Items filtered by date: Sunday, 04 March 2018

Tesfaye Tefera is a youth that has the inclination and determination to lead a better life. He used to lead a hand-to-mouth life. Extricating himself from such a deplorable situation, he envisaged to catapult to the pinnacle of success shortly. 

Towards the aforementioned end he began to work to the bone. Though, he did his level best in his environs to shape his fate, he could not succeed. Nor could he drive satisfaction from the life he was leading and the job he was engaged in.
This condition coerced him to migrate to South Africa. His legs that made note of his rebellious heart began trekking. But his trekking was nipped in the bud. Double loser, his dream was aborted. Before making his way to his destination, he became subject to hassles and harrowing pains. He was thrown into prison.
Tesfaye was born and brought up in Hadiya zone of the South Nation ,Nationalities and Peoples State. In Hosaena town, he was giving transport service ferrying various goods via donkey-driven carts.
He was saving some from his meager income so that he could switch to a better job.
Withdrawing his saving and buying a motorbike, he started giving transport services to residents of the town. Parallel to this, he joined Eqube, a traditional rotatory system of raising fund. Though his income was increasing, his heart was still eyeing at South Africa, where he believed he could better shape his fate.
Pocketing the 33 thousand Birr he earned from the Eqube, together with friends he started the forward-looked journey to realize their long-cherished dream.Soon the migratory trip was started.
What the broker, who sweet talked Tesfaye and his friends into migration, told them was diametrically opposite to the reality on the ground. The broker's tongue was razor sharp to sway the hearts of even those who have no bent of migrating not to mention those whose hearts were on wings towards South Africa. Hence, Tesfaye and friends could not doubt the broker's words. Specially as he had shown them an ultra-modern vehicle, which to their hearts content they were allowed to ride ,and put their money with their parents for a while, they could not entertain a shadow of doubt about the veracity of his words.
When they reached at the Ethiopia Kenya border the promise the broker made to them was broken. Instead of riding the modern vehicle they were made to get on a lorry that was ferrying loads of hides and skins. They began to taste the bitterness of migration to the full. With his colleagues, taking a shift,the broker made them to face a day-and-night trip to Kenya. There was no freedom. Things were far from comfy. The dust smoke that was emanating from the gravel road added pain to the gruesomeness of the journey. When their passports were snatched by the brokers they further lost their freedom. The turn of events made them relinquish hope.
After they got everything under control, the brokers began doing everything they feel like. The brokers forced them to give a call to their respective parents about their safe arrival. This way the brokers took the hard-won transport money victims put aside among parents for a while. They walloped those who showed adamancy.
The brokers and allies refused to give them food. As they had no other alternative abiding by the word of the brokers was a must do. All made a call to their parents to fatten the wallets of the brokers.
Their journey went on till it was barred at the Ethio-Tanzania border .They were detained. The travelers that made South Africa their destination ended up in prison. They were sentenced to 7 month imprisonment. As per the law of the land they were subjected to a rigorous imprisonment.
It was a cattle fattening task Tesfaye was made to handle. Bit by bit he began to develop love for his job. Aside from discharging his responsibility he was paying attention to the task to develop the skill.
When it dawned on him, back home, he could engage in cattle fattening his hope began resurrecting. With no need to migration, he learned he could handle his fate in his motherland. As such he began to pine for the day he will be released. The long-awaited day arrived and he returned to his native land.
It does not took him long to start here the cattle fattening task he found feasible. Seeing innumerable youths rising from rags to riches organized under Micro and Small Enterprises swiftly lent impetus to his passion of changing one's fate through hard work.
His first task was organizing youths who were contemplating about migration and women heavily leaning on their husband's salary. After organizing as many members as he can, he established a development association in 2009.He became the president of the association. He called the association Alacha. In Hadiya language it means a cattle rearing place. Though the Association was started with ten people, when this article went to print it had 8 members.
Association members did not engage in cattle fattening right away. Buying pack animals they started a door to door service of transporting potable water to places in Hosaena where shortage of water was apparent. They did that for six months.
After the association members accumulated some, to create a sense of belonging, each of them contributed 2000 Birr to the Association. When their capital reached 40 thousand Birr, they borrowed 108 thousand Birr from Omo Micro Finance. With 148 thousand Birr they kick started the cattle fattening work.
Tesfaye, who passed through tick and thin, becoming an inspirational leader began working day and night to get the grotesque face of poverty behind his back.
As unity is a source of power, their joint effort bore fruit. They began drinking from the goblet of success. More than a three-year time has elapsed since their capital has surpassed the one million 350 mark.
They did buy a milk churning machine capable of churning one thousand litre of milk on daily basis to produce butter and cheese.
On grounds of its saving, metamorphosing, their Association was promoted from Small Scale Industry to Medium Level one.
The life of each Association member has taken a turn for the better. Members who had no income previously currently enjoy a monthly dividend of 100 thousand Birr per ca pita. Tesfaye has built a modern residential villa in Hosaena town. He has managed to cater to the demands of his children. This clearly shows the bent towards changing one's fate through hard work.
Aside from turning themselves around, Association members have created job opportunities to more than 50 jobless youths in the vecinity.
By way of encouragement, many governmental organization from the federal level up to Weredas had handed them trophies, medals and certificates. On several occasions the Association outlays 90 thousand Birr for fodders. If members enjoy a favorable situation they could produce the fodder themselves. If they are given enough space they could boost their yields to add feathers to the success of their Association.
The Association has a plan to produce various vegetables and render citizens and themselves beneficiaries. It is flexing its muscles to leap from medium to investment level.
Currently, the number of citizens who migrate crossing borders is increasing from time to time. For this sad episode, the activity of illegal brokers,family pressure,desire to amass wealth shortly and peer pressure are accountable.
An all out push is called for to avert the labor exploitation, physical & psychological harm, economic problem and death citizens are subjected to owing to the growing trend of illegal migration.
Mainly the government, countries, society, religious institutions ,youth & women associations must exert a concerted effort in conducting a coordinated sensitization work.
Regarding this, it has been long since the incumbent started making the ground level for youths and women so that they could shape their fate and pull themselves out from the quagmire of poverty.
Rippling Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs) across the nation the incumbent has facilitated ample job opportunities.
Aside from facilitating loans,preparing sheds and creating market links,it is giving training on entrepreneurial and technical skills.
Together with state governments and town administrations the Ethiopian Women and Children Ministry(Which used to entail youths) has been paving paths for citizens to be beneficiaries of such opportunities. It as well organizes exhibitions and Bazars to successful women and youths to create for them market links and product advertising forums.
The job creation task on the part of disadvantaged citizens the government encouraged and the awareness deepening task it undertaken coupled with the participation of other countries are bearing fruit. In light of this,the joint sensitization work the government,religious institutions and successful associations mounted has managed to discourage illegal migration.
As the wrong outlook of the youth is changed through sensitization work,the number of youths who want to change their fate singular or corporate is mounting.
Flipping back to the gist, the zonal administration in Hadya has seen to the reapplication of SMEs parallel to supportingand facilitating loans to them.
Parents, who used to bless off their children to migration, have become forerunners in exposing illegal brokers. Such brokers are becoming subject to punitive measures. Hence the number of illegal migration is making a nose dive.
Tesfaye's story conveys a strong message that it is quite possible to shape one's fate in one's own country. It as well showcases the ugliness of illegally leaving one's country. “It is when it is tasted one realizes the sweetness of of honey!”he put his life experience in one sentence.
If they fine-tune themselves to the media, youths could learn about the harrowing pain of migration and also the possibility of rising from rags to riches under nation's sky!
(Source Publication Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs, PR Office, Story by Belayneh Mohammed)

Translation by Alem Hailu


Published in Society
Sunday, 04 March 2018 00:41

Troubleshooting mental illness

With having no control over the situations in the world we live in, and living in a world full of ups and downs, surrounded by life changes and uncontrollable things, it is not miracle to feel depressed at times. The feeling may perhaps be a reaction of life's struggles, loss of loved ones or other things. 

For a person to be diagnosed for depression, the most frequent symptoms of the disease such as lack of appetite, sleeping disorder, low performance, and loneliness should be witnessed on the patient for at least 6 months, according to Lelna Nega, Psychologist and Learning Support at Samord School.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that mental disorders account about a total of 28% of the global burden of diseases, out of which more than one third are caused by depression.
It is widely accepted that depression (Major Depressive Disorder) is a mood disorder that causes a constant feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It interrupt sleep, meddle with appetite, occasionally causes weight loss, in others weight gain.
The Federal Ministry of Health of Ethiopia stated in its 2012 report that depression was the third leading cause of burden of diseases worldwide; representing 4.3% of the total disability adjusted life years. It is also predicted to become the second leading cause of the global disease burden by the year 2020.
Currently, the illness is increasingly affecting people worldwide. Few studies showed that around 15 million people in America deal with depression within a year.
On other study conducted in Ethiopia, it was mentioned that depression contributes about 6.5% of the burden of diseases. This is the highest share of burden compared to other forms of mental disorders.
Numerous researchers and clinicians agree that it is the most disabling problem that also causes increased risk of other health conditions like substance abuse, HIV/AIDS infection and injury. It decreases the global health score even more than Asthma, Arthritis and diabetes do.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, people deals with depressive illnesses do not regularly endure the same symptoms. No matter how severe, frequent, and how long they last, the experience will vary depending on the individual and his or her particular illness.
But the most common symptoms are trouble in concentrating, remembering details and making decisions, decreased energy, feelings of guilt, worthlessness, feeling sad, anxious, or empty, not enjoying things you used to enjoy, persistent aches or pains, headaches, digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment, among others.
What Causes Depression?
Experts argue that depression might occur for a variety of reasons. Some people experience depression throughout a serious medical illness, fail to cope with new things in life. Here, a family history of depression might also result depression.
It is easily learnt that number of factors may increase the chance of getting depressed such as past physical, sexual or emotional abuse including few medications like some drugs used to treat high blood pressure.
Moreover, personal conflict or dispute with family members or friends, major events even good events such as starting a new job, graduating, or getting married can lead to depression. On the other hand, losing a job, getting divorced or retiring might lead to depression, according to Experts.
Similarly, social isolation due to other mental illnesses or being cast out of a family or social group can lead to depression. Sometimes depression co-exists with a major illness or is a reaction to the illness. Nearly 30% of people with substance abuse problems also have a major or clinical depression.
As to Lelna, there are two ways of treating people with depression. Either the patients will be provided with psychotherapy or will be treated with psychopharmacology. When people get treated by the latter, the patient will take drugs/medicines as prescribed by the doctor. However, psychotherapy is mostly applied.
Several studies show that the most effective treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy, which addresses problematic thought patterns, with or without the use of antidepressant drugs.
The study further stated that evidence is quickly accumulating that regular mindfulness meditation, on its own or combined with cognitive therapy, can stop depression before it starts by effectively disengaging attention from the repetitive negative thoughts.
In line with this, Mogga, et al 2006 found out in their cohort study that mortality ratio and disability rate were about four times high among depressed individuals than non-depressed people. There are also evidences that depression reduces people's coping mechanisms and self-care potentials.
Regarding its prevalence, the World Health Organization estimated that nearly 15% of the global population on average suffered from depression at least once in their lives.
Although there was not sufficient nationwide survey conducted in Ethiopia to determine the prevalence of depression, a survey done by WHO in collaboration with Jimma University indicated that the prevalence of depression in Ethiopia was 9.1%. On the other hand, the prevalence of depression in Ethiopia was reported to be 5% according to the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health report of 2012.




Published in Society
Sunday, 04 March 2018 00:38

Adwa & Emperor Menelik II

Simply with

A sword and a spear
Carrying a shield
And riding a horse,
I did chase out
To its teeth
With modern weapon
Armed invading force.

When citizens
Join force and unite
With Golden pen
History they can write,
History that flickers light

The oppressed,worldwide,
Could win if they fight
For their
God-bestowed right.
Also to modernization
According focal attention
Must be the task of
A given nation
If ignorance and disease
Their tight grip
Must cease.

By Alem Hailu

Published in Art-Culture
Sunday, 04 March 2018 00:36

Valor passed down to generation

“Ethiopia is a country of heroes and heroines. Whenever the country's territorial integrity is threatened by external invaders, the general public irrespective of age, sex, ethnicity and religious affiliation get themselves involved in annihilating the enemy forces from the face of the earth in next to no time. When it comes to the sovereignty of their country, Ethiopians know no compromise. They do not distance themselves from giving their all at any cost. There is no stone they live unturned to save their country from enemies. 

We Ethiopians are unique by nature, I would say. We feel affection for our country with all our hearts. We give priority to our country for the reason that Ethiopia is our identity and pride,” said Tefera a resident of Addis Ababa.
“The battle of Adwa was a spectacular victory for our country. It did not come out of the blue. A lot of sacrifices had been paid despite the world did not expect that we would emerge victorious in the battle taking into account our antediluvian military arsenals. But later when we proved to be victorious through our effective military techniques, we turned out to be the talk of the entire world in the blink of an eye. We as well grew to be the headlines of most famous newspapers worldwide. The world could not believe its ears considering our achievement. Nobody imagined that Ethiopia would effectively chase out the Ethiopian colonizers,” he added.
“Following the victory of Adwa, most people living in the left, right and center of the world expressed their feelings, ideas and thoughts in a range of ways. Some countries kick started damaging the reputation of Italy militarily over and over again as their humiliation was indescribable in words,” he highlighted.
It is a pubic knowledge that Ethiopians prove triumphant over enemy forces where on earth the place or the mission may be. Ethiopians shield their country working hand in glove as their country is among several things which make them one and the same.
Still now all Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia close ranks to defend one Ethiopia no matter what the sacrifice may be. Ethiopians are always one when it comes to their motherland. They defend their country from harm bringing into play a range of techniques.
The Battle of Adwa is one of the success stories of Ethiopians. It means a lot to all Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia. Forefathers had fought to wipe out the enemy forces that were making an effort to invade and exploit the country’s resources without restraint. But all enemies' efforts went for nothing as they did not imagine Ethiopia would annihilate Italian soldiers, equipped with modern military weapons, from the face of every nook and cranny of their country.
The culture of protecting the country from external enemies is the part which makes Ethiopia different from the rest of the world. Ethiopians prove themselves to be victorious over enemy forces within the shortest time possible as Ethiopians do not hesitate to give their all for their motherland.
“The Ethiopian victory over the invaders was a good lesson for Africans who were leading their lives under the yoke of colonialism for several years and freedom fighter across the globe. Things were beyond enemies' capacity. They did not expect that Ethiopia would bulldoze Italian soldiers. When Africans heard the news, they expressed their happiness in various ways. They learnt the fact that it was possible to knock down a colonizer armed to the teeth. Furthermore, they learnt the most important lesson that unity is strength and nothing shall be impossible if one is committed to make one’s objectives a reality. To cut a long story short, the battle of Adwa had noteworthy nationwide and worldwide message,” as per Damitew a resident of Addis Ababa.
He went on to say, “Italians thought that Ethiopia is a backward country with no modern soldiers, military weapons, and other related aspects. They were sure that they would be triumphant over Ethiopia in next to no time and make their dreams become a reality almost immediately. They could not think out of the box. They did not imagine that Ethiopians give priority to their beloved country more than anything in this world. They did not have the faintest idea regarding the heroism of Ethiopians.”
“Taking into consideration their wrong perception towards Ethiopia and its people, Italians did not know the fact that Ethiopians can reduce them to nothing with no trouble. I am really proud to be an Ethiopian. We had conveyed significant lessons to the world that we can get enemy troops to their knees without difficulty.
As ill luck would have it, as Italian soldiers did not know this reality on the ground, the last of them turned out to be humiliation on the world stage. But Italians were fully armed with modern tanks, artilleries, and other related aspects. Quite the opposite, the Ethiopian soldiers had spears and shields, outmoded guns, and the rest,” he added.
The Ethiopian victories had been proved several times at different times. The present Ethiopians soldiers have been restoring orders in different parts of Africa every so often. Hence, they have proved themselves to be successful wherever they are deployed in. This reality did not come out of the blue. At this moment in time, Ethiopian soldiers had poured cold water on various enemy forces. They punish external enemies with no trouble.
Most of the enemy forces of the country had learnt a special lesson from Ethiopia considering the fact that victory is the culture of all Ethiopians. The culture of defending our external enemies and anti-peace elements with valor has been passed down from generation to generation. In brief, Ethiopia has proved every so often to be a country of patriots and martyrs. The secret behind Ethiopia’s success is its people’s heroisms and love for their country.
Also, the Ethiopian soldiers have been doing all they could to spearhead the development endeavor of the country being carried out all over the country. For instance, they help farmers at some stage in harvest and sowing seasons. Moreover, they guard the Ethiopian Great Renaissance Dam (GERD) as it is the apple of all Ethiopians eyes.
The Ethiopian soldiers as well make an effort for the realization of GERD over and over again by guarding it from potential enemies. All the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia have been contributing for the realization of the GERD through their knowledge, capital and labor contribution. This unity is one of the outcomes of Ethiopia’s cultures.
The victory of Adwa is being witnessed in various ways by all Ethiopians. The unity of all Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia has been manifested in different sectors.
Above and beyond, Ethiopian soldiers have been getting themselves involved in peacekeeping mission in some African countries with the intention of resorting peace and tranquility in the continent. A case in point, they have successfully driven out the Alshababe soldiers from every corner of Somali.
Sadly, the Alshababe soldiers were doing whatever they needed in every corner of Somali in addition to making an effort to upset the stability of the zone. But the heroic Ethiopian soldiers managed to comb out the Alshababe soldiers in a little while and hence the people of Somali were unfettered from the chain of oppression following the Ethiopian soldiers’ heroism.
In the same way, the Ethiopian soldiers have been working with the intention of restoring peace and tranquility across South Sudan. Above and beyond, taking into account Ethiopian soldiers’ dependency and competence, the two countries (South Sudan and Sudan) made a decision to give the peacekeeping mission regarding Abyei to Ethiopian soldiers. Abyei is under the care of Ethiopians soldiers until the two countries reached a consensus at this point in time. When it comes to peacekeeping mission, Ethiopia is turning out to be the first choice of UN and African Union.
All the time, citizens should thank and remember all Ethiopians who had paid a lot of sacrifices for defending Ethiopia from colonizers giving their all. Had they not paid a lot of sacrifices at that specific juncture, Ethiopia would not have reached where it is in the present day. Their heroism and sacrifices have been passed down from generation to generation and that is why Ethiopians are turning out to be victorious over enemy forces wherever they are deployed in. We should commemorate Ethiopians who had sacrificed their precious lives for their beloved country always.
By the same token, we should forward our respect and appreciation for the popular Ethiopian soldiers who have been defending the sovereignty of the country with honesty, determination and what not. As they are heroes who have been working hard for the realization of the country’s development and sovereignty, the general public should stand on the side of the Ethiopian Defense Forces.






Published in Art-Culture

It goes without saying that pursuing the time-tested Kaizen Management Philosophy pays in scaling up product and productivity. Apart from ensuring fruitfulness, the philosophy is also instrumental in shaping mentality. 

To augment its overall effect, there is a call for rippling the sentiment nationwide. That is why there is an interest to put in place Kaizen institutions in States.
To imbue citizens with the management philosophy, as a ground work, the task presupposes aggressive and large-scale sensitization activities. But how to go about in translating such promising plans into action is the question that props up to mind up on rolling sleeves to engage in the task.
In Japan, starting from elementary schools students take lessons on Kaizen.
The one -to-five groupings introduced in schools here obviously create a fertile ground for sowing the seeds of Kaizen. As it has proved sound here as well, it sure is good if it is injected into the curriculum of the country.
At this juncture borrowing an instance from a practical experience it is possible to substantiate the significance of adopting and adapting Kaizen.
With in a two decades time, drawing lessons from Japan's Kaizen philosophy and adding feathers to its cap, observably Singapore is seen outperforming Japan itself.
Similarly, if Ethiopia, internalizing the philosophy and getting on the ball get hard at work to catalyze its action of rolling it, certainly it will multiply over the jewels it is decorating its crown with in recent years.
Knowing full well the paramount significance the philosophy lends force to a given country in breaking away from poverty, the Ethiopian government apportioning budget is displaying its determination to embrace the philosophy. Regarding this issue, it has managed to be a pioneer in Africa.
The coming into being of the premier chaired council comprising ministers, state presidents, representatives of universities,presidents of trade unions,presidents of professional associations and heads of the mass media is an instance that could be cited as a manifestation of Ethiopia's move.
The council sets direction to Kaizen implementation strategies,approves national action plans as well as sees to their implementation.
During the past couple of years the Ethiopian Kaizen Institute (EKI) apart from strengthening its capacities, it had turned successful in its effortto jump-start the implementation of the philosophy in manufacturing industries focusing on export and other industries of strategic significance as well as, technical and vocational training institutes, universities and the Addis Ababa housing development agency. In so doing it has trained innumerable executives and actors in several organizations.
The Kaizen Philosophy, which Japans came up with and developed it through time, is one that spared the country from a lapse on the wake of the second world war. It is one that let Japan achieve the level of development it is enjoying now.
Ethiopia importing this philosophy is buttressing the manufacturing industry and construction industries that have direct relations to the manufacturing industries. This is found acceptable.
Though the number of factories where the philosophy has gone operational is limited,it is necessary to scale them up.
“In some industries we have managed to demonstrate a turn around. Change have precipitated as the management bodies worked with determination. In private companies and in foreign trade Plcs change has come. For instance it is possible to cite glaring achievements witnessed in garment and textile industries, Peacock Shoe Factory and Awash Tannery. For their outstanding performance in implementing the Kaizen philosophy,these institutions are awarded trophies. Changes have also become palpable in Technical and Vocational Educational Training (TVET) .This is just the beginning. It is not something to crow about and remain complacent.”According to Director General of EKI.
In the second Growth and Transformation Program (GTPII) there is a plan towards the furtherance of the translation of the plan into action. Though executive bodies are decisive, the task mainly devolves on the council.
Once the premier had said towards this end Kaizen institutions will be established in states. Such Management institutions either simultaneously give the course or will evolve in to Kaizen institutions. The curriculum will be designed in such a way that it entails lessons on Kaizen.
“Ethiopia has the capacity to implement the Kaizen philosophy. When we say capacity we mean the human resource. There is a call for national mobilization. Now the country has to work on the manufacturing sector. But this alone doesn't ensure change by itself.
We highly believe in public participation and one of the core principles in Kaizen philosophy is the need to have a participatory approach for development” did dilate the Premier ministers.
Unless factories get hydro-power, water and other supplies the work could be but clapping with one hand.
To strengthen the council it will be made to incorporate additional members.
Above all, the sensitization work need added attention. A lot is expected from artists and journalists in driving the philosophy of Kaizen home.
Japan as usual is ready to assist Ethiopia's endeavor to adopt and adapt the philosophy of Kaizen.
Performance assessment forums are fitting forums to assess works done and due to be done in translating the philosophy into action here in Ethiopia.


By Addisalem Mulat



Published in Development

Ethiopia is taking various aspiring steps to efficiently utilize its vast livestock resources and make the sector a driver of the transformation of the country’s agriculture-based economy. One of the steps being undertaken by the government is ensuring feed resources availability, utilization and marketing in different parts of the country. The country's concern here is exploring the situation of various feed resources for ruminant livestock in the central and eastern zones of Tigray State, northern Ethiopia. 

According to the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), these two zones account for the State's 12 per cent of the total landmass, 23 per cent of the human population, 28 per cent of the cattle population, and 56 per cent of the small ruminant population. Farmers feed their livestock a variety of feed resources that range from crop residues to non-conventional feeds. In fact, the feed is the most important factor determining the productivity and marketability of livestock products.
In this regard, Yayneshet Tesfay and others highlighted in their research proceedings that smallholder livestock production in Tigray state is dependent on a variety of crop residues, grass hay, grazing/ browsing, agro-industrial by-products, and improved forage species. Within the limits of agro-ecology, the availability of crop residues is associated with the farming system, one’s favourite crops, and intensity of agronomic practices.
According to the 2013/2014 report of the Central Statistics Agency, about 2.9 million tonnes of cereal (teff, barley, wheat, maize, sorghum and finger millet) and 59,000 tonnes of pulse (faba bean, field peas, chick peas, lentils and fenugreek) residues are harvested in the 2013/2014 harvest season.
In Tigray region, the contribution of crop residues to livestock feeding is about 45 per cent. Stubble grazing is an important source of feed common in Tigray and can yield up to 0.5 tonne of Dry Matter per hectare (DM/ha), although this too is largely determined by the inherent productivity of the land, crop type, and other environmental variables.
Yayneshet highlighted that grazing lands are steadily shrinking in size due to the conversion of prime grazing lands to crop lands. In areas where their relative abundance is still significant, grazing lands are restricted to marginal areas with low farming potential such as hill tops, swampy areas and roadsides.
The progressively smaller agricultural holdings are particularly evident in the mixed farming highlands where the bio climatic conditions are relatively favorable for crop farming. Due to the lack of a coherent land use policy, vast grazing lands in the central zone are already converted to crop fields. The size of grazing lands in most districts in the eastern zone is by far better than is the case in the central zone. The individualization of grazing lands in combination with prevalence of drier environment in the eastern zone might have contributed to valuing and maintaining grazing lands.
“In Tigray state, several introduced forages are tested on-station in different ecological zones and considerable efforts were made to test the adaptability of different species of pasture and forage crops under varying agro-ecological conditions.”
As to them, a number of useful forages have been selected for different zones, although the adoption rate is extremely low. Introduced forages have been grown in farmers’ training centres (FTCs), farmers’ arable lands, and in wastelands. The overall success rate, measured in terms of improved animal production and income, is below expectation.
Despite the fact that smallholder mixed crop-livestock farmers use diverse feed resources, inadequate and poor quality feed supplies continue to be major challenges. Market-oriented livestock development can only be realized once the technological, organizational and institutional opportunities and challenges are properly documented and innovative approaches to feed development and improvement identified, they noted.
Indeed, crop residues are the common source of feeds in the eastern and central zones of Tigray state. The management and utilization of crop residues with particular attention to collection and transportation is constrained by factors such as labour shortage, distance from the harvesting field to animals, and delayed harvest in the project districts.
Grazing land is the second most important feeds for livestock after crop residues. Interventions such as fertilizing the grazing land for more biomass production are seldom considered either by farmers or the extension system. Hay as a reserve livestock feed for the dry seasons is made from pasture lands, enclosure range lands, borderlines, arable lands and rehabilitated areas. Preserving part of a grazing land to be used as standing hay is an important strategy where feed supply fluctuates unpredictably. But only three of the seven districts still practice this tradition.
Acute shortages in the supply of Agro-industrial by-products (AIBPs) and high price fluctuation in the main towns of the districts are discouraging smallholder dairy and small ruminant farmers from using them on a regular basis. The contribution of improved forage plants is low for various reasons. Forage genetic material multiplication sites are not supported by proper research and are operating with insufficient budget and manpower, and the overall management does not guarantee production of quality planting materials. Farmers’ knowledge of managing and using improved forage stands is poor.
The post-harvest period is the most critical period to consider in relation to crop residues and harvested hay management and utilization. There is a need to identify cost effective storage designs and for regular application of best crop residue improving options. In this regard, the extension system has to play the leading role in this area of innovative intervention. The knowledge and capacity of smallholder farmers should be strengthened using short practical training sessions and coaching. Demonstrating the importance of on-farm testing of known crop residue improving technologies through research for development is essential.
Grazing lands as sources of livestock feed stand second to crop residues, and there is a need to maintain the size and improve productivity using soil nutrient management. Application of nutrient needed for plant growth should be widely carried out together with community members and local administration.
Agro-industrial by-products are not widely used by all livestock farmers, especially those located in the rural production systems. There is a need to popularize the usefulness to larger areas by making use of Farmers training Centres and targeting farms that regularly buy bulky feeds as crop residues and hay. Feed traders are providing services to their customers without having the required knowledge. Thus, livestock experts need to explore ways of ensuring that the long-term benefits of livestock and to contribute to sustainable development.




Published in Development
Sunday, 04 March 2018 00:33

Barbaric as we go ‘modern’

The idea that a human being becomes peaceful and respectful to others with modernity has been propagated for centuries. That exact concept is also used as a pretext by Europeans to colonize the whole world. They deemed non-Europeans as uncivilized and barbaric assuming themselves as more civilized and modern. Then they went out to all corners of the world killing, plundering and looting societies. 

One thing that the above historic fact shows us is that ‘modernity’ makes humans condescending, hateful and murderous. After all, Europeans nearly killed off all the native Americans and aboriginals in two continents. Another argument can be that they were the real barbaric people in the world as the more knowledgeable people lived in relative peace among themselves. As far as the economic and military might based standards of gauging ‘modernity’ though, they had the stronger of both factors.
Accordingly, the 21st century is a time of great technological advancements in which knowledge becomes obsolete rather quick. The economic strength of states and individuals has never been this great. Knowledge has never been this easy to access. The people of the world have never been this close. Humanity has unraveled tremendous issues that seemed impossible to crack just a quarter of a century ago.
Humanity has the capacity to fulfill the basic needs of food, shelter and clothing to all its kind. The level of education in the world has also yielded a reasonable proportion of people who can debate over an issue and come to a common understanding. Especially, the people who are in charge of leadinga societies are usually educated enough to communicate with their people and the leaders of other nations.
Therefore, it should be a routine reality of the world that most of the 30 rights stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) are upheld in most countries of the world. Amnesty International’s annual report 2017/18 that depicts the state of the world’s human rights renders the above stated reasoning and expectation out of context. The report’s foreword states:
As we enter 2018, the year in which the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70, it is abundantly clear that none of us can take any of our human rights for granted. We certainly cannot take for granted that we will be free to gather together in protest or to criticize our governments. Neither can we take for granted that social security will be available when we are old or incapacitated; that our babies can grow up in cities with clean, breathable air; or that as young people we will leave school to find jobs that enable us to buy a home.
Unlike reports by Human Rights Watch and other NGOs funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), an offshoot from the CIA, the human rights report by Amnesty International appears to unravel the problems of the big powers as well. The fact that it directed the spotlight on austerity is a demonstration of the different approach it uses to gauge human rights in countries. The report boldly states that austerity is a human rights issue. It goes on to state that it affects people’s access to education, health, housing, social security and other economic and social rights.
With other human rights reports focusing only on political rights, the economic and social rights of individuals and groups are overlooked intentionally to depict the western world as the vanguard of human rights. The limited political, social and economic rights of minority groups and the restriction of real political plurality through the perpetual systematic marginalization of numerous political parties in ‘developed’ countries like the U.S. and the U.K. were never considered as infringements on human rights. However, the Amnesty International report clearly raises these issues and tries to provide a balanced picture of human rights from the vantage points of economic, social and political rights.
With the international economy working only for 1% of the world population, as per a recent Oxfam report, the economic, social and political rights of the 99% are definitely set to suffer. With the international economy dominated by the most powerful states in the world, these states are the largely to blame for the increasing level of inequality, injustice and outright killings across the globe. From the highly skewed wealth distribution to the raging conflicts that claim the lives of innocent people across the globe, the rich countries play a considerable role through their long stretched arms. Although that reality has been overlooked by previous human rights reports, the acknowledgement and identification of the problem by Amnesty International is commendable.
The regional overviews are also reflective of the issues relevant to the specific region. For instance, that of Africa dealt with repression of dissent (crackdown on protest, attacks on human rights defenders, journalists and opposition activists, emerging regressive laws and shrinking political space, media freedom, political repression and violations in the context of elections), armed conflict and violence, torture and other ill-treatment, people on the move, impunity, discrimination and marginalization, right to housing and forced evictions, and business and corporate accountability. All these issues and some others states under them make up a significant section of the human rights problems we experience as Africans. The denominations carved out for every region are also relevant.
Regarding Ethiopia, the report mainly focused on political rights. It focuses on the previous state of emergency lifted in June and the resumption of protests in Oromia in August. It addresses reports of torture and other ill-treatment, unfair trials and violations of the rights to freedom of expression and association. It also states that the police and army continue to enjoy impunity for human rights violations committed in 2015 and 2016.
Considering lives have been lost in the conflicts in Oromia in the past fourteen months, there is a strong need to tangibly assess if the grave violation of human rights has indeed occurred on top of the loss of life. As identification of the problem is the first step in problem solving, the Ethiopian government needs to take this report as an opportunity to improve the state of human rights in the country.
There is one thing, however, that I did not find convincing on the part about Ethiopia. Under economic, socia l and cultural rights, the report only raised the tragic incident around the Koshe dry waste dump site that claimed the lives of 115 people. It would be a hasty generalization to conclude about the state of economic, social and cultural rights in the country based on a single catastrophe. The other fact is that Ethiopia has done tremendously to lift millions of its people out of poverty and spread social services. That definitely weighs positively on the state of economic and social rights in the country despite not being included in the report.
Although not at a national level, the report acknowledged that the trends of violation of human rights occurred continentally ‘within a context of slow and intermittent success in reducing poverty, and limited progress in human development.’ The positive light such improvements shed on human rights have, however, been ignored by the report.

by Dagem Belayneh


Published in Editorial-View-Point
Sunday, 04 March 2018 00:33

Repeating history in another form

Setting possible differences aside, closing ranks, exhibiting conviction and willing to pay sacrifices, forefathers had written history with golden inks.
With antediluvian weapons they had brought an elephantine enemy, armed to the teeth, down to its knees. In so doing, they had heralded there is no challenge oppressed people could not overcome if they unite hearts,hands and minds.
That is why many reiterate Ethiopia stands out for its impressive triumph over fascist Italian troops at the Battle of Adwa.
In view of the wrong perception they had towards Ethiopians, fascists invaded our country for the reason that they did not have an inkling Ethiopians need borrow valor from no where. Following the victory of Adwa, the fascist troops turned out to an object of ridicule of the entire world as nobody worldwide expected that they would be shortly deprived of a foothold by Ethiopian soldiers, armed only with traditional weapons.
The victory of Adwa grew to be the headline of most newspapers in the world. Hence, the victory of Adwa spread throughout the world like a wildfire and Ethiopia,a beckon of independence, grew to be the talk of the globe, specially the subjugated.
More to the point, Ethiopians give priority to their beloved country more than anything under the sun. Their slogan is always, “Selflessness, Ethiopia first.”
Whenever something that threatens the territorial integrity of the country surfaces, all Ethiopians irrespective of age, sex, ethnicity, political and religious affiliations fight together for the sovereignty of the country. This reality on the ground has been proved on several unfolding.
The victory of Adwa has been passed down from generation to generation resonating valor is a virtue Ethiopians are marked for. At this point in time, Provided their iron discipline and superb military feat, wherever they are deployed in, Ethiopian soldiers partake in different peacekeeping missions in various parts of Africa. They play a key role in maintaining peace and tranquility in war-torn African countries.
Making chemistry with residents of the locality where they are deployed in, they know how to prove themselves victories over anti-peace elements. They are always ready to sacrifice themselves for others well being. Wherever Ethiopian soldiers are deployed in, sociable,they work hand in glove with colleagues of other nations. That is one reason why they prove themselves to be successful.
The sentiment of showcasing harmony and chemistry in the face of adversity or a call for lending hands is one of the virtues that make Ethiopia unique. This lofty sentiment inherited by the generation must be passed down to the generation next.
In cognizance of this fact, the various Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia have been contributing their share for the development activities of the Great Renaissance Dam(GERD) with the intention of taking Ethiopia to the pinnacle of development. All Ethiopians have been partaking for the realization of the dam bringing into play their knowledge and capital. They have been applying into practice what they have learned from forefathers—doing one's level best for one's country. Thus,once more, Ethiopians are making history by making the unthinkable thinkable and the unimaginable imaginable through their unity and determination.
Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia have been repeating history by locking horns with poverty working hand in glove with the Ethiopian government, for they believe in hard work and collaboration. At this point in time, Ethiopia is bedecked with eye-catching buildings, factories, industries and what not in ever part of the country. Ethiopia is turning out to be a development model to a number of African countries given that it has several success stories.
The aforementioned achievement is the result of perseverance and oneness in purpose. At this point in time, Ethiopia has been forging exemplary economic ties with the emerging economic powers such as China, India, and the rest. It is heartening to note that.
But sadly there are some anti-peace elements struggling day and night to pour cold water on the incumbents’ effort to break away from poverty. So, citizens should treat such quarters with cold shoulders and keep the development journey of the country going. Specially youths maintaining the tranquility of the country have to focus on materializing the Growth and Transformation Plan. They have to witness the Renaissance journey of the country turning a hit.

Published in Editorial-View-Point
Sunday, 04 March 2018 00:32

Over 260,000 people visit GERD

ADDIS ABABA – Office of National Council for the Coordination of Public Participation on the Construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) said that over 260,000 people have so far visited the dam since the construction kick started. 

Office Media and Communication Director Hailu Abraham told The Ethiopian Herald that of all the visitors, nearly 400 are local and foreign media including Al Jazeera, Agence France Press, and BBC.
The Office has also been preparing schedule for investors to visit the GERD in relation with the 7th year inaugural ceremony. Close to 800 million birr was raised for the construction of the Dam in the first half of this Ethiopian fiscal year.
The Office has planned to launch various fund raising events and programmes such as Diaspora Lottery, GERD Run, Park Development Project under study, Peace Journey in Addis Ababa, Musical Drama and Concerts, and GERD Ambassador, among others.
As to him, the determination of the people and the government is transforming the country into a power hub which is significant for neighboring countries as well.
Besides that, the dam would contribute a lot towards improving the livelihoods of the people.
The dam will also substantially meet the need of the country’s energy as well as export. It is an enormous driver of economic growth.



Published in National-News
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