatry. In Mekelle university, she managed to lead the team in the establishment of the first substance rehabilitation center in the country apart from working as a psychiatrist and clinical director at the Substance Rehabilitation Center.
In Mekelle she worked in the expansion of the psychiatry service and staff development programs. She was given certificates for training in Substance Use Disorder, Volunteer Work at Entoto, Forensic Psychiatry, Clozapine Prescription and Treatment Guideline, among others.
The Ethiopian Herald had a short stay with Dr. Asmeret with the purpose of acquainting her personal and professional life with its readers. Excerpts:
Would you please enlighten us with your educational background?
After finishing high school, I joined Jimma University, School of Medicine to pursue medical science. I stayed there for about six and half years. In fact, my mother, who was in the medical field, was my main source of inspiration. At that specific juncture, my teacher who was a psychiatrist at that time inspired me to go for psychiatry.
What was your childhood like for you ?
We were highly devoted to academic excellence, hard work and discipline-virtues we inherited from our parents who were employees of governmental organizations. Our parents used to advise us to make meaningful changes in people's life and contribute to community. My mother contributed significantly by her service to governmental institutes like the Federal Ministry of Health and other International Nongovernmental Organizations in this way she inspired me to go to the medical field and contribute my share to the society.
How did your carrier started ?
After graduation, I was assigned at Aksum University. There were very limited staff at that time. The college was newly opened. Through Collaboration with a range of neighboring universities for assistance, we managed to establish the College of Health Sciences fulfilling the required material and manpower. A year after I established the college in Aksum University, I was transferred to Mekelle University. In my stay at Aksum university, I realized that mental illness was very much prevalent in our society. Worse still, there was a dearth of psychiatrists. Hence, my inclination towards psychiatry began mounting by the day. I was observing depression and anxiety among the university students. Sadly, we did not have anywhere to refer them. The dramatic improvement that patients showed was inspiring me to join the field of Psychiatry. I became very much satisfied with the outcome of treatment. Therefore, I decided to join the post graduate program in Addis Ababa university.
What did you do after Aksum university ?
After Aksum I came to Mekelle University and joined the Department of Psychiatry. After working in the Department for a couple of months, I came up with the idea of establishing a rehabilitation center. At that time, I was a staff of Ayder College of Health Science, Department of Psychiatry. At this point I had to go to a post graduate program in psychiatry in Addis Ababa to study psychiatry for three years. After finishing my studies, I came back and started working in the department as a full fledged psychiatrist. After a while I led the team in the establishment of the first Rehabilitation Center on top of working as a psychiatrist and clinical director at the Substance Rehabilitation Center. More to the point, I zealously worked in the expansion of the psychiatry service and staff development program, among others. To be honest, there was only psychiatric inpatient unit, we didn't have the facility to treat addiction problems which had a very complex psychosocial need.
How was the process of establishing a substance rehabilitation center ?
I had figured out beforehand what I could do specifically in the center. At that point the Medical Director, Dr. Amanuel was very much keen towards the establishment of the Rehabilitation Center. At the end of the day, we managed to establish the first substance rehabilitation center, though the task was very much challenging.
What were the core challenges ?
The awareness of substance addiction as mental illness was very low. Let alone this, mental illness is not considered as an illness. Still, a shuddering stigma is attached with it. We faced some constraints. But with the support of the University and some colleges, we succeed in organizing tripartite agreement between Mekelle University particularly Ayider Hospital's,a local NGOs ( hope community service )who were providing us with physical spaces and Meqoamia Community Development Organization,a local non-governmental organization, was working on addiction. In this fashion, we were able to establish the Rehabilitation Center. The Center, having a ground plus two building, is found a way from the heart of Mekelle City. It has rested on a 2000 SQ meter area. It has its own cafeteria, 30 beds, a garden and spots for sports activity.
The whole idea was gradually making the Rehabilitation Center a place where a holistic physical, mental and spiritual healing care could be effected. Therefore, after establishing the rehabilitation center, the next phase was engaging stakeholders. As I said, awareness about the disease was very low. So we used Maqoamia, as a platform for awareness creation, promotion and case identification. After identifying cases, they refer it to the hospital. In the hospital training for local nurses was given regarding substance addiction and also the center made a link for visiting psychiatrists from St Paul Medical College. They send to us psychiatrists every month. At the same time, we engage other stakeholders pending the service.
What was the next step after you came back from Mekelle?
In 2016, when I came back to Addis Ababa, I managed to open Lebeza Psychiatry P.L.C. The objectives of the company are promoting mental health in the prevention aspect as well as providing consultation service including a various training. After I did consultation for one year, we opened the clinic which provides efficient services. We mainly focus on mental illness and addiction. Finding a remedy for it is my passion and interest. We also address other psychiatric disorders.
What is all about mental illness?
Basically, when we say mental illness it is a disorder. That means it is a group of symptoms that occur in an individual to impair the functionality of that person. The impairment could be social, personal or occupational. There are more than 400 mental disorders. We make use of diagnostic specific criteria. If somebody exhibits symptoms under a specific criteria, we claim that person has a certain type of mental disorder. Mental disorders can be categorized depending on the severity and the impact they have on people’s life. They can be categorized as common mental disorder, which is commonly seen in the population like anxiety and depression. Another category is sever mental illness like schizophrenia severe enough to cripple that person from functioning fully in his personal, social, occupational, and holistic life. We always say that there is no health without mental health because the brain handles the main function of our body. It governs our behavior and metabolism. It also controls our every activity physically and emotionally and also our behaviorally. As a result, if there is any damage it manifests itself either in physical or mental
In general, mental disorder is a common illness in any population. Many people wrongly attribute mental illnesses to curses and spiritual causes. And because of that, the treatment, prevention and promotion of it are basically hindered.
What are the relationship between migration and mental health? And what do you think about Middle East migrants in our country from mental health perspective ?
Basically, when we talk about the Middle East countries, we have to have a very good picture about why migration is causing mental illness. Migration by itself does not cause mental illness. It is the migration process that causes mental illness. Hence, we have pre-migratory factors as well as post migratory ones. The pre-migratory factors are associated with mental illness that mostly surface when people lose their social ties and their families, among others.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that there are around 20 million migrants working in the Middle East countries, of which, one third are from Ethiopia, Philippines, Bangladesh and other Asian countries. Actually, there is a specific profile of these women going to the Middle East countries. Most of them are uneducated, very young and unskilled with limited exposure. Hence, their adoptive capacity to the disagreeable and very demanding work style proves deficient. Language barriers, cultural differences also pose hurdles on them.
Agencies lures them with a rosy future in salary and work conditions down the road, if they go abroad. This way they will be illegally trafficked. In the first place, it is the poorest of the poor who migrate.
Once they migrate, they face post-migratory factors such as working long hours. They face difficulty in getting social and psychological support and lack of how to protect their right and so forth. What is more, they do not know how to defend themselves. They have no idea about how they are recruited and the Kafala system, in which only the employer will be responsible for visa and for ticket makes it more difficult .If a domestic worker is intolerant to the harsh condition she faces and wants to leave, her entry visa will be revoked or she will suffer deportation or she has to run away illegally. As a result, the conspiracy of all these factors predispose people specially women for mental illness. So it is not only the mere migration but also the pre-migratory and the post migratory factors that trigger mental illness.
What do research findings on women returnees indicate?
Few researches are done on mental illness of migrant returnees. At one point, a certain qualitative research was done. They called returnees and interviewed them about the commonest stressors in their working environment and how victims coped with the stressing situations. Five major stressors were singled out in the study. The first one was the partial isolation. Because of their cultural uniqueness, the Ethiopian migrants attributed their problems to align culture, a new environment and foreign background. They as well ascribed the challenge to isolation, unequal treatment, mistreatment by employees. Some also suffered sexual and verbal abuses. Without their consent, they were also being transferred from one family to another and what have you. Most of the time they were not aware what they were going to face in advance because they were conditioned to be optimistic expecting rosy futures.
In other similar researches the findings were similar. Tragically,what migrants expect and what they face prove completely different. So, pending expectation was identified as one of the overarching stressors.
They were forced to work long hours without adequate rest. This threatens their physical and mental illness.
There was one research done in 2015 Abudabi, United Arab Emirates specifically in Alen Hospital. The research shows correlation between a rise in mental illness and Ethiopian migrant workers.
Returnees,in a state of utter confusion, are received by NGOs at the Airport. Often,they are unable to communicate. They arrive hungry and drowsy..
We observe a pattern of cases on those coming from the Middle East. They appear in a very bizarre manifestation. Usually they find it hard to talk and sleep. Moreover, they suffer communication barrier. After a couple of treatment, they start to recount and describe the harrowing experience they went through. And some would recover and join their families. They would be taken in by local NGOs for rehabilitation process.
What support do you give them?
We first help them to be emotionally stable. Mostly, among the returnees, those who have better awareness about their state are given counseling service when they come to our centers. Most of them go to public hospitals.
What do you think about the current event of Ethiopian migrants coming from Saudi Arabia ?
There are 400,000 illegal migrants estimated to live in Saudi Arabia, out of which, few have legal documents. They are expected to go back to their country in various mental states. As professional in mental health what we are trying to do is, participate in consultative meetings with local NGOs pertaining to how to address this issue apart from making an effort to support these organizations. We also facilitate in ways how the public and non-government organizations can come together to address this issue.
Are you achieving the intended target?
We are in the process. A consultative meeting was held. Afterward we established a technical working team involving psychiatrists, psychologists and NGOs. Subsequently, the plan is how to develop strategies on how to rehabilitate these migratory returnees. Migration and mental health were also the focus of the Ethiopia Psychiatry Association annual meeting this year. Stakeholders from Social Security and experts in migration from ILO were invited in the panel discussion. The discussion was revolving on migration and what our professional contribution can be. I am the security general for the Ethiopian Psychiatric Association. As professionals and individuals, we are highly interested in advising the government and supporting citizens professionally seeing that once mental illness occurs, treatment and rehabilitation are very much expensive. So, the primary target has been prevention. Together with stakeholders, we are very much committed to achieve the intended goals.
As a final point, is there anything you would like to convey?
Whenever a country grows, the urbanization increases. We all expect various advantageous, technologies and advancement in economic growth. At the same time, we should be able to have a way of maintaining our mental wellness. If there is any mental distress, we should be able to address it as early as possible. Because, as a nation grows, the level of stress too could increase. With urbanization, citizens are going to have less social ties, family support system and the like. The possibility of using substance as a way of coping with stress is rising high. We should all have an eye on our mental well being and make sure that we have a healthy life style apart from knowing the fact that substance abuse predisposes for various mental illness. All stakeholders should come together and work collaboratively to prevent mental illness and addiction because the cost of treatment and rehabilitation are very costly.
BY ADDISALEM MULAT
Distance and time
Cruelly put asunder
You an indifferent girl
And I a self conscious
Two decades later,
Lately,I saw you
A mesmeric lady
With a son
And a daughter,
Full of life
In my cloud
Rang a bell
To a paradise
Change a hell.
‘I know you exist!’
Still has power
Me, the cantankerous,
Transfixed,I saw you
BY Alem Hailu
Dasench ethnic group is among the sixteen ethnic groups residing in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of State of Ethiopia. As per the housing consensus, carried out in 1994 EC, the population of the Dasench ethical group was estimated to be 48,067.On top of producing agricultural yields, their life depends on cattle rearing. While we are on the subject, sorghum, maize, haricot bean and what have you are among the main agricultural yields the Dasench ethnic group frequently come up with.
The mother tongue of the Dasench ethical group is “Afa Dasenech.” In fact, some people call the language “Dasench.” There are four types of marriages which take place in the midst of the community namely “Darech” (marriage through family consent) “Serti” ( marriage through abduction), “Ayodi” (marriage through inheritance), “Garu Wolgessa” (marriage through couple's consent).
Mostly, Seriti (marriage through abduction) occurs when the abductor does not have the capacity to give dowry and other related must dos. After the couples get married in the aforesaid way, the conflict which normally attends the marriage would be solved through local elders.
To everyone’s surprise, when the older brother closes his eyes never to open them, the younger one is made to walk down the aisle with his elder brother’s wife.
Also there is a kind of marriage which takes place without prior notice. This kind of marriage is known by the local community as “Ugutuna.”
This time what is expected of the would-be husband is bringing a number of cows, sheep, and goats and keeping them in a barn of the girls’ parents’ home. After he accomplished the mission, he can take the girl straight home. In this fashion, the marriage takes place with no trouble.
In Dasench Ethnic group, when a woman gets in the family way, nobody takes care of her. The pregnant woman does all the preparation until she gives birth. When she gives birth either to a baby boy or a girl, she is taken care of by her mother as well as husband. She is made to eat cooked meat, honey and butter but she is not allowed to eat raw meat as well as drink milk.
There are different types of cultural rituals and celebrations which take place in the Dasench ethnic group.
“Dimi” cultural circumcision is one of them.It is carried out colorfully. As a rule, it is celebrated to let the other segments of the society know that their daughter has reached marriageable age.
Previously, before forbidden,“Dimi” cultural circumcision frequently took place at the time when the girl proved to be between 12-14. The day the “Dimi” celebration falls was proposed either by the girl’s mother or uncle. More often than not, the families who commemorated the “Dimi” dress get attired in different clothing styles. The father puts on “Tele” a gown made of goatskin while the mother is made to wear “Lole Gureza” (a kind of cloths which is made of animal skin.) The girl as well is made to wear “Abune Nasale” (A kind of miniskirt which is made of goatskin).
As the family of the Dasench Ethnical group makes a living out of cattle rearing, they do not have permanent place to live and thus they build temporary houses wherever they go hunting for water and grasses for their cattle.
Women are responsible for building houses in a group no matter what the cost may be. It does not take more than an hour either to demolish or build the temporary houses. Among the cultural foods, the community dines most on porridge, kukufa . kukufa is almost their stable food .
Concerning the cultural dressing style, girls above five put on various clothes made of hides and skins. Apart from wearing beads, they put on different types of necklaces,bracelets and anklets made of metals. The metal anklets they wear around their legs give music and color to their dance. Additionally, when they get married, they wear a cloth named Ogo, a type of traditional cloth.
When a boy becomes seven or ten, he is made to wear his father’s old clothes. But if extra clothes are not found, the boy is made to go naked. When he comes of age, he is made to dress clothes made of hides and skins. For this purpose he goes hunting. Grown ups as well wear different types of clothes. They as well prepare a wooden stool called “Berkota” which as well serves as a pillow. Furthermore, they adorn themselves with different decorations made of beads and metals around their heads, legs and necks.
By the same token, Dasench ethnic group's mourning system varies based on age, sex and cultural activities. When a child departs this life, his parents cry their eyes out. After that, they slaughter either a sheep or a goat and wrap the body with the skin. Lastly, the body will be committed to the ground around the backyard of the child’s house. However, except the child’s parents mourners are allowed to eat the sheep’s or the goat’s meat. The latter ones can eat to their hearts' content.
On the other hand, when an old woman kicks the bucket, her body is wrapped with a skin and buried in the backyard of her own compound. In addition to this, that same day, the roof of the residential house of the old woman is demolished around 6:00 PM. And the scrap is made to rest on the tomb of the old woman.
Similarly, when an old man departs this life, a heifer is slaughtered and its fat is put around the neck of the body after a short time. After they smeared the corpse with butter, they end up burying the corpse in a barn. The property of the dead man is distributed among his friends. After the funeral ceremony, the family members demolish their residential house and desert the area almost immediately.
BY ADDISALEM MULAT
“If you need peace, prepare for war” is so said by Americans. Obviously, ensuring peace, throughout the world, is one of the fundamental core values in securing one's country national power , sustaining development as well as reducing poverty, accelerating economic growth and improving the living standard of citizens.
Nowadays, war is not expressed solely in terms of armed clashes in the battlefield but also in terms of neck-to-neck competition in the areas of economic advancement, trade, investment and human development index in the entire world.
In order to defend the national security from outsiders, a nation should be alert and go forward in all rounded activities. In other words, the country should proceeded further in improving socioeconomic advancement by bolstering more production and productivity utilizing its physical and human resources capabilities.
Reducing the high degree of poverty rate is the cornerstone and means for improving the living standard of the general public by involving the community at grass root levels.
Also, illiteracy and shortage of skilled manpower can be hurdles that could derail advancement in economy. They could expose a nation and its citizens to instability and of insecurity. Third, lack of good- governance, absence of democracy and unavailability rule of law are sure to lead a society into social chaos and political unrest.
Poverty, unskilled manpower and maladministration are some of setbacks for prosperity and peace. Unless a country comes up with a pertinent solution for the given big problems, it may find it difficult to attain peace at national, inter-regional and continental levels. Faced with such problems, most countries, especially, Africans are seen fated to ethnicity conflicts. They are also observed bombarded by social catastrophes.
In order to secure the national power of any country, placing focus on domestic, national and international affairs is indispensable so as to maintain peace and economic development.
Observably, most African countries have encountered “ irresolvable” constraints as they are highly dependent on international organizations’ donations and as they run businesses on basis of mulitinternational cooperation as well as rely on single product, like oil, from Foreign Direct Investment(FDI).
Therefore, optimistically, in the near future Africa, particularly, Ethiopia will attain a middle-income level. The fact that Ethiopia is putting in place industrial parks nationwide and ago-processing sectors testifies the aforementioned fact. Such developmental feat is an indication for its advancement and prosperity in relation to regional and inter-regional roles. So, peace is secured by shifting the economy's pedal in a harmonious fashion.
BY MEHARI BEYENE
Apart from straitening the progress of the teaching-learning process, the main objectives of universities are conducting researches. They as well partake in various research activities which make the lives of the general public trouble-free. The various higher learning institutions positioned at every corner of the country are widely serving the community in different sectors in addition to familiarizing farmers residing in the rural areas with modern farming technologies. This being the case, the lives of millions of farmers have been changing every so often.
Among the different higher learning institutions found in the southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia, Hawassa and Dilla Universities have been carrying out a number of effective research works with the intent of improving the lives of farmers residing in and around the aforesaid state. To begin with the contribution of Hawassa University, it has been carrying out fruitfully a range of researches on technology transfer by allocating huge amount of money. Among the various research activities, animal-rearing, natural wealth protection, education, can be highly lauded.
The research area mainly focuses on trouble shooting researches for different Woredas, zones and all that. In fact, they have been conducting problem solving researches.
Improved crops' seed development sector is among one of the the university's intervention areas attended by success stories . In point of fact, a lot of researches revolving around improvement of fruits, vegetables and so forth have been done. For example, farmers in the past were producing 25 quintals of yields per hectare. But at this point in time, following the research findings in the area, it is possible to produce 70 quintals of yields per hectare. Farmers were simply wasting their time and energy given that there was nobody who would show them how to be successful in harvesting the fruit of success. Farmers in the area have been able to produce huge yields in consequence of the successful research findings of the university. Hence, currently they are leading a comfortable life.
By the same token, to put into practice strategies set by the incumbent, the Hawassa University has been carrying out researches in selected 30 Woredas bringing into play a lot of agricultural technologies. It has been possible to produce Teff, Maize, Barely, Chickpea and all that. Astonishingly, the university has been able to increase the productivity by twofold.
Likewise, in livestock breading and fishery, the university has been supporting farmers to get better yields by rearing fishes coming up with several problem solving research strategies. This being the case, farmers are turning out to be beneficiaries in the area. Giving emphasis to study and research, the university has been offering training to farmers which help them grow hen and pig apart from getting themselves engaged in fertilizer development. It has been doing a lot of works along this line.
What is more, the university has acquainted farmers with a quality hybrid sheep which grow within the shortest time possible. Moreover, taking into account limitation in food preparation, children and mothers feeding habit, the community has been given training on how to produce balanced food by professionals. They as well acquaint themselves with new food preparation systems.
The other thing is, apart from reducing unemployment rate in the area, women, youths and older persons have been made to engage in various income generating activities owing to the unwavering effort of the university.For example, in Chefe an area found at Hawassa Town administration , six centers have been established by the university, which has the capacity of producing more than 200 hens. Therefore, youths are availing themselves of the opportunity of changing their lives to the better shortly within the shortest time possible. The number of youngsters involving themselves in putting up for sell pullets for the rural and urban inhabitants is on the rise.
A number of women as well are becoming successful in gardening development. They as well are proving success engaging themselves in mushroom development. This way they have managed to produce different mushrooms in a limited area. Above and beyond, elders engage in training which helps them improve their lives.
Youths as well have taken different training revolving around urban greening and making designs. Hence, they are getting themselves engaged in different places. As quality is one of the ingredients of education, it was made possible to bring the desired goal in selected model schools which aids to bring quality education in the community by carrying out various effective strategies which are done in different sectors. A lot of researches have been done. For the most part, in Sidma zone grades eight, ten and twelve students’ results have been given due attention.
Efforts to transfer huge technologies, which improve the lives of the community, have been exerted. More to the point, technologies which alleviate the drudge on women have been provided by the government.
The university as well has been getting itself engaged in boosting product and productivity making use of a range of strategies by using fertilizer, sowing seeds in a row as well as seed selection with the intention of making farmers have better understanding about life. Mushroom development is among one of the service the Hawassa University offers. At this point in time, mushroom is being produced in a great number in Hawassa city. It is possible to produce a large amount of mushroom in a small space.
Among the help being done by Hawassa University, Zemen which was established by retired soldiers comprising seven members is one of them. Currently, they are achieving the intended target from the lucrative business. Senior citizens are as well benefiting from the sale of the yields.
Dilla University is also playing a major role in carrying out problem solving research activities in the area. The researches are answering questions begging for solutions. Above and beyond, the university has carried out numerous researches revolving around agro-industry by different researchers. A lot of researches have been done on rehabilitation of land. Hence, the intended target has been achieved. As this amazing agro-forestry under discussion is registered in UNESCO temporarily, a lot of works have been done to get it registered permanently in UNESCO.
Also the university is carrying out a lot of researches focusing on animal rearing. Hence, it is getting effective results by hybridizing goats and hens. It has rendered community members beneficiaries. Despite the fact that the land of farmers in the Gedio zone is small, a lot of people live per Hectare. The University has enabled the community to do poultry in a small area of land. This problem-solving research which took place in five Woredas embracing 120 farmers for two consecutive years have made them busy in doing business. Furthermore, the university has been introducing to the community a hybrid of Bore goat from South Africa. For this reason, farmers are benefiting from the bore goat hybrid.
BY ADDISALEM MULAT
Ethiopia is endowed with man made and natural tourist attractive sites though it has not yet benefited from the sector due to various reasons. Hence, Ethiopia has by now finalized a five-year strategic plan with a vision to become one of the top five African tourist destination countries in the next years. In this regard, for the success of the second Growth Transformation Plan, the Ethiopian Tourism Organization has to carry on increasing the tourism marketing development, capacity building of new and old tourist destinations through strengthening cooperation and integration with all government and non-government stakeholders.
Accordingly, the Ministry of tourism and culture has explained that it expected to increase the number of tourists visiting the Ancient State to one million. This can enable the nation to generate $29.8 billion income this year. It has been reported previously the country had intended to generate 3 billion dollars from the sector in 2016 but the authorities were forced to revise its targets following the unrest happened in that year. The Ethiopian government now wants to triple this number to 2.5 million each year by 2020, making tourism the leading sector in one of Africa's fastest growing economies, WTO, stated.
BBC’s correspondent in the country reported that there was a drop in tourism revenue for the last quarter of 2016. In terms of figures, the tourism ministry said more than $7m (£5.5m) was lost. Ethiopia was projected to have lost about 400 million dollars in the year under review. This explains that the country should maintain peace and stability more than ever if tourism should increase as planned.
Ethiopia’s tourism sector generated over $3.32 billion in revenue from more than 886,800 tourists visiting the country during the 2016-17 fiscal year. Ethiopia is a preferred tourist destination for people from around the world. It is estimated that in 2015, over 900,000 tourists visited Ethiopia – famous for its rock-hewn churches, highlands and national parks, Axum obelisks, and for its ancient Mosques and Churches. The latest figures were disclosed by the Ethiopian Ministry of Culture and Tourism on the sidelines of this year’s World Tourism Day celebrations.
The Ethiopian economy continues to enjoy remarkable growth, and the hospitality sector is poised to continue on its impressive trajectory over the medium term in the wake of increased number of inbound travelers, and growing awareness on what the country has to offer. Although conference tourism is growing in Ethiopia, most travelers to Ethiopia came looking for leisure as most of the sector cash flow 84.4 percent comes from leisure spending while 15.6 percent is from business spending. In terms of hotel booking, the highest demand remains in Addis Ababa at 39 percent followed by Hawassa at 11.2 percent and Bishoftu at 8.1 percent and Bahir Dar 7.5 percent. Majority of these visitors are from Africa (31%), followed by Europe (30%), and North America.
Domestic Tourism is also growing with more people taking vacation within the country. However, foreign visitor spending is the highest at 68.7 percent while domestic spending is slowly growing at 31.3 percent. According to Ministry of Culture and Tourism,the country generated more than $1.7 billion in the first six months of its current fiscal year (2015/16).
The country received 470,000 tourists during the period, with each staying an average of 16 days. The visitors number was more than half of the average 750,000 visitors it gets each year — 12 percent higher than a decade ago. According to Gezahegn Abate, Public Relations and International Affairs Director at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Ethiopians living abroad have built more than 200 luxury hotels in the country making it easier for the country to market itself as an up market tourist destination.
The Ethiopian government has, over the past few years, taken various steps to encourage Ethiopian Diaspora community to play an active role in the development of their home country. The country's fertile national parks, 3,000 year-old archeological history and nine UNESCO world heritage sites are also a big attraction for tourists. Tourism, which earned the country $2.9 billion in the 2014/15 fiscal year according to government data, contributes about 4.5 percent of the country's GDP and generates about a million jobs according to the World Bank.
Ethiopia plans to boost revenue from the sector to over $3.5 billion in the current fiscal year, which will be bigger than its more tourist established neighbors Kenya and Tanzania.Ethiopia's cultural wealth like its 13th century underground churches of Lalibela, hewn from solid rock and the hill castles of Gondar are its big selling point. It has also grown more and more popular for travelers as it is a safer and affordable destination. The country has in recent years embarked on massive infrastructure spending that saw Africa's first light train cutting though the sprawling city of Addis Ababa launched in September.
Ethiopian Tourism Organization (ETO) said the country is looking for a transformational growth that will take the tourism industry to the next level.“The country is looking for a transformational growth that will take the sector to the next level, marketing Ethiopia locally and internationally to make the country among Africa’s top five destinations. We are also shifting gear to incorporating technology into the industry,” said Solomon. Despite being a destination with ten UNESCO registered global sights, the country is yet to exploit its tourism potential fully. However, it has made promising efforts to promote the country’s name in the global tourism spectrum.
On the other hand, a remarkable growth has been achieved in terms of investment on the sector, rising by 3.7 percent end of 2016. For over half a century, tourism has been constantly expanding at a faster pace. These days, this trend appears to be irreversible. According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), there will be over 1.6 billion international tourist arrivals worldwide in 2020. In this regard, Ethiopia continues benefiting from the sector.
Currently, tourism has high potential for the economic and social progresses. It generates valuable foreign currency exchange and high revenues through taxation. It as well could be a major source of employment. Considering the role of tourism for the country, several measures have been taken by the government and other stakeholders. As part of this measure, the country has adopted a new brand that manifests Ethiopia's spirit of originality - 'Ethiopia: Land of Origins'.
This brand has been given to Ethiopian tourism sector after conducting extensive researches and in consultation with Ethiopian stakeholders, tour operators and potential tourists. It is believed that the new brand would enable Ethiopia to define its identity as well as inspire people to create their own memories of Ethiopian tourist attractions. Lately, introducing the equivalent Amharic brand "MidreKedemt" at the 4th regular meeting of Ethiopian Tourism Transformation Council, Council Chairperson Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalen said that since the nation is endowed with high tourism potential, it has to work hard to increase the benefits from the sector. The Council has to carry out all the necessary activities in order to remove major impediments in the tourism industry.
The Premier further said that all stakeholders, including federal and state governments, are expected to play their roles for the success of the sector which is vital to improve the image and economy of the country. Culture and Tourism Minister Dr. Hirut Woldemariam highlighted the necessity of integrated works in addressing the bottlenecks in Ethiopia's tourism industry.
If Ethiopia scientifically continues to exploit the potentiality of the sector, it will really contribute hugely in the realization of the vision to make Ethiopia middle income country by 2025.
BY ZERAY HAILEMARIAM
Glued one by a strong unity, Ethiopians bask under a wide spectrum of nature-bestowed and eye-catching diversities. They are people boasting of peculiar golden traits and common characteristic features,which surfed the tide of time intact like a strong iron chain.
Defiance to tyranny and subjugation on top of invincibility and sacrifices to freedom,which emanates from an overriding national feeling, are the distinguishing features of Nations and Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia. Also, cherishing the pride that attends the aforementioned virtues qualifies Ethiopians. The historic civilizations once Ethiopia was marked for and the heritages of the civilizations found scattered around the country like the Axum Obelisk and the rock hewn church of Lalibela are sources of pride to Ethiopians. Their differences as they are, Ethiopians culture of peaceful coexistence and respect for one another that withstood the test of time has reached this era as citizens' common social wealth.
The longstanding bent of extending a helping hand when natural disasters hit or catastrophe surfaces are one of the standouts that single out Ethiopia unique. Clicking among each other even when passing through trying times as well as heydays, are global-attention-galvanizing bents Ethiopians have been displaying from the days of yore. All in , Nation ,Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia have common and prideful togetherness that accentuate social,historic psychological values, which reinforce peaceful coexistence.
Over the years, efforts were made to ensure the furtherance of these values and reinforce them. Poverty,which was a formidable hurdle,to the sentiment of togetherness,is being rooted out. A concerted push to materialize the country's Renaissance is underway. Tangible turnarounds are taking shape. The move to create a political economic society, leaning on unity in diversity, is displaying promising strides ahead.
Aside from being a warrant to equality and democratic order, the role the constitution is playing in actualizing an affluent and strong nation is overarching. The national goal people of Ethiopia set to break away from debilitating poverty is a lofty common value. It goes a long way in tightening citizens bond specially when it comes to getting on deck for a common goal. It as well serves a guarantee to the furtherance of their clicking for yet a higher levels of development down the road.
Despite the aforementioned backdrop, lately heinous practices,which erode and damage the country's enduring unity,are rearing their grotesque faces. As it is clearly put in the deep renewal process, there is a call for parrying such roadblocks conspiring to hamstrung the ongoing effort to bring to life a full blown democratic order and an affluent nation. Such logjams must not be allowed to pose a threat to the common values citizens share.
Divisive mindsets sow the seed of discord and hatred among citizens. At their worst they turn carcinogenic. Hacking social fabrics,they could put the democratic unity of Nations,Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia under a question mark.
They wear away citizens' age-old culture of tolerance and respect for one another. Such attitudes of mind militate against the advantages of citizens and the country. They aim at personal gains or meeting the objectives of some quarters, who want to fish in a troubled water. Rent seeking mind bents, parochialism and chauvinism militate against national unity, made to lean on a strong psychological clicking, and the ongoing development rippling across the nation.
Closing doors possibly ajar for dissension, fighting self-centered attitudes of mind, allowing budding democracy to sprout and upholding unity in diversity, citizens must work hard to materialize the country's envisioned ascension. The country's Renaissance will not be long in actualizing if its developmental thrust enjoys the tranquility the country has been enjoying specially the past 26 decades.
The number of local visitors for festivals and other events has increased from time to time, however many of the historical and natural heritages of the city have remained unvisited due to lack of awareness, according to the Addis Ababa City Tourism Bureau.
As part of celebrating world tourism week, the Bureau has held a week long symposium with the theme, 'Sustainable Tourism: A tool for development,' which attracted over 5,000 people.
Biniam Abraha, Director of Tourism Development with Addis Ababa Tourism Bureau told the Ethiopian Herald that the bureau has undertaken various activities to enhance the domestic sector's potential and promote the role of tourism for the countries development through providing awareness creation towards the city's heritages, preparing guide books, videos, magazines, radio programs, and tourist guide in 5 languages.
Beniam also said that organizing youths; the bureau has established ‘Know Your Country’ club in every Weredas to create informed citizens about their historical heritages. Currently, there are 204 ‘know your country’ clubs across the ten sub cities, he added.
Over 10,900 people visited the city’s historical and natural heritages, museums, monuments, churches and natural parks like Entoto this year, Beniam noted.
According to Beniam, on the week long symposium, various activities such as tree plantation, cleaning, beauty context, talk shows, question and answer competition, and exhibitions among others have been taken place in a way they can contribute to foster the development of tourism in the city.
Bureau Communication Head Worku Mengesha for his part said that considering their long age and historical significance, the Bureau has planned to renovate five heritages in the city this year.
He said that three ancient houses and two monuments dedicated to Emperor Menelik and Tewodros located adjacent to Saint George church and Churchill Avenue in Piassa area of the city respectively, will undergo reinvigoration at a cost of 30 mln birr.
According to him, three houses of the late 19th century, which will be renovated, are houses belonging to Sheik Hojel Alhassan, Bitwoded Woldetsedik Goshu, first mayor of Addis Ababa, and the first municipality.
BY FASICA BERHANE
Every precondition is finalized to launch Hot line service to prevent and control the abuses women and children suffer in Addis, according to the Addis Ababa City Women and Children's Affairs Office.
Free telephone service is going to kick start as a city level to help vulnerable women and children get help as soon as possible.
Approached by The Ethiopian Herald, Melkamu Agidew Children Right and Security Protecting Directorate Director with the office said abuses inflicted on women and children are exacerbating country wise. To ward off such harmful practices, in collaboration with other offices and its Hot Line, the office is on the move from high level to the grass roots using its structures.
This Hot Line will be officially launched next week and start giving service for the city, he said.
In addition to the Hot Line service, preparations are finalized to start a one-stop service to support the vulnerable. In the one-stop service when the abused women or children approach the center, they will get every services at one place or station. This service has already been started in Gandi Hospital .The Office is flexing its muscles to ripple the service across in other places, like Saint. Peter Hospital, Minilik and Tirunesh Beijing Hospitals.
Melkamu said that “Previously, when women or children suffer abuse they used to go to police stations or hospitals. If ordered to visit psychologists, they would be forced to do so. They were safer. But now they have to go to one stop centers only, and they can get the medicaland psychological professionals as well as lawyers. Victims will speak to such professionals only once , for the professionals thereafter will play their roles.”
The vulnerable women or children themselves could crunch the free numbers whenever they face abuses. They could make a call hiding in the kitchen, or a in shower house. Sometimes when the possibility is not there, neighbors or other strangers may crunch the free phone numbers on behalf of victims badly in need of help. People who answer the phones will be on the standby for 24 hours.
According to Melkamu, preparation for the task was started from 2009E.C. Professionals were trained, materials were ready and centers were selected.
Mainly, the user of this service will be women and children, but there are no limit for others. Every one in the city will be the user.
“We are expecting challenges like wrong outlooks and lack of adequate information. We will address it by creating awareness for the people in different ways and will downsize the problem through time,” Melkamu said.
Not only women, male children abuse is also becoming not uncommon in schools and other places. Moreover the abusers could be uncles, brothers and fathers ,as he said. So unless citizens come aboard the fight, the consequence could be detrimental.
BY GENET FEKADE