Ethiopia: Living Proof for Making the Dead Alive - the Case of Lake Haramaya

Human being's ill-advised intervention with nature and ineffective mistreatment of resources has so far been causing losses of the vital natural resources, water and soil, which will definitely leave the future of the next generation in severe peril.

Especially, forest and water depletion has potentially caused an irreversible mutilation as the two elements are intertwined with life all the time. Yes, nurturing nature wisely always pays off.

To make the long story short, one is not obliged to go far to witness this fact as all things happen at everyone's doorstep.

Apart from experiencing desertification and drought as a result of human intervention and natural causes, most lakes in Ethiopia are attenuating in size, some are showing increase in volume like Abiyatta Shalla and others are at the threat of extinction like Haramaya Lake.

As tree plantation does have a number of significances, Ethiopia has attached due emphasis to the process and has coordinated its citizens to plant trees at each and every corner of the nation. Following this effort, the forest coverage of the nation is gaining momentum and even farmers at potential areas have provided with ample opportunity to produce twice or trice a year.

"It is an interesting as well as amazing news to hear that the already vanished Haramaya Lake has been recovered and started being fished. A number of reasons can be cited for this mesmerizing progress and recovery. The cardinal ones in this regard are two--expanding tree plantation and nurturing the nursery that can potentially help get precipitation and moisture, and buttressing environmental conservation at all levels. This culture has to be underscored and continues to be an ethos apart from being a campaign-based move," said Alemayehu Benti, a hydrologist graduated form Arba-Minch University.

According to Alemayhu, the Lake is now a living proof for exerting hard work and attaching due emphasis for natural resources is of significantly useful in coming up with real difference and hitting the set target if diligence, sense of belongingness and willingness to keep the environment is relentlessly exerted and well-focused. The water chemistry and surface layer of the lake is well reviving.

The Lake was pushed to extinction following an intensive exploitation beyond Lake's regeneration rate for water supply and agricultural purposes by the community within and outside its catchment frontier, he said.

The very important thing that needs to be well taken into account in this regard is, the alarm call forwarded from this Lake does have a direct bearing to forest conservation, tree plantation and environmental conservation as these activities do have great role to play to help water bodies regain water, forests recover and wild and endemic animals are detained at specific lakes, national parks or river territories.

He said, "The attention granted to the quantification of temporal lake surface area erraticism and the influence of weather changeability on the lake water was insufficient even though studies have been conducted on land usage dynamics," he added.

The country can draw important lessons from the secret of recovery of the Lake Haramaya. Apart from applying a well-organized environmental conservation, sustainable tree seedlings plantation by a number of sector offices at national and state levels as well as going back to where trees were planted and paying a workable visit, the issue of environmental protection has to be incorporated in curricular streams and students of all levels have to be provided with. In so doing, not only is likely rescuing the vanished lakes but it is also possible to get the barren and deserted lands recovered via covering with forest resources.

"Undeniably, Ethiopia is bestowed with a number of natural resources that have in one way or another not yet been well exploited for the benefit of the general public. Thanks to the government of the country, these days a number of promising activities have been well carried out to shift the paradigm into a well systematized approach to properly utilize the resources at hand taking best practices so far witnessed into consideration," he opined.

In sum, the government of Ethiopia is left with a long journey to raise public awareness, support research and development undertakings at a number of sectors, getting important projects that help environmental protection, natural resources conservation and others run in an organized manner. Furthermore, a number of lessons drawn from great changes such as the case of Lake Haramaya have to be well replicated to make a difference in all aspects at national and regional levels.

Besides, scientists and researchers have to come to the forefront in due course of bringing breakthrough to contribute a lot to the overall transformation of the nation as their works on research and development are making dramatic differences.

More From: Ethiopian Herald

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