Items filtered by date: Tuesday, 12 September 2017
Tuesday, 12 September 2017 20:41

“Love, eat and pray”

An Indian guru remarked “Love, eat and pray!” The three are main ingredients for human existence. This is not to mean survival of the fittest or emphasize the “consumerism” concept.

In other words, love is not considered as a virtue solely expressed in emotional attachment way. In this regard, the Chinese too state that when one loves one has to, love without attachments- love unconditionally. This means do not try to associate with emotional arousal intact like sex, beauty, fame, prestige, money and others. Love demands some sort of sacrifice at the expense of ones emotional and other selfish needs.

Love is a deadly pitiful in one's life. In other words, love is a spontaneous incident, not related with feeling and it demands rational thinking. Love is measured in terms of actual occurrences which take place among individuals, communities and interracial relations with no mechanical and environmental influences but pure sense. Purity is derived from clear perception and understanding having a momentum “feeling” and “thought”.

Food and other basic needs are decisive for human survival. Of course, food may prolong one's life. Nevertheless, it does not define one or who one is due to the fact that one is capable to live or extend a period of time without having food. Rather those, who live with definite destiny and journey, enjoy their lives without demanding more. It determines today, not the future existence because one time one will find oneself committed to the ground. Judgment is not upon body’s instinct thought but it is up to one's soul. As a matter of fact, in order to survive, one needs essential inputs to affirm one's existence on earth, not other dimension.

Prayer contributes a lot to attach one with oneself, others and with nature as well as Almighty God. Prayer tracks one to introspection. It helps one to interact with others in respect of core values. It connects one with nature in account of ecosystem combination. It also shows one direction to stick with Almighty God by having faith to see the unseen dimension. Praying makes one to be righteous by considering others' interest.

Therefore, it will be meaningful if we celebrate the ensuing of New Year with “genuine” mental state by taking traditional ways and having empathy and sympathy manners into consideration.

New Year indicates to people the direction to have meaningful and joyful life destinations. As such, while we irrigate oneself with all sorts of drinks and dishes let us not forget the needy who are pushed to the peripheries by the turbulent tide of life.

And New year is the right time to step up peace in the country among each other and with neighboring countries. It is time to add laurels to the country's exertion towards affluence exploiting the peace that is there.

BY MEHARI BEYENE

 

Published in Society
Tuesday, 12 September 2017 20:40

New Year celebration in Ethiopia

No one can deny the fact that Ethiopia is a mosaic of nations, nationalities and peoples. Above and beyond, all of them live in harmony irrespective of race, religion, age, sex, culture, social status, political affiliation, among others. When September sets in, this great people make a point celebrating the New Year with overriding elation accompanied by their close and distance relatives as well as fellow citizens.

In fact, there are scores of religious festivals which come to pass at every corner of the country once a year. The different festivals which are celebrated in most parts of the country win the hearts and minds of everyone with no trouble within the shortest time possible. The various holidays, celebrated annually across the country consist of Meskel (the finding of the true cross), Christmas, Timket (epiphany) Kiddus Yohannes, Easter and what have you. Most of them are celebrated by Christians. As a matter of fact, the New Year celebration is among one of festivities which are celebrated across the country. The way how different people celebrate the New Year vary from place to place based on individuals' background.

The New Year Enkutatash is a significant celebration for all Ethiopians seeing that the holiday typifies the reaching of good yield. The New Year is as well the month that the country experiences attention-grabbing atmosphere after seeing off the winter season. More often than not, it is the time that the country is bedecked with eye-catching Meskel daisies which grow once in a year. While we are on the subject, as per the Gregorian calendar, the Ethiopian New year/Enkutatash is celebrated on September 11th seeing that Ethiopia follows the orthodox Julian calendar comprising a coequal section of the twelve months into 30 days each and thus Pagume is formed, consisting 5 or 6 days.

By the same token, the New Year is heralded by fireworks, songs, dances and scores of other related events. Furthermore, numerous entertaining programs are put on air for the general public.

More often than not, on the occasion, kids sing a range of New Year’s songs from door to door. This time, everybody joyfully gives them money in return. In addition to this, children sing beautiful New Year songs on the roadsides, cafes, restaurants, public recreation centers, bars, juice houses and what not. Everybody gives them money and the children in return express their gratitude and appreciation through various melodic New Year songs. Nobody dresses down children as they are today's flowers and tomorrow's seeds. Everyone unanimously welcomes them with affection.

Children as well draw pictures of saints and angels highlighting the day and put up for sale. Mostly, they draw pictures of saints and angels and traditional bouquets of flowers. This being the case, they make a lot of money out of the sale and do whatever they want with the money they garner from different people selling paintings. On New Year's Eve, everybody gets torches which are made out of dry leaves and twigs ready for the festivity and then most parents light the torches and set in motion singing a range of entertaining New Year’s songs.

Early in the morning, all and sundry embellish themselves head to foot in attention-grabbing traditional clothes. They dress sumptuously with their Sunday best. They as well spend the day with their near and distant relatives enjoying Doro Wot if the New Year does not fall either on a fasting day- Wednesday or Friday. Furthermore, they eat to their hearts' content different traditional dishes made of meat and milk products apart from having coffee. By the way, coffee is served with popcorn on that specific day. The celebration goes late into night as it is a merry-making day.

In an attempt to colorfully celebrate the year long-awaited New Year’s day, everybody goes shopping with the intention of purchasing spices, hens, oxen, eggs, butter and the likes. Everybody gets themselves ready for the New Year based on their income. But nobody waits for the day to come simply sitting with folded hands.

The right, left and center of the capital expounded with catchy and mesmerizing New Year songs. Above and beyond, everybody makes sure that their parlor is full and everything is ready for the day.

The other thing is people living in various parts of the country and overseas come home on New Year’s Day for a family reunion. What is more, it is considered as the time most relatives meet with their family members after a long departure. Some of them come home after many years of disappearance. When they come home, everybody grows ecstatic. They get the whole thing required for the day. All Ethiopians help one another for the most part on New Year’s Day.

Ahead of the New Year celebration, most parents buy various types of traditional clothes for their kids with the object of making them happy and welcoming the New Year with eye-catching traditional clothes. Parents as well buy a range of modern clothes based on their kids' interest as there is nothing under the sun which make them elated than helping their kids. What is more, they give them adequate amount of money which enables them to buy anything that grabs their fancy. Thus the kids make their day. To cut a long story short, the kids spend their time as they wish given that the New Year is one of the happiest days in their lives though they partake in various religious holidays every year.

Some people make New Year resolution on New Year's day. Some of them vow to give up smoking and drinking alcohol, get married, become rich, change their behavior and other related aspects although it is possible to make a plan anytime. More to the point, most people exchange various types of gifts in addition to enjoying the festivity. Nobody holds grudge on New Year’s Day no matter what the cost may be. So this New Year too let us strengthen our national consensus.

Published in Society
Tuesday, 12 September 2017 20:38

The 13th month (Pagume)

Just extra month

five or six days long

yet no weekends

no reputation of Mondays or Fridays

no saint days for the faithfuls

or holidays or day off on calendars

 

just Extra month

Just extra month

five or six days long

yet no weekends

no reputation of Mondays or Fridays

no saint days for the faithfuls

or holidays or day off on calendars

 

just Extra month

no periods for girls

no salary, you would serve for free

no interest on your money

rather a month you spend unnecessarily

 

just extra free month

is it really gain or loss?

 

BY FASICA BERHANE

no periods for girls

no salary, you would serve for free

no interest on your money

rather a month you spend unnecessarily

 

just extra free month

is it really gain or loss?

 

BY FASICA BERHANE

Published in Art-Culture
Tuesday, 12 September 2017 20:36

The unexpected New Year Gift

 

Most of the time the youngest child of the family, Aster, did not know what she had to do as the entire family did not take care of her. She was the only daughter of the family. Although she felt affection for the entire family members with all her heart, she was not happy pertaining to her parents. They were mistreating her from time to time. Aster’s parents did not treat all their children equally at any cost. Even worse, when they bought clothes for the entire family particularly during religious holidays, they did not buy anything for her. As she did not know the reason behind, she was constantly crying her eyes out behind their back.

When Aster asked her parents, they told her that she was a little girl and they would buy her anything she wanted when she completed high school and thus she was expressing her disappointment in various ways. When she went to school, everyone made fun of her seeing that she wore shabby clothes. They belittled her all the time. Nobody sought to be with Aster. She simply kept on studying hard giving the cold shoulder for everyone. She was very sure that her bread would be buttered well down the road no matter what the cost may be. She was fully confident that she would be somebody else tomorrow. Yet she was not sure what the future held in store for her.

Following her intelligence, she stood first every semester and this in turn made the entire family bitter. They were jealous of her success. Almost all of them were a snake in the grass.

Every year, she won scores of prizes, medals as well as certificates. During award giving ceremony, all turned their back on her though she did not know the exact reason. The situation kept on going from the bad to worse. There were many unanswered questions coming in and out her minds. She could not discover what was going on behind closed door except sometimes going far deep in thought pertaining to the case.

In point of fact, Aster, did not know her parents departed this life when she was six months old. Sadly, she lost both of them because of car accident. As the orphans parents did not have any close relatives, adoptive parents took the poor little girl home. She did know the reality on the ground given that her adopters kept the whole lot behind closed doors.

She was the only daughter of her biological parents. There was disagreement between her adoptive parents, following their reaction towards Aster. They both hated her to death. They did not care about Aster. They felt affection for belittling people as if money had the power of governing anything under the sun. Although, Aster was born with a silver spoon in her mouth, her parents lost everything they had on account of fire accident all of a sudden. If truth be told, her adoptive parents were jealous towards her success.

They in vain showered their children with pieces of advice to be clever students like their adoptive daughter, Aster. To give a vent to their vexation,by way of displacement, they insulted Aster over and over again. When she was at a loss what to do, she asked her foster parents, “Why are you not treating me like my siblings?”.

One fine day the mother said, “Aster is a clever student. We always make an effort to make her miss the intended target. But she stands first every semester despite the fact that we do not take care of her. Our own children are lazy and always lagging behind . They are making us a laughingstock by performing below the standard. But she is always standing first. Sadly, our own children are breaking our morals and values. They are good for nothing. They do not know the fact that life is not all ha ha hee hee. We should do something to descourage Aster’s effort. We should not let her harvest the fruit of success.”

After hesitating for sometimes, the father said, “In fact, my sweetheart. Right you are! Aster is now a grade ten student. We should do something before she complete high school and harvest the fruit of success. Otherwise, she will make us a laughing stoke. Therefore, we ought to do something before it is too late. ”

You are right my dear! We should do something before she turned out to be successful,” said the mother enthusiastically.

We should force her to interrupt her studies. That is the only way out to make our dream becomes a reality. If not, she will be very successful,” Said the father.

This time, the mother could not believe her ears. When she was at a loss what to do, she gave him a hug tightly. She could not control her feelings. That was what she was dreaming for the past many years. After they took counsel together, they ordered Aster not to go to school. In spite of the fact that she made an effort all she could to change their mind, her pleas felled on deaf ears. She was given a stern order not to go to school on the pretext that she would resume her studies next year.

After three weeks, all her classmates came home and discovered the reality on the ground. When they figured out the truth, they begged the entire family to send her to school.

In the middle of their argument, the mother got angry and said, “She is not my daughter. She can ask her dead partners who were as cruel as death to send her to school. I do not like her biological parents. They were good for nothing.”

Who are her real parents?” asked one of her classmates nervously.

Her parents passed away some years ago when she was a six month baby. As we did not have a good relation with her parents, we did not like her in the least. So, sending her to school is not our responsibility.”

This time, Aster bursted into tears in a little while holding tightly her mother. She did not want to detach herself from her mother. She begged time and again. All her classmates bathed in tears. In due course, all her classmates went home and set in motion discussing the case with their respective parents. They all pleaded their parents to do something for their friend. Hence, one of Aster's best friends’ families made up their mind to send her to school no matter what the cost may be. By the way, her best friend was Feven. She was crying the whole night concerning her best friend's condition. After a week, Aster started living under the same roof with Feven’s family. She grew to be lovable by the whole family members in a little while. She began scoring high grades. Everybody turned out to be infinitely happy following her success. She as well scored the highest grades in grade 12 entrance exam. Thence, she grew to be the talk of the entire family in conjunction with her friend, Feven. They won scholarship and joined one of the renowned Universities in America and graduated with honor. They grew to be very rich in a little while.

Be that as it may, life turned its back on Aster’s parents. The entire family lost their wealth. They sold out the whole thing they had. They began living in a Kebele house. Their children could not score good grades in the school leaving certificate exam. Unhappily, they all left what they had. They lost all their hope. They did not have a morsel of food to eat at home. The breadwinner of the family lost all their hope. They were invariably cursing their luck.

In America, Aster grew to be very rich. She bought a sky scraper in the city. She as well bought a big residential house in Addis Ababa. She was leading a luxurious life at that point in time. When her adoptive parents learned the news, they felt very sorry with all their hearts. They regretted what they did. They cursed their rotten luck. They pointed their fingers at one another when they realized the biggest mistake they had made on the girl.

When Aster learned the condition her adoptive parents were in, she could not believe her ears. She cried her eyes out for the reason that she loved them very much. She did not hold a grudge. Thus, she made up her mind to do something for her adoptive parents. As she was a forgiving girl, she wanted to forgive all of them with all her heart.

A week ahead of the New Year’s celebration, she came to Ethiopia. She bought different things before the New Year ensued. On the New Year’s Day, she headed straight to her adoptive parents house and began knocking on the door in fear and troubling. She headed there at a cock crow. They did not have anything for the holiday. They were all sleeping. But nobody was around to answer the door almost immediately. After a little while, somebody came around and answered the door. She did not realize her adoptive mother, who answered the door. She was not able to identify her in a blink of an eye.

Who are you? Who are you looking for, beautiful lady?” Asked the mother in a very weak voice.

I am looking for Aster?” she answered.

I am her mother. What can I do for you?” asked the mother passionately.

Can I talk to her for a moment?” Aster asked.

You cannot my daughter. She is not around.” answered the mother tears rolling down over her cheeks.

As Aster could not control her feelings, she held hugged her mom. She did not utter a word about her identity.

What happened to you my daughter? Why are you crying?” asked the mother.

I am Aster!” she said.

The mother fainted within the shortest time possible. When she woke up, they went in home and began crying. All the family members kept on crying.

No use crying over split milk. As you are my parents, I did not hold grudge. Please let us forget about the past and celebrate the day.” said Aster.

We do not have anything to eat,” Answered the mother.

After an hour, her friend, Feven, brought a sheep. They decorated the house almost immediately and began enjoying the day under the same roof. In the afternoon, they went to the new villa that Aster bought to her adoptive parents.

They could not believe their eyes when Aster gave them the key of their new villa.

We do not deserve this house my daughter. We are cruel individuals by nature! We are sinners. We are human animals. We are as cruel as death!” said the father burying his head in his hands.

Please, forget about the past and wish me a happy New Year. A new year marks a period of reconciliation and a time for wishing good future. Hence, let us bury the hatchet and love each other. Let us show chemistry,” said Aster hugging her dad warmly. Everybody got bathed in tears.

BY ADDISALEM MULAT

Published in Art-Culture
Tuesday, 12 September 2017 20:34

GERD's Journey

(Last time we had seen a background information about GERD. In this part we will see the fund soliciting Work in Wolaita Sodo Zone and the trophy that was there for the same purpose)

Up on launching the GERD project, conducive situations that allow a go ahead to subsequent tasks were created establishing a top-popular support mobilizing and managing council and executive committee, having an office with its own structural set up to handle technical aspects. Coordinated by vice administrators, structural sets ups were put in place at zonal, wereda and towns level. Clicking with GERD's state branch offices, commendable muscle beefing up works too were undertaken. Specially, in Wolaita zone civil servants take the lion's share of the huge support channeled to GERD in the area by governmental and non governmental organizations as well as development agencies. Though, the support of the council differs from state to states,office to office,administrative organs to administrative organs, the minimum saving is the one that entered into a second round. Government employees who joined the 3rd round are due to start a 4th round contribution. Also some Weredas and town administrations are due to start a 3rd round contribution. Addressing an event organized in the zone to mark the 6th anniversary of GERD, chief administrator of Wolaita a zone Ato Asrat Tera said. GERD is being colorfully celebrated at all echelons under the theme, “Greatness is our country's harmonious song and a fort of our Renaissance.”

Speaking about what makes the event special, he noted GERD's trophy was being circulated throughout the country. “The fact that it is when the trophy is in Wolaita zone the 6th anniversary of the day is being celebrated has afforded us a source of happiness. The fact that we are celebrating the anniversary together with other ethnic groups of the country doubles our satisfaction and makes it a special one.”

Due to the wrong headed policies leaders of Ethiopia,which was once at the helm of development, were pursuing the country was forced to descend from its pedestal and turn an aid-seeking nation. To efface this image-tarnishing episode, chalking out new strategies the country is striving to hit the last nail on poverty. It as well has embarked on a Renaissance journey. That is why GERD project cuts a cherished corner in the heart's of citizens. GERD, a bedrock for Ethiopias Renaissance, is a project that showcased Citizens' chemistry for a common cause,striking out the spirit of “It is possible!”

Though Ethiopia contributes 90 percent of the water that feeds blue Nile, taking Ethiopia's Achilles's heels into account, former leaders of lower riparian countries and their colonizers had been taking decisions that preclude Ethiopia. They were espousing decisions that run counter to Ethiopia's development. To sustainably implement the decision that brush aside Ethiopia and deprive it the right to garner loans that help execute projects like GERD, they were leaving no stone unturned in parrying possible loans Ethiopia could get from international financial institutions .In the diplomatic arena using lobbying, they were conspiring to tie down Ethiopia's hand. This problem, coupled with the wrong policy choice leaders of the previous regimes took that resulted in nonstop turmoils,had made Ethiopians standers by to the benefits that could accrue from utilizing Blue Nile. As a barber's son should not go with matted hairs, Ethiopia could not harness the river that roars past its boundary. Ironically, Ethiopia which contributes 90 per cent of the water, was coerced to wallow in an economic morass tacitly deprived the right of developing itself fairly utilizing the common river. Just like other riparian countries,for long,Ethiopia was subject to food security problems famine and soil degradation.

Six years back, in a global attention galvanizing manner, citizens did express elation when the launching of the GERD project was announced in Benishangul Gumuze State by the former prime Minister Meles Zenawi. That is why this time again they are reaffirming commitment with a similar zeal. There was a call for ensuring the furtherance of interest-driven-societal support to GERD at every layer from top to federal level.

Addressing participants,when the corner stone of GERD was laid,our great leader Meles Zenawi noted that “GERD is a living billboard to Ethiopia's commitment towards its long Renaissance journey; a country dragging its last leg out of the quagmire of poverty.'' Revolted by life below poverty line, people of Wolaita/ deserve praise, as they,along with siblings of other states, contributed their share in cognizance of the fact that GERD is unique in the global arena as it is a self-financed project. When the flagship project was made public, destructive propaganda and reportages that downplay GERD as a window-dressing project were being dished out here and abroad. “When we colorfully mark the 6th GERD anniversary in Wolaita Sodo zone not buckling under the aforementioned propaganda and psychological war we feel gratified.” It is to be recalled that people were elated when former prime minister Meles Zenawi announced the launching of the mega project 6 years back. The sentiment is still fervent. “We confirmed that fact that the unflagging support residents of our zone are extending are mounting from day one we received the trophy from our neighbor Hadya Zone, since March of the departed year. In general, since the time the project kick started and in particular since the trophy came to Wolaita, the contribution of residents of Wolaita people to the dam is ever mounting. The support runs the gamut from children to the elderly,from teachers to students,from townees to farmers,from government employees to merchants,from residents in the lower income bracket to those in the upper one. Religious institutions and employees of private institutions are also giving support. The passion of stamping one's finger on the dam is mounting by the day.

Let us see case stories that tell on people's forthcoming bent to support GERD. In Areka town youths engaged in shoe shining had devoted the income they got from a day-long task to GERD. Organizing a local lotto, youth's structural set ups in the zone had managed to collect a 9 thousand Birr bond to financially strengthen the dam. Detainees of the Wolaita and Sodo zone had contributed over 1 million birr deducting from the sale of handicraft items they produced after taking a training there. “It is joblessness that resulted from poverty that pushed us into criminal activities!” they said.

A developmental investor in the zone too has pledged to buy a one million birr worth bond. Asrat added specially the support government employees extend to the dam contributing their monthly salary via a year-long installment is heartening and unforgettable. Happily teachers,students,casual workers and farmers too are extending similar supports. Appreciably, instructors,administrative and support staffs of Wolaita Sodo University, in a two day campaign, had pledged to buy a 2 million birr bond. Galvanizing popular support to the trophy in tour in the zone-from Duna fango to Kindo Didaye- the zonal administration,above set plan, had managed to raise over 202 million Birr. The GERD-coordinating council was planning to get 40 million in 3 rounds. The bond purchasing move to irrigate GERD shows the societal bent to bolster the country's development and to nurture citizens saving culture and to create national consensus.

People of the zone need to press ahead with their rear guard support mindful that such mega projects help realize the national vision of building one economic and political community. GERD must see completion with in the slated time.

Addressing participants gathered to mark the 6th anniversary of GERD at the zone, President of the South Nations,Nationalities and Peoples State Ato Demise Dalke said people of Wolaita zone deserve praise.

He attributed the success story GERD is portraying, among others, to the developmental democratic state the nation is exercising and the continuous capacity building training given to civil servants and sensitization works done to mobilize citizens for work as well as to ensure their benefits.

Translated By Alem Hailu

Published in Development
Tuesday, 12 September 2017 20:31

Ethiopia's new transport hope

 

Without a shadow of doubt, transport plays a major role in smoothing the progress of a given country for the most part in bolstering the economy of a given country and changing the lives of millions. In reality,the growing economy of our country necessitates high transport infrastructure seeing that achieving the intended target would be easier said than done. Furthermore, the railway transport helps in catalyzing the country’s trade flow, connecting development corridors and bringing into play alternative ports for the socio-economic development of the country. It as well plays a major role in taking the country to new heights of success.

Before coming into being, the Ethiopian Railway Corporation was successfully able to make railway line selection. After the corporation had identified the requirements of technical activities, financial capacities and other related aspects, it set a plan to construct eight railway train lines (corridors). By the same token, here and abroad, , project management inclusive,the corporation had trained a range of manpower in different train engineering fields: civil , electrical and mechanical with certificates, degrees and masters with in the time interval which lasted from six months to three years.

Beyond any doubt, the expansion of the railway lines make certain the development corridor strategies of the country, confirm division of product and what have you. Though the project is run by contractors, the number of consultants as well as engineers taking part in the profession is increasing . This in turn helps build self-confidence and minimize building cost.

Addis Ababa-Sebeta-Measo-Dewele project

Among the different railway line projects which have been planned to be expanded throughout the country is Addis Ababa-Sebeta-Measo-Dewele project. The project which has been built at a cost of 3.4 Billion American Dollars is going to get its trial program underway . The rail line which stretches from Addis Ababa/Sebeta up to Dewele Port is 656 K.M long. Furthermore, the port which stretches from Dewele to Djibouti covers 100 Kms. All in all, the project covers 756 KM.

By the same token, the railway line which stretches from Addis Ababa to Adama covers 107 Kms. It is a double track rail while the rest is a single track rail. The width of the rail is 1.435 meter standard gauge. The speed of passengers train is 120 km/ per hour while the speed of freight rail travel 80 km per/hour. In this project, there are more than 16 train stations, among others, Sebeta, Lebu, Metehara, Awash, Measo, Bike, Dire Dawa, Merewa, Adigala, Ayisha and Dewelle.

The project has been built in two phases and sixteen subsections. The first phase which stretched from Sebeta to Measo is built by China Railway Group Limited (CREC). What is more, the second phase which stretches from Measo to Dewelle is constructed by a contractor known as Civil Engineering Construction Corporation. More to the point, China International Engineering Consulting Cooperation (CIECC) played a part as a consultant in both phases.

The train which has the capacity of carrying 2760 passengers travels 120 km/per hour. What is more, the train which has the capacity of carrying 3500 tons of gadget travel at a speed of 80 KM Speed per/hour. It takes ten hours to arrive in Djibouti from Addis Ababa.

The production of sleepers, partner bridges and other inputs have allowed the country to curtail foreign currency apart from facilitating the transfer of knowledge.

Awash-Kombolcha-Woldiya/Hara Market Project

The Awash-Kombolcha-Woldiya/Hara Market railway train line Project is 392 KM long. It runs fully by electricity with 1.435 meter standard gauge width. The train line is being constructed at a cost of 1.7 billion American dollars.

The railway line, which stretches from the Eastern part of Ethiopia to the West, has the capacity of reducing the time by 50% compared to the previous one and plays a great role in the economic development of the country. They produce carbon free air-conditions which contribute to the growth of the country seeing that the trains are run by electricity. The project will have ten Railway stations. The general supervising center is being constructed in Kombolcha. There are around 12 caves in this project area which cover all in all 10 Kilometers. Among them the longest cave is 2.02 KM long which is found in Habru Wereda.

Weldia/Hara Market/ Mekelle project

The project interconnects states positioned in the northern parts of the country. It starts from Mekelle and then cross the Afar state and Hara market found in the northern Amhara state. After that, it crosses Awash-Kombolcha and at the end of the day it meets with the railway lines which come from the eastern part.

It starts from Weldia/Hara Market/ and peirces through Robit, Kobo, Wajja, Alamata, kukufto, Mehenni, Adi-Abder, Mesha, Dadahi and Adi Gudem making Mekelle- its final destination. The railway project is 216 km long with a single track having a width of 1.435 meter standard gauge apart from running by electric power. The cost of the railway line construction is 1,579367, 000.00/1.6 (One billion 579 million three hundred sixty-seven thousand Birr USD.)

Being with contractors and consultants, the educated task force, who attended school abroad in rail engineering through the Ethiopian railway corporation, have been working to make the dream of the expansion of train infrastructure and technology transfer across the country become a reality. As design and building is mostly carried out by contractors, the corporation is doing a number of workshops revolving around design given that it plays a major role in knowledge transfer in the sector. While we are on the subject, the railway line under discussion possesses four train stations. There are as well eight caves which cover 10 Km distances. Among them the longest cave, Maychalefew, is 3.66 KM long.

When the train line becomes operational, it will catalyze the journey to Djibouti port without a shadow of doubt, apart from strengthening the import-export of the country. Moreover, the project plays a major role in establishing common political economy with different states of the country in addition to curtailing foreign incomes.

The construction is carried out by the Chinese Communication and Construction Company (CCCC) while counseling and supervision done by a Chinese company named CIECC vs. BES along with domestic companies. The construction got in in motion in october 04/ 2007 EC. It is expected to see the day's light in June 2011 Ethiopian calendar.

BY ADDISALEM MULAT

Published in Development
Tuesday, 12 September 2017 20:28

Nation's long journey knows no letup

The gloomy past, for ages, which eclipsed citizens' mood and emasculated them from developmental thrust is readying its baggage to backpedal. This generation that could not snatch a wink, in an unprecedented manner envisioning about growth, has become intolerant to pauperism and its debilitating chains. Today, Ethiopians are revolted by sitting idle, lamenting poverty and simply gazing at unharnessed resources. As such, from corner to corner, citizens have declared a foundation-shaking and transformation-ushering-in

The gloomy past, for ages, which eclipsed citizens' mood and emasculated them from developmental thrust is readying its baggage to backpedal. This generation that could not snatch a wink, in an unprecedented manner envisioning about growth, has become intolerant to pauperism and its debilitating chains. Today, Ethiopians are revolted by sitting idle, lamenting poverty and simply gazing at unharnessed resources. As such, from corner to corner, citizens have declared a foundation-shaking and transformation-ushering-in changes. The Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam(GERD) substantiate the case in point. Following this ambition and the practical actions put in full swing by the government, in all spheres of endeavors, palpable turnarounds are consummating the nation's push forward.

By its very nature development has a positive feedback. True to this fact, the victory being scored over poverty, in turn, is lending additional impetus to the nation's ambition and zeal towards developmental uplift.

This generation's aspirations to shape one's fate are not confined to today's growth. They cut a room for answering the developmental quests the coming generation is sure to pose.

Responding to the demands of youths, seeing to the benefit and participation of women and children and helping out farmers come up with bumper harvests are the overarching tasks of the incumbent. Farmers, who never enjoyed due attention before, have become beneficiaries of cutting-edge technologies and research-based knowledge.

In general, troubleshooting challenges has become the hallmark of this generation. Making the marginalized segments of the society, like people living with disability, and letting emerging states beneficiaries of across-the-board fruits of growth have also become the salient tasks of the incumbent.

Hence, all stakeholders,as per set plans, engaged in ensuring the advantages and participation of the aforementioned segments of the society have to do works that showcase tangible changes in the lives of those who were accorded less preferential treatment two decades and a half back.

There should be no fraction of a second to spare, imbued with the passion of reshaping one's fate by one's own, while this generation is striving forward. The case of women,children as well as the youth presuppose a coordinated and streamlined action. Hence, taking them aboard in the developmental feat underway and allowing them enjoy the benefits that accrue as a result are historic tasks all stakeholders should handle forthcoming.

We are relishing success on the path of change we embarked on yesterday. With an all out effort we are tightening our belt for yet better achievements today. Tomorrow, we are expected to lend power to the concerted push to address the development demand of the coming generation. Hence, our march is not meant to grind to a halt. It aims at a new vista after emerging with flying colors out of its predecessor.

Ethiopian New Year celebration, true to the weather condition, serves a mark of transition from the gloomy day to the bright one as well as from a rainy season to a sunny one. Metaphorically, it is also an occasion to bury hatchets forgetting grudges. It as well is a moment to chalk out plans amending shortfalls and strengthening strong sides. It is a moment to reiterate and reaffirm commitment.

Shunning rent-seeking attitude of mind, citizens in different administrative ladders have to throw full weight behind the execution of flagship projects and golden policies the government has brought into play in a bid to actualize affluence. Sowing seeds of discord and sniffing for pretext for dissonance serve no purpose than mitigating the country a step back from its second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTPII) as well as the Renaissance journey it embarked on. Hence we have to preserve our peace as an apple of our eye.

The Federal constitution that is a basis for citizens human and democratic rights is being implemented backed by the direct participation of citizens. The demanding generation so created is asking for the further burgeoning of democracy. It is also asking the fulfillment of its wishes. In this line too we have to support the government to emerge with flying colors.

Aside from its development, Ethiopia is contributing bricks for regional growth. We have to step up this task that allows Ethiopia stand shoulder high.

 

A happy New Year!

changes. The Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam(GERD) substantiate the case in point. Following this ambition and the practical actions put in full swing by the government, in all spheres of endeavors, palpable turnarounds are consummating the nation's push forward.

By its very nature development has a positive feedback. True to this fact, the victory being scored over poverty, in turn, is lending additional impetus to the nation's ambition and zeal towards developmental uplift.

This generation's aspirations to shape one's fate are not confined to today's growth. They cut a room for answering the developmental quests the coming generation is sure to pose.

Responding to the demands of youths, seeing to the benefit and participation of women and children and helping out farmers come up with bumper harvests are the overarching tasks of the incumbent. Farmers, who never enjoyed due attention before, have become beneficiaries of cutting-edge technologies and research-based knowledge.

In general, troubleshooting challenges has become the hallmark of this generation. Making the marginalized segments of the society, like people living with disability, and letting emerging states beneficiaries of across-the-board fruits of growth have also become the salient tasks of the incumbent.

Hence, all stakeholders,as per set plans, engaged in ensuring the advantages and participation of the aforementioned segments of the society have to do works that showcase tangible changes in the lives of those who were accorded less preferential treatment two decades and a half back.

There should be no fraction of a second to spare, imbued with the passion of reshaping one's fate by one's own, while this generation is striving forward. The case of women,children as well as the youth presuppose a coordinated and streamlined action. Hence, taking them aboard in the developmental feat underway and allowing them enjoy the benefits that accrue as a result are historic tasks all stakeholders should handle forthcoming.

We are relishing success on the path of change we embarked on yesterday. With an all out effort we are tightening our belt for yet better achievements today. Tomorrow, we are expected to lend power to the concerted push to address the development demand of the coming generation. Hence, our march is not meant to grind to a halt. It aims at a new vista after emerging with flying colors out of its predecessor.

Ethiopian New Year celebration, true to the weather condition, serves a mark of transition from the gloomy day to the bright one as well as from a rainy season to a sunny one. Metaphorically, it is also an occasion to bury hatchets forgetting grudges. It as well is a moment to chalk out plans amending shortfalls and strengthening strong sides. It is a moment to reiterate and reaffirm commitment.

Shunning rent-seeking attitude of mind, citizens in different administrative ladders have to throw full weight behind the execution of flagship projects and golden policies the government has brought into play in a bid to actualize affluence. Sowing seeds of discord and sniffing for pretext for dissonance serve no purpose than mitigating the country a step back from its second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTPII) as well as the Renaissance journey it embarked on. Hence we have to preserve our peace as an apple of our eye.

The Federal constitution that is a basis for citizens human and democratic rights is being implemented backed by the direct participation of citizens. The demanding generation so created is asking for the further burgeoning of democracy. It is also asking the fulfillment of its wishes. In this line too we have to support the government to emerge with flying colors.

Aside from its development, Ethiopia is contributing bricks for regional growth. We have to step up this task that allows Ethiopia stand shoulder high.

 

A happy New Year!

Published in Editorial-View-Point
Tuesday, 12 September 2017 20:25

The persistent issue of human trafficking

Since the days of Derge’s policy of red terror and the ill-fated armed struggle of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party (EPRP), there has been an exodus of Ethiopian youth through legal and illegal means. With the issue of migrants not accentuated as a major international problem, having a request for asylum accepted or even being naturalized were relatively simpler in those days. The benefits of living abroad expressed mainly to locals through remittance sent from these migrant relatives have long sold the idea of emigration to Ethiopians.

Ethiopians who live abroad are generally respected and treated in a special way when they return back to their country. The social value attached with a returning Ethiopian living abroad is mostly influenced by the economic strength of the country the person came from. Accordingly, such factors have fueled the interest of some Ethiopians to go abroad.

On another dimension, illegal migration and human trafficking have come to the forefront of international concerns with the changing international political, economic and social system. The harsh economic, political and social realities of the world have pushed the home loving collectivist society of the Southern hemisphere to migrate to the developed North in a rare occasion of history. The long history of the white people of the Northern hemisphere migrating in large numbers to displace local people and claim a state of their own is forgotten nowadays.

The corpse of the poor people of Asia and Africa floating unclaimed in the waters adjoining European land is nowadays a regular fixture of Television transmission. As has been reported extensively both on national and international media, human trafficking claims the lives of hundreds of people in just one incident. Whether it is the crammed boats in the Mediterranean or the journey through the Sahara desert, illegal migrants go through various life threatening conditions to get to their destinations.

Affected by both these national and international realities, Ethiopians make up a section of this trend of illegal migration. Accordingly, they too face the grave dangers associated with human trafficking. The illegal nature of human trafficking means the suffering begins with the journey. Those making the journey constantly have their lives threatened by hunger, thirst, hygiene problems and inhumane acts of traffickers. They also fall victim to problems associated with lack of peace in their countries of transit. Women are mostly susceptible to rape while harvesting organs from illegal migrants is on the rise. Studies also indicate that those stripped off their identity cards on their journeys have a high tendency of joining terrorist groups.

Data show that at least 2,650 Ethiopians from Hadiya zone alone lost their lives as a result of human trafficking since 2013. The data further indicate that thousands more are unaccounted for or have physical damages. Neighboring zones are also thought to have similar conditions regarding human trafficking with the youth largely set on their way to South Africa. To make matters worse, those who made it to South Africa are not immune to the dangers as 1,134 of them died there during the same time.

Illegal migrants have to risk everything when they set out on their journeys. It would seem irrational for a human to pay a large sum of money for human traffickers just to risk going through all these harsh circumstances or even lose their lives. However, Ethiopian migrants reportedly pay from 90-120 thousand birr for traffickers to get to South Africa. On their journeys, migrants are often forced to pay additional money or have their relatives send the money at the price of their lives.

It’s no wonder that human trafficking is the third most lucrative illegal business sector in the world preceded only by drug and arms trafficking.

Despite these grim realities though, thousands of Ethiopians make the illogical decision of migrating illegally using human traffickers every month. So what are the factors that force them make these hasty decisions?

The factors behind these risky decisions are generally categorized as push and pull factors. Push factors are local problems that tempt people to consider the option of illegal migration. These include poverty, social attitude to life abroad, war, false promise of traffickers, family and peer pressure and unfair wealth distribution in a country. The pull factors, on the other hand, refer to perceived favorable conditions abroad that attract potential migrants. These include considerable job opportunity and relative peace.

Experts who have studied the issue closely say: “migration accelerates migration.” The stories of the few who have made it are used as recruitment tools by middlemen. This cycle of migration has led to a huge social, economic and political problem in the country. Some of the major problems include:

Loss of the productive section of the population: from mere physical absence in the country to loss of life, human trafficking causes a huge loss of the productive section of the population. With the youth making an overwhelming part of those involved, the productive section of society is the most vulnerable of the economic groups. Shocking data like the one cited above involving Hadiya youth renders the problem concrete.

Exposure to unnecessary economic bankruptcy: households and the nation as a whole are exposed to preventable economic loss as families sell their houses and other assets to send their sons and daughters on the risky journey to preferred destinations of human trafficking.

Dependency Syndrome: the remittance sent by those living abroad also leaves their relatives here develop a sense of dependency. Instead of sorting their own life paths independently, they tend to wait for the handouts from abroad.

Informal route for remittance: migrants who do not have legal status in their host countries do not usually use banks and other formal routes to transfer money. Instead, they send the money through travellers. That hinders the formal route from reaping the benefits.

Exposure to various diseases: the hunger, thirst, lack of hygiene, rape and organ harvesting associated with human trafficking exposed victims to various diseases.

Emigration aspiring generation: the ‘migration accelerates migration’ cycle draws many reeling into the lucrative business of human trafficking. The long term result is a generation aspiring to live abroad instead of earning a decent living locally and working towards a better nation.

Potential to harm bilateral relations: a large number of illegal immigrants make it hard for the host country to plan and implement social welfare policies. Negative perceptions of a social group by the host population could breed distorted image about a country. These perceptions slowly creep into the diplomatic sphere harming bilateral relations. Measures taken by a host country targeting a certain group could also strain bilateral ties.

The remedial actions taken for long are criticized by experts as presupposing that the legal framework is the only source of remedy. Therefore, they centered on building a legal infrastructure. Although it is vital to have those infrastructures in place, experts recommend adopting a multiple remedy strategy. The recent trends of involving the media, elders and various social institutions are instances of the adoption of this strategy.

The other main point to note is that human trafficking is not a one-time problem to be tackled by a committee. Rather it needs to be mainstreamed into all stake holding sectors. The commitment required to root out the problem demands that such daunting tasks are carried out fully._

BY BEREKET GEBRU

 

 

Published in Editorial-View-Point

The upcoming Ethiopian New Year has to be a new chapter for spurring development and seeing to the sustainability of peace and security in the country, according to political parties.

Chairperson of Unity for Democracy and Justice Party Tigistu Awolu told The Ethiopian Herald that aspirant for lasting tranquility and serenity all segments of the society have to welcome the upcoming Ethiopian New Year with new hope.

They have to further nurture the decorum of abiding by the rule of law and achieving speedy development. The incumbent has to attach outstanding prominence to addressing citizens' ever-mounting and growth-attending demands and ensuring people's active participation in all sociopolitical issues, he added.

Tigistu also said that in the New Year the public expects more from the government in terms of fulfilling its obligations enshrined in the constitution. Carrying out the proper implementation of the rule of law and other constitutional provisions of the nation is among the major areas that need improvement in the New-Year, he stressed.

Tigistu noted, “Though we are as always struggling for Ethiopian ascension, its growth should comprise the transformational changes in the manifestation of democracy, human rights, and as a whole a wide and level political landscape.” “Unison and common consensus have to be created among the ruling and the opposition political parties to come up with industrious and peace-loving citizens,” he added.

According to Tigistu, a mind bent of extremism has to be rooted out from citizens' mind to further ensure peace and development in the coming Ethiopian New-Year. “Also the people as well as the political parties have to be rational, a springboard for diving into developmental depths. Reinforcing the ongoing flagship projects and the support extended to the youth must be strengthened to ensure Ethiopian prosperity.”

His Party wishes the coming days to be Ethiopia's ascension particularly in encouraging active participation of the people in political election, avoiding rent-seeking mentality and making the New-Year a time for harvesting tangible and remarkable results in all aspects, he noted.

President of All Ethiopian National Movement Party Mesafint Shiferaw for his part said that it is good if the New Year proves a time of standing for common development and mutual benefit of citizens. Wish is meaningful if it is accompanied by action, he remarked.

To make the New Year more fruitful, the ruling party has to strengthen the culture of peaceful negotiations with the opposing political parties. It has to establish a democratic system in the country that helps to make the election, to be held in Addis Ababa City in the New Year, more successful.”

As the ruling party has to build a platform of debates and dialogues, the oppositions must abide by the rule of law .They have to be ready for participating in all development endeavors and for widening the political landscape, despite some hurdles slackening the process.”

According to Mesafint, his party wishes the New Year to be time for crystallizing Ethiopia's growth and prosperity, and allowing it stand shoulder high as compared to other nations in all socio, economic and political matters.

Ethiopian Democratic Party (EDP) Managing Committee Member Adane Tadese also told the Ethiopian Herald that political parties have prominent role in bolstering all growth and development activities. As citizens and the government aspire for a new hope and ambition during the New Year, EDP also aspires for ushering in peace and development for the betterment of the country, he added.

Resolving conflicts via dialogues is not an optional task but a mandatory one for one's developing country, beset by challenges. Thus, conducting heated debates and negotiating on burning and contradictory issues help to the furtherance of peace and the sustenance of development efforts in the country,” Adane comments.

As to Adane, peace and development are the two sides of a coin that could not separate each other. In times of disagreement, it is good citizens protect their national properties rather than smashing them with stones, he noted .

Director of Public Relations for the House of Federation Gebru Gebreselassie for his part told the Ethiopian Herald that as Ethiopia had been standing out for its unique culture that surfed the tide of time, this scenario has to be properly cultivated and it is crucial to let the country outshine for its rapid economic growth in the coming days.”

With enthusiasm, Ethiopians are registering tangible achievements since the commencement of the second millennium. The push towards the country’s renaissance is promising. Developmental thrusts aim at inclusive growth, Gebru said adding, the remaining years will be the time for Ethiopian ascension generally in infrastructural developments, democratic system and economic growth.

To join the ranks of middle income countries, political parties and citizens should contribute to the development of the country, particularly in maintaining peace and negotiating on ideas for mutual prosperity,” he remarked.

The ruling should be more commited in identifying problems and quickly addressing all questions to benefit the public from gained peace and development,” he added.

The upcoming 2010 Ethiopian New Year is hopefully a transformational phase for all Ethiopians in bringing attitudinal change and implementing development programmes. Apart from respecting the rule of law, all parties as well as citizens need to contribute for the emergence of a prosperous nation cherishing the value of tolerance and coexistence.”

BY ZELALEM GIRMA

Published in National-News
Tuesday, 12 September 2017 20:24

Art, New Year's vibe

With the approaching of a New Year, the holiday vibe creates a feeling that something new, a rosy future, new plans and so many great things are about to come. Moving towards a New Year creates a broad-spectrum of feelings for many of us. We react to the holiday season as if a new baby is born and we reap what we sow,” said Musician Dawit Yifiru.

He told The Ethiopian Herald that nearly each holiday’s music theme focuses on the cultural and religious values of the nation such as gathering and sharing traditional dishes, visiting families, exchanging of gifts, reuniting with family members and expressing respect among families and neighbors.

According to him, there are lots of governmental, martial and civil Art institutions in the nation. And the institutions present many joyous musical programs that entertain the public. He said that the major objective of the institutions is pleasing the society.

During the previous years when so many theatrical and musical programs used to be performed in different theaters, numerous creative works were presented. Back then, everything was supported by the government he says.

As to Dawit, most of the art works these days are business oriented due to the emerging of private art institutions. It sure will be good if the government, as in the previous times, goes more than half way to support the sector. “Not a lot of new music is being released today. Many of the released ones are not up to the standard and the interest of the public.”

Although there are few Artists who come up with great works and satisfy the public every year, he indicated that many professionals are not doing much on the issue.

We do not have enough theaters, music bands and clubs in the country. Without the support of the government, we cannot get the Art sector in a better position. Artists on their side must come up with creative works though there are few obstacles in the area. In order to have a successful and fruitful society, we have to be professionals no matter what profession we are in.”

He stated that publishing of new books, releasing new albums and producing new plays should be a habit since it is very essential for a fresh start of a New Year. Artists as well as Art institutions must evaluate themselves of what they are presenting and contributing for the future of the sector.

Approached by the Ethiopian Herald Artist Abrare Abdo said that back in the days, most of the New Year programs were centered on showcasing Enqutatash—the new year festivity— and the culture of the Nations and Nationalities of Ethiopia.

Abrare added that as ‘Hager Fikir’ theater is known for taking aboard many ethnic groups, more than 8 ethnic cultural programs used to be performed on the stage. Likewise, new music would be performed in the New Year.

He stated that in order to come up with best programs and lessen the redundancy of music and other special performances; they used to work day and night along with the regular programs of the theatre.

Every year various martial bands like ‘Midir Tor’, ‘Kibur Zebegna’, and ‘Police’ used to present programs with them. On the final day of the occasion, different short dramas, cultural and modern music, and dances would also be performed, he said.

As to him, the preparation of the upcoming New Year’s of ‘Hager Fikir’ theater is not that warm as the previous years. Back in the days, he said that everything was done with discipline. Artists were so devoted. They did not even have time for side jobs like advertising, movies and so on. The entire summer would be dedicated to the rehearsal and preparation.

On the contrary, he indicated that many things are changed today; people are putting their interest before the profession. Most of them are tied up with other income generating activities. Not many professionals show up for the rehearsal.

Abrare says; “As long as we are in Art, we should at least give priority to the profession. We are supposed to pay sacrifice for it. Youths, who want to be in Art, should devote their time as much as they sacrificed a lot to get in to the profession at the beginning.”as gathering and sharing traditional dishes, visiting families, exchanging of gifts, reuniting with family members and expressing respect among families and neighbors.

According to him, there are lots of governmental, martial and civil Art institutions in the nation. And the institutions present many joyous musical programs that entertain the public. He said that the major objective of the institutions is pleasing the society.

During the previous years when so many theatrical and musical programs used to be performed in different theaters, numerous creative works were presented. Back then, everything was supported by the government he says.

As to Dawit, most of the art works these days are business oriented due to the emerging of private art institutions. It sure will be good if the government, as in the previous times, goes more than half way to support the sector. “Not a lot of new music is being released today. Many of the released ones are not up to the standard and the interest of the public.”

Although there are few Artists who come up with great works and satisfy the public every year, he indicated that many professionals are not doing much on the issue.

We do not have enough theaters, music bands and clubs in the country. Without the support of the government, we cannot get the Art sector in a better position. Artists on their side must come up with creative works though there are few obstacles in the area. In order to have a successful and fruitful society, we have to be professionals no matter what profession we are in.”

He stated that publishing of new books, releasing new albums and producing new plays should be a habit since it is very essential for a fresh start of a New Year. Artists as well as Art institutions must evaluate themselves of what they are presenting and contributing for the future of the sector.

Approached by the Ethiopian Herald Artist Abrare Abdo said that back in the days, most of the New Year programs were centered on showcasing Enqutatash—the new year festivity— and the culture of the Nations and Nationalities of Ethiopia.

Abrare added that as ‘Hager Fikir’ theater is known for taking aboard many ethnic groups, more than 8 ethnic cultural programs used to be performed on the stage. Likewise, new music would be performed in the New Year.

He stated that in order to come up with best programs and lessen the redundancy of music and other special performances; they used to work day and night along with the regular programs of the theatre.

Every year various martial bands like ‘Midir Tor’, ‘Kibur Zebegna’, and ‘Police’ used to present programs with them. On the final day of the occasion, different short dramas, cultural and modern music, and dances would also be performed, he said.

As to him, the preparation of the upcoming New Year’s of ‘Hager Fikir’ theater is not that warm as the previous years. Back in the days, he said that everything was done with discipline. Artists were so devoted. They did not even have time for side jobs like advertising, movies and so on. The entire summer would be dedicated to the rehearsal and preparation.

On the contrary, he indicated that many things are changed today; people are putting their interest before the profession. Most of them are tied up with other income generating activities. Not many professionals show up for the rehearsal.

Abrare says; “As long as we are in Art, we should at least give priority to the profession. We are supposed to pay sacrifice for it. Youths, who want to be in Art, should devote their time as much as they sacrificed a lot to get in to the profession at the beginning.”

 

BY BETELHEM BEDELU

Published in National-News
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