The Ethiopian Cities Association, in collaboration with Hawassa city administration, successfully conducted a workshop on Urban Green development for two days, from November 7 - 8, 2014. The workshop was attended by Mayors, Deputy Mayors, City Administration Heads, Municipal Heads, and other professionals.
The workshop was opened by the Secretariat’s Director, Ato Sissay Dejene, and the Mayor of Hawassa, Ato Yonas Yosef, who welcomed the guests. For two consecutive days the workshop engaged with best experiences relating to urban green activities from selected cities, namely, Hawassa, Adama and Dessie.
The three selected cities presented their respective experiences, which were subsequently discussed amongst the audience. The city of Hawassa shared its urban green development with the participants and demonstrated how and what Hawassa did to turn the city green to prevent and counterfeit the impact of global warming and to contribute to better living conditions of its inhabitants. The second experience shared related to Adama City’s efforts to avert the recurring floods during the rainy season that, in preceding years, had affected all of the town’s residents. Adama city administration, in cooperation with the town’s community, was able to develop solutions to its flooding problems by building drainages, planting trees, and diverting the main flood sources, which effectively enabled the city to overcome the issue.
Dessie, which is located in the Amhara region, was another city sharing its best practice on flood prevention and its greening efforts of the degraded Mountain Tossa that enfolds the town. With its well designed community-based project, Dessie successfully rehabilitated the Tossa Mountain: turning the area in to green and attractive, thereby preventing landslides and recurring floods during the rainy season.
The workshop, aside from dynamic discussions, also included field visits to some selected areas in Hawassa to show what has been done so far to turn Hawassa green. Places like Millennium Park, which is 45 hectare wide naturally preserved but conserved by the Hawassa city administration, is a green public Park consisting of different species of plants and animals. The other sites showed how micro-climate is preserved in better way and storm water treatment plant is preventing the contamination around Hawassa lake shore and also Tabor Mountain where community based natural conservation is taking place.
The workshop was concluded with the drafting of activity plans by representatives and participants to improve the green development of their respected cities. The closing ceremony took place at the Tabor Mountain. During the closing speech Ato Sissay director of The ECA secretariat, commended Hawassa, the host city, for its excellent preparation and facilitation of services such as catering, and bus shuttles.