Authority to Plant 95 Mn Tree Seedlings in Basins

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Addis Ababa, June 19/2020 ( ENA) Basins Development Authority said it will plant 95 million tree seedlings this rainy season as part of the nation’s Green Legacy Initiative. 

Basins Development Authority Director-General, Adanech Yared told ENA that the authority has finalized preparations to mainly plant indigenous species by giving priority to biodiversity hotspots, most of them in wet basins.

Planting will be undertaken in Abay, Awash, the Rift Valley, Wabi Shebele, Tekeze, and Baro Akobo basins, she added.

Endowed with 12 major river basins, Ethiopia has been undertaking plantations and water shade developments in the basins in order to enhance soil and water conservation, she noted.

According to Adanech,“ the authority will plant 95 million tree seedlings of the national plan to plant 5 billion trees nationwide.”  

The director-general revealed that out of the 80 million tree seedlings the authority planted last year, over 88 percent have survived.   

She stated that the planting and water shade developments carried out over the past six years have helped to increase water quantity and quality in the dams.

Adanech noted that the development in the basins, especially in the six trans-boundary basins such as Abay, Wabi Shebele, Tekeze, Baro Akobo, Genale Dawa and the Rift Valley will have long-term significance for water flow sustainability in neighboring riparian countries.

The authority has prepared a 25-year master plan that enables it to mainly identify resource potentials in the basins, it was learned.

Advisor to the Director-General of Environment Forest Research Institute, Teshome Tesema said on his part particular projects need to be implemented in an integrated way in order to conserve catchments and exploit irrigation and hydroelectric resources sustainably.

According to him, the basin catchment and water shade developments are crucial to mitigate drought and sedimentation in the rivers; but projects need to be crafted for each particular basin and implemented in an integrated way.

“Ethiopia needs to exploit well its agro-ecology and forest. Our country is model for many due to consecutive plantings and soil and water conservation for many years. But the follow up should be improved to meet the desired objective,” he added.

Environment Forest Research Institute has a wing that is responsible for seed collection, processing and distribution with 28 tree seed sources (sites) in different agro-ecologies from which a variety of tree seeds are used to be collected on an annual basis.