8 January 2016

Ethiopia: Aba Gada Protects Indigenous Wild Animals, Korke

Korkes are wild animals found in Oromia State along Shashemenne - Arba Minch road, 305 kms from Addis Ababa.

The animals inhabit in 54 square kilometer shelter area since 1982. By then, their number was over 3,500. But since 1991 their number tragically decreased to the level of becoming extinct.

One thing has saved these endangered animals from extinction, the traditional Oromia democratic ruling system, Gada. The community has age-old traditional administrative system called Gada. Some historians call Gada an ancient democratic system with immense tourism potential for the society.

Looking carefully at the fact that these animals are endangered, one of the leaders in the Gada system of the time, Emam Werana Gara, designed a rule that declared anyone who kills Korke shall be considered and penalized as if he killed a human being.

The rule also forces people not to herd and feed their animals in a place where Korke settle. Then after their number started to increase due to the protection of the animals through the traditional Gada system.

According to a report published by the Amharic daily Addis Zemen, the wild animal is not now under a serious danger of extinction and inhabitants of the area stop hunting them after the implementation of the rule by Aba Gada. According to information from the Ethiopian Wildlife Protection Authority, their number has now increased to 840.

Another Gada leader, Kabeto Edemo, said that there are three penalty levels to be implemented on those who are found guilty of killing a Korke. These levels show whether a person kills Korke intentionally or otherwise in difficult situations.

Now residents are giving protection to the animals and if they see Korke getting into the village out of their shelter area, they call and report to the responsible security personnel.

During a wild life report held over the weekend, Ethiopian Wildlife Authority Director General Dawud Mume the Authority is determined to promote the best ecological, economic and social benefits to the next generation in cooperation with stakeholders and the public.

He also lauded the contribution of Gada leaders and the fathers and the traditional ruling system for their utmost contribution in wild life protection.

The Authority is finalizing preparations to give posthumous award to the pioneering Gada leader, Emam Werana Gira in 2016 in the World Park Congress for his contribution in protecting Korke from extinction.

Two additional rules have been added to the previous two rules designed to protect Korke in particular and wild life in general during the performance report held over the weekend and The residents of the area have adapted the rule, said Aba Gada Jeldo Moti.

According to the same report, water scarcity in the area which may harm the safety of the animals is getting solution permanently.

At the end of the performance report, stakeholders pledged to increase the number of Korke by 90 per cent. Electricity, telephone, direction posts and gravel road infrastructures have already been fulfilled in the area for a better protection of the animals and tourism development.


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