23 August 2006

Ethiopia: Afforestation Curbs Flooding in Sustainable Manner - Researcher

Addis Ababa — Restoring the forest resources of the depleted areas of the country would curb the problem of flooding in a sustainable manner, a researcher working with the Forum for Social Studies (FSS) said.

The researcher, Dr. Daniel Kassahun, attributed the ever-increasing problem of flooding worldwide mainly due to climate changes globally, unwise utilization of natural resources, and population explosion.

Dr. Daniel told ENA last Saturday that the recent flooding in Dire Dawa town and South Omo occurred due to global climate change and depletion of natural resources in the respective areas.

The natural resources around the flood-hit areas had been depleted due to population explosion, he said, adding the people in various parts of the country have become vulnerable to flooding due to depletion of forest resources.

Close to 200,000 hectares of forest has been damaged in Ethiopia every year and 1 billion tons of soil has been washed away to lowland areas of the country per annum, according to the researcher.

Dr. Daniel said that afforestation and the conservation of natural resources should be carried out to curb the problem of flooding in a sustainable manner.

In fact, afforestation and natural resources conservation activities should not be confined to specific woredas or zones of the nation, he said, adding everybody should participate in the efforts geared toward the preservation of the natural resources.

According to the researcher, strengthening metrological services in the country and efficient utilization of information technologies for disaster pre-warning system would help to minimize loss of lives and property due to natural calamities until proving lasting solution to the problem.

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