Arba Minch University’s ongoing 25th Anniversary celebration kicked off at Main Campus with the opening of exhibition seems to be getting better with every passing day. Abaya and Chamo have already put up good show, but Kulfo Campus has made it in a unique style.

Though the hall was small, but the overflowing enthusiasm has recharged the environment. The wafting aroma of coffee and tantalizing willowing fumes of myrrh cast off the magic spell over all driving away fatigue and defusing sense of déjà vu. Poem recital and small skit in which boys and girls impersonating Great Nile River and general citizen tickled everyone’s funny bone.

Strategic Plan Evaluation & Implementation Directorate’s Director, Mr Gezmu Kelbo Kayka, began panel discussion in a way that made the academic presentation worth enjoying. Showing the flat ground, on which AMU is presently standing flamed the imagination of people to know more.

Taking people down the memory lane, he said, Arba Minch Water Technology Institute’s (AWTI) foundation stone was laid by Mengistu Hailemariam on 23rd May, 1987. The kinds of certificate courses run by AWTI, punctuated with the pictures of instructors and first batch of students made people curious.

How AWTI went on to introduce diploma to degree courses and its initial batch of just 177 students, it made a momentous journey achieving many milestones. In 2004, AWTI was scaled up as a full-fledged university, since then there was no stop in its pursuance to be a Centre of Excellence in water technology and rest is the history.

In 25 years, AWTI was served by seven deans and AMU by three presidents, with Dr Feleke Woldeyes at the helm of its affaires as present President. Till date AMU has conducted over 354 research projects earmarking staggering sum of ETB 15 Million benefitting community at large.

Thereafter, former dean of Institute of Technology, Dr Bogale G/Mariam in his presentation on ‘International Legal Perspectives on Utilization of Trans-boundary Rivers,’ and ‘Colonial Treaties,’ dwelt on the basic features of The Nile, major dams in Eastern Nile, various governing doctrines, Colonial Treaties and recent diplomacy towards cooperation with regard to Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

He informed that Ethiopia and Eritrea come under the Eastern Nile Basin while, Sudan, Egypt, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are Nile Equatorial sub-basin nations.

As of now six major dams built across Nile are, old Aswan (1902, 1912, 1934 and 1970), Sennar (1925), Jebel Aulia (1937), Roseires (1966), Aswan High Dam (1970) and Merowe dam (2009).

Switching focus towards GERD, he said, it being the biggest hydroelectric dam in Africa, with the capacity of 6000MW energy, would cost Ethiopia ETB 80 Billion. He also sensitized the gathering about the impeding doctrines and unilateral theories which were against Ethiopia and Colonial Treaties which always kept Ethiopia’s ambition at bay to build dam across Nile for its own people.

Finally, he also made easy the diplomatic tangles and unending political stalemate between upstream and downstream nations over the possession and usage of water.

Some of the staff members and students’ relevant queries were answered by the session moderator, Vice President for Research and Community Service, Dr Guchie Gulie. The program was largely attended by AMU higher officials, Agriculture College staff and students.

By Philips Joseph