19 May 2018

Ethiopia: Zutti - a Small Town With Many Opportunities

Zutti Cattle Market

Yimenashi Teferi, a tax collector in a traditional cattle market in North Shoa zone of Amhara state holds a bachelor's degree in physics from Dilla University. Before embarking upon the current business, she spent most of her time searching for job. Like many of her fellows, she failed to secure a job that fits to their field of study.

Later the friends organized themselves in a group to benefit from the job opportunities created by the government as tax collecting enterprise owners in the local traditional cattle market called Zutti Livestock Market.

People recount that the market a busy cattle market around Shoa Robit town of North Shoa Zone of Amhara State was established by two veteran merchants in Zutti,. Prior to the area becoming a trading hub of cattle, people used to exchange other places like "Sinkilila" in Afar state, and "Yellen Juncture" in Amhara state.

But the two places are either far away or sometimes conflict ridden which makes them inconvenient. The merchants then took the initiative to shift the market to the current place, Zutti.

The rural neighborhood of the town is located on the cross roads of Amhara, Afar and Oromia States. Its strategic location also makes it suitable for cattle market which is both a widely produced as well as a highly demanded commercial item in the area.

Zutti Livestock Market has now become a busy hub of exchange for animals especially oxen, cows, calves, goats, sheep, camels and donkeys from various directions.

The market stands every Tuesday. On each market session, about 1,500 people gather to undertake a transaction of more than 3,500 cattle. The session always kicks of early morning and closes earlier than 1 PM. Hence the participants have to finalize their exchanges so quickly that people called the market place with a nickname Zutti meaning "haste or hurry" in the local dialect.

As a country rich in its animal resources many of the cattle in the country are exchanged in traditional markets like Zutti. The market which goes on fast track has also opened opportunities for people who do not directly engage in the cattle exchange.

Thomas Worku, Coordinator of livestock shopping in Trade and Industry and Market Development Office in Shewarobit Town told the Ethiopian Herald that the market is playing indispensable role to society they live in round the market that they provide services of traditional drinking and food to customers and traders.

Zerfu Degefu, Representative of Custom and Revenue Office in Shewarobit Town Administration says the government collects revenue from two local markets operating in the area: Zutti livestock Market and Shewa robit Livestock and grain market.

As per the agreement reached with the office the enterprises are expected to submit about 19,200 birr to the government. If the revenue collected is below the stated amount the enterprise fills the deficit from their account while if they collect more, they flash off the extra amount as their own income.

According to Yimenashi, the group members are making a monthly salary between three to four thousand birr during ordinary markets and up to eight thousand birr during religious holidays as many people buy cattle to prepare special holiday dish. The government also secures more revenue during such holidays.

She also noted that as compared to the width of the market more such enterprises could secure job opportunities as tax collectors.

Mohammed Seid , a local livestock merchant on his part said that the market is very large as compared to other market place of the area. It is now a hub of cattle trade which hail from as far as Gambella state, Western Ethiopia and the sales catchment are reaches up to South of Tigray State.

His good command of Amharic, Oromo, and Afar languages have helped him to be not only an ardent merchant but also to work as a broker.

On the other hand, modernizing the market is the next plan of Shewarobit town Administrative Office of Trade and Industry and Market Development, said Lubaba Mekonen, head office in Shewarobit Town.


Expanding access to water supply, sanitation

Though Ethiopia is endowed with plenty of water resources, it has not benefited adequately from it due to lack of technological interventions.

In rural Ethiopia, many women and children trek more than three hours to collect water, often from shallow wells or unprotected ponds shared with animals. Over 61 million Ethiopians lack access to safe water and 65 million lack access to improved sanitation.

Ethiopia needs to bring modern water technologies so as to utilize its abundant water resources. Cognizant of the fact, the government is now encouraging public and private institutions to be engaged in the development of water technology and irrigation sectors. It is important to develop the water sector through advanced technologies

New facilities are recently launched at the Ethiopian Water Technology Institute in Addis Ababa. Corporate Communication Director of the Ethiopian Water Technology Institute (EWTI) Wasihun Alemayehu explained that his Institute is working to be a center of excellence in capacity building and technology transfer in the water sector across East Africa.

Wasihun Alemayehu

International Rescue Committee (IRC) Communications and Knowledge Management Advisor Melaku Tekola says EWTI focuses on technical training, research, and technology transfer; primarily targeting mid-level technical professionals and training over 1000 graduates a year.

There is also a plan to develop a specialized laboratory that focuses on water pollution risks. With support from Morocco, a new training center for water management and irrigation is also under construction. Another development partner strongly supporting the institute is the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), he stated.

Likewise, EWTI developed the strategy to train staff at Technical and Vocational Education and Training Centers (TVETCs) and the inclusion of low-cost technologies. However, training is mainly focused on government staff, established companies and the supply of technical skills. Without more business-orientated training and attention to the demand side, there might be a risk that graduates would struggle to find jobs.

Delivering clean water, sanitation and hygiene services not just to a few people for a while but to everyone forever requires a fundamental shift in the way we all think and work together.

Developing water supply and sanitation technologies can be considered as the potential solutions to increase access to water and improve latrines in the rural areas. Some technologies are used for simple communal water schemes such as hand pumps, and Self-supply where households invest in improving their own facilities. Rope pumps, and solar pumps can all be utilized for sanitation solutions.

In fact, the agreement of a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene by 2030 requires a fundamental change in the way stakeholders in the sector work.

Delivering positive change in sector performance necessitates a system-wide approach that tackles all dimensions of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector as whole. This will require a reform agenda, based on a sound understanding of the political economy, at three levels of decision-making: city or district, national and global.

Internationally, all stakeholders should be committed to achieving the goal of universal access to WASH by 2030. Access to sustainable WASH services, as recognized by the United Nations (UN), is a fundamental human right. To achieve universal access to sustainable WASH services by 2030, all agencies must redouble their efforts and fundamentally change their practices.

In doing so, the sector can achieve lasting universal access by 2030 but understand that this will require new partnerships, better use of existing finances coupled with new funding sources, and a serious commitment to monitoring for improvement.

Although governments must lead efforts, other stakeholders must work in a way that supports and builds government capacity to lead and to succeed. Both the government and stakeholders must commit to work collectively and adhere to key behaviors that strengthen countries' capabilities to deliver permanent and accountable access to WASH services.

Nationally, achieving universal access to WASH services that last is only possible with government leadership and political commitment, and when policy makers and service providers are held to account for responsive services that reach all communities.

Strong institutions that are accountable, responsive and well-coordinated are necessary to deliver and sustain services.

Performance monitoring which can lead to regulation of service providers and services, and ensures inevitable challenges are understood and addressed in a timely way.

Ethiopian Water Technology Institute (EWTI)

To deliver universal services, governments must tackle inequalities by targeting resources at the most marginalized and exclude people, and ensure the articulation of their rights to WASH services is met with responsive and accountable service provision.

National policy-making and monitoring systems should enable and be informed by the implementation processes at the district level, especially where there are significant gaps between stated policy and actual practices.

At City level, success will mean every household and public institutions, particularly schools and clinics, need to have access to water and sanitation services. Although hard to achieve, this is measurable and is the cornerstone of the efforts of city governments, with a focus on nobody being left behind.

Success at district and city levels will require new alliances and working relationships between local government, local communities and the local private sector, with governments taking the lead.

Different management arrangements can be constructed to water flows and sanitation and hygiene services to be guaranteed for all. Water to thrive transforms lives in rural Africa by bringing the sustainable blessing of clean, safe water to communities in need by connecting them to social investors, congregations, schools, individuals, and community groups with a heart to make a difference.

Thus, the development of water technologies is significant to boost livelihoods and resilience to climate change in the affected communities. Institutions working on the expansion of water technologies need to sustainably build the implementation capacity of peoples to improve access to water supply and sanitation across the country.


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