Ethiopian Herald By Mussa Muhammed
Creating a conducive green environment everywhere in the country, by maintaining the beauty of cities and expansion of recreation and parks has been largely ignored. Though the capital of Africa, Addis Ababa, is also the host of many international organizations, it lacks recreational options in huge.
The recently launched Unity Park and the Sheger river side Gebeta project, which have been implemented by the Prime Minister, Dr. Abiy Ahmed, including Entoto Park, which most construction is finalized are the sign of the beginning for the beauty and contentment of the city. Experts said that in addition to creating green spaces and protecting climate change, these projects have multifaceted benefits in different ways.
Dr. Zenebe Mekonnen, a researcher at the Institute of Environment and Forest Research, said that the parks under construction are of great importance to the health of the community and the protection of the local climate changes.
According to the Urban Development and Construction Strategy, a modern city needs to be covered 40 percent by housing, 30 percent by road construction and 30 percent by green development.
On the other hand, the trees that used to be seen in the city center are no longer seen today.
He added that most buildings that are currently under construction are the condominium houses and real estates. This contributes to global warming and thus, in the process of expanding a modern city, the expansion of green areas and parks is a must.
The Entoto and Sheger Parks, which were started by the Prime Minister, will create a good atmosphere by satisfying the community, he noted.
The trees in the green areas also have the ability to survive the effects of climate change by absorbing greenhouse gases and toxic chemicals from cars, factories and industries, and to clean up rivers. And that they contribute greatly to the cleanliness of the environment.
According to Dr. Zenebe, the main reason for planting and caring for trees globally is to balance gases’ combination in the atmosphere by absorbing greenhouse gases and to change the temperature from bad to better.
Climate change is accompanied by warming, premature rains, and sometimes heavy rains. For example, in the past, the climate in Addis Ababa was cool and moderate. However, due to climate change, the temperature is rising, and even malaria, a hot weather insect, which has not been there 10 or 20 years ago, is emerging now in Addis Ababa.
He added that the expansion of green areas under construction should be encouraged as it shows that there are good start-ups. He pointed out that there are similar projects in other countries. As a result of such projects stimulate community participation, the expansion of green areas and the parks should be continued in the future.
According to Dr. Zenebe, the most degraded areas should be strengthened not only in Addis Ababa but also in other parts of the country, especially in the rural areas. “For this, if we can strategically plant a certain number of trees per hectare every year and the community own it, and if we raise the public awareness, the benefit is for ourselves and our country.
“For example, if we look at the Nile water, its basins cover the wide degraded areas starting from Entoto in Addis Ababa and covering these areas with trees enable prevent sediment that puts the GERD at risk being carried by running water,” he said.
He strongly suggested that it is important to cover the exposed areas with greenery as dams can be prone to siltation. And the expansion of green spaces should be strengthened not only for climate change but also for the survival of our dams.
The process of modernizing cities needs to be redesigned in the way it includes green areas along with the construction. Having this situation happened, it is possible to create a conducive environment for a healthy society.
Therefore, it is possible to achieve better results by consulting and involving local and forestry experts in the sector.
Environmental expert Yalemsew Adela, for his part said that it needs to work first on human mind to protect the environment. What is the environment and how is it protected? Once acquired the understanding of what to do to protect the environment; he or she would be able to use the knowledge to create a sense of readiness and motivation to apply.
This will happen when the projects that are currently under construction begin to provide the service they intended to. For example, in Ethiopian culture, people usually celebrate holidays by eating. What if they go there see and celebrate?
Unfortunately, most people have not developed the habit of eating in clean areas like river sides and Entoto Park. They do not even pay attention because there have not been such places in sufficient amount. But the more such projects are spread, the more important they are.
Not only during the holidays, but if people go to such green places in times of stress, they relieve their spirit and will see the value of what they see rather than what they are told to do.
Given the benefits of such parks, people want to develop green spaces around them. What we call environmental protection is a place where the model is initiated.
He added that environmental protection involves not only planting trees but also cleaning, so it is important to understand the importance of living in a clean environment.
“These projects are not equally accessible for all sections of the society at the moment though everyone wants to live in the area,” he said.
The society also understands the importance and finds what is in the area deserves to them, and wants the area to be toys for their children. And a society that does this has a built-in mind and will never stop growing.
According to the expert, the existence of such projects will change the way people lead their lives. For example, since it is not possible to drive in Entoto Park; people need to learn how to ride bicycles, tricycles or horses since it is clear that how burning fuel gives lesson about the effect of carbon emission on air.
Similarly, since the parks extend to the Akaki River, cleaning the rivers alone is part of environmental protection task. Besides, raising fish in the river and providing clean water for farmers at the bottom of the river are greatly important for the agricultural sector and to keep cattle healthy.
Yalemsew said the expansion of tourist destination to Koisha, Gorgora and Wonchi will be a source of income for the community and will create jobs for local youths and expand the infrastructure for those who come up with various new business ideas.
The expert said: “If we look at the technologies developed in the parks, they are input for the knowledge of the country. In the process of managing the technology, new technology will emerge. A lot of things for sure start with One thing.”
Building community knowledge contributes to the preservation of the environment and the quality of the water. The experts said that by creating job opportunities for the community and re-creating different emotions, increasing motivation and creating more jobs in the park, they will be able to create more jobs. “Everywhere you look today, the tide of protectionist sentiment is flowing. The impact of the industry on the environment can also be seen in a positive way that all industries contribute for the growth of the nation’s economy.
According to the expert, the environment can be protected by creating a healthy society and giving them a good idea about nature and the country. When they do these kinds of work, their attitude toward the environment is good.
The importance of environmental protection can be seen in three ways. One is the protection of air, water and forests. The second is that when they are inculcated in the spirit of the community, people want to go because they are such green places, and their contribution is great. It is used to organize social events such as weddings, big festivals and big national programs.
Third is economic importance; a person who is hired in the park earns money. Then the person avoids wasting time in substandard places. Instead, working in such places benefits not only the person but also the country’s economy. Thus, he explained that environmental protection can bring in a lot of economic benefit.
He said the community should take such projects from the Prime Minister and bring them to themselves. And the states should work hard to change their respective resources and create jobs, revitalize the community and move forward.
Source Ethiopian Herald