Now Community Service is effectively organized: Dr Teklu Wegayehu

Apart achieving reasonable success in academic and research arena; AMU is in fact changing lives by rendering life-changing stuff to surrounding community via multi-disciplinary activities such as free legal service, integrated adult education, environment rehabilitation, consultancy and various projects, etc.

 

This juggernaut continues to roll on making every tomorrow of people meaningful through Community Service Directorate; unlike every year, we are ready with Annual Plan, said, Director, Dr Teklu Wegayehu. The total annual outlay for consultancy and community service for 2011, is ETB 34,032,500 Million, of which 25,065,500 comes from the treasury and 8,427,000 from internal sources.

About ETB 5 Million is meant for technology transfer and to support projects emerged of research outputs and remaining for different things. Last year budget was ETB 25,570,700 and this year’s increment is ETB 8,514,800. However, volume of work is getting increased and whenever we face fund crunch, AMU will aid our designated or unplanned activities, he stressed.

On 2017 budget utilization, he said, it was 92.49% and only 7.51% couldn’t be achieved; there were activities such as installation of Community Radio Station at Chamo Campus and beautification of square (Selbage Tera Adebabay) along Kulfo river bank, close to Sikela Market has been incorporated in 2018 Plan.

Selbage Tera Adebabay will be beautified within six months by Guge Construction Association at the cost of ETB 4.2 Million. The square will have five raised pillars signifying ethnic (Gamo, Gofa, Zeyse, Oyeda, Gidicho) groups of Gamo Gofa Zone accompanied by some concrete floral structures all around.

Listing out challenges faced, he said, shortage of vehicles, exodus of professionals and unavailability of new technologies to be transferred to community. Our projects being field-centric entail vigorous mobility across mountainous terrains; but we have only two vehicles, while five is required. We have listed them in Strategic Plan, but often have to manage the way suggested. Similarly, lack of professionals is still matter of grave concern and this year, we expect to get some new technologies for the community.

This year’s main focus is to get research with community activities interlinked, last year many researches have been done but now our intention is to resolve social issues, therefore, outputs have to be converted into project proposals. This year’s 15 identified projects will focus on issues such as health, economics; social sciences inter alia that will be critically evaluated vis-à-vis people’s need. Planned and unplanned activities will be objectively managed to utilize the available financial resources, he maintained.

On 2017 achievement, he said, for the first time, we had called for project proposals emerging from research outputs and successfully managed four, particularly one focusing on health-related issue at South Omo Zone, wherein those affected by Cystic Echinococcus were effectively treated.

Second, in collaboration with Sahay Solar, we could install 10 solar units at different health centres in Gamo Gofa Zone. Likewise, fully forested Waze-Shara catchment is home for wield animals and soil erosion has been arrested; this site is now handed over to Forest Bureau; now afforestation task has been taken up at Bere Mountain.

On new initiatives, he reiterated doing unplanned activities at our end is new normal; in the 1st Quarter, in order to provide largess to those affected in the aftermath of sporadic political unrest at different places, we provided diversified relief and rehabilitation materials to the victims in Hawassa, Gedeo Zone and Burayo in Addis Ababa.

Rectifying clogged sewerage system at Shelle kebele and Molle Elementary School, which was identified by Medicine and Health Science students deployed in those areas comes under unplanned activities that were promptly addressed.

Furthermore, participation of Expat staff is rising in community service, last year we had good support, now we hope it to get stepped up; female involvement, in the year 2017-18 was 51%, in 2018-9, it’s likely to touch 55% mark, he summed up.

(Corporate Communication Directorate)