Stakeholders Discussing on Strategic Plan of Rift Valley Lakes Basin

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Addis Ababa September 29/2020(ENA)Stakeholders have begun a forum to discuss on the 15 years strategic plan that was developed with a view to efficiently utilize the water resources of the Rift Valley lakes.

Opening the three day forum today, Basin Development Authority Director General, Adanech Yared said the forum is the final round of discussions on the strategic plan.

According to her, the strategy is expected to help overcome the socio-economic and ecological challenges of water bodies within the Rift Valley Basin by enhancing the efficient utilization the resources through mechanisms aimed at protecting natural and man-made challenges facing the basin.

Hawassa, Chew Bahir, Abaya Chamo  and Ziway Shalla sub-basins of the Rift Valley lakes are under grave danger caused by man-made and natural disasters, she indicated.

She stressed the need for collaboration among stakeholders to protect the water bodies in the basin from pollution that could lead them to vanishing.  

Assistant Professor in Water Resource at Hawassa University, Tewedros Assefa said lakes in Rift Valley basin are under threat due to pollution from industrial plants, agricultural activities and urban wastes.

Most of the lakes around the Rift Valley are prone to chemical, agricultural residues and animal dung because of illegal construction and settlements, he added.

The strategic plan would help to strengthen enforcement capability of concerned regulatory agencies, effective water management system, and create buffer zone around the lakes to restrict settlements in a bid to overcome the ecological challenges of the lakes in the basin.

He further pointed out that the strategic plan if implemented properly would protect the safety of lakes and pave ways to efficiently utilize the water resources for various development activities apart from enhancing environmental protection.

According to Tewodros, over 100 billion Birr is required to implement the 15 years strategic plan.