Eco-municipality: Nine-member delegation attends training in Sweden

A 9-member delegation from Arba Minch town including three from AMU and six of Arba Minch Town Municipality visited Sweden for five-day training on eco-municipalities, tourism, capacity building, solid & liquid management was facilitated by Sustainable Sweden Association (SSA). Click here to see the pictures.

The training was part of an agreement signed last year between two partners to focus on four areas to make Arba Minch town a perfect eco-municipality. For this 3-year project that will incur $ 1.2 Million, SSA and Arba Minch Town Municipality will contribute 70% & 30% respectively. The project will be governed by latter under Technical Team Chairperson, Mr Alemayehu Abera.

In the beginning, at Gothenburg processing plant, we saw house waste turning into energy. The people collect left-over food, paper, plastic bags and bottles, etc. in separate bins, sent to plant where entire waste gets converted into bio-gas. It further, distributed via a network to fuel stations and revenue is earned; and compost is sent back to farmers, so nothing wasted, Vice President for Administration, Mr Behailu Merdekios, informed.

At Halmstad University, Gothenburg, professors taught them the technicality about waste water treatment, sludge removal and compost recycling, etc. Sweden’s precedent in recycling waste water to obviate futuristic crisis, made the delegation to think on initiating collaboration on waste water management.

The major takeaway point is that, the delegation could successfully apprise SSA about the concept of Grand Kulfo Project which is close to the thematic areas of eco-municipality. And both partners said to have agreed to take it as one of the variants that will fulfill the objective of the signed project.

The delegation also paid a visit to Ethiopian Ambassador to Sweden, Island, Finland and Denmark, Mrs Woineshet Tadesse, who oriented Swedish members on Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Plan-II. And AMU’Dr Kinfe Kassa gave a lowdown on Gamo Gofa culture, AMU and common grounds for project cooperation to the Swedish counterparts.

In the sideline of visit, Mr Behailu further informed that having felt the need to launch a Master program in ‘Sustainable City Management’ so that those manning municipalities will get equipped with apt expertise, the idea was shared with Swedish partners, who assured possible cooperation from many Swedish universities.

Mr Behailu also informed that the ideas have been shared with Academic Affairs Vice President, Dr Yechale Kebede, Addis Ababa Civil University’s top official and even support will be sought from the Housing Development Ministry, and the final call will be taken, he added.

The last day’s incursion to an island gave them a reality check on sustainability concept, where 4000 reside in a huge forest replete with biological treasure. Likewise, Swedish cities and municipalities’ integrated approach and Gothenburg’s 150 civic bodies functioning as a council to keep the momentum intact was something they felt to be emulated in Arba Minch town.

As a way forward, areas of intervention have been prioritized, and to promote eco-tourism, Arba Minch Town Municipality has already allotted a place in-front of Sikela mosque to build Tourism Information Centre to be taken care by Arba Minch Tourism and Government Communication Centre, he summed up.

Mr Gizaw Fikre from AMU; Gamo Gofa Zone Administrator, Mr Esayas Endrias, Arba Minch Town Municipality Mayor, Mr Ezo Emako, Mr Alemayehu Abera, Mr Mesay Getachew, Mr Endrias Elto and Mr Tsion Terefe of Arba Minch Town Municipality were other members of the delegation.

 

(Corporate Communication Directorate)