‘‘Adaptation to climate change is a continuous learning and experience sharing process, we should learn from the best practices to adapt to climate change and continuously evaluate our preparedness. The historical data indicates, the Upper Blue Nile Basin is one of the most vulnerable basins and due to high exposure & climate sensitive economic activities, it’s characterized by high climate vulnerability.’’ Click here to see the Pictures.

Arba Minch University Vice President for Research and Community Services, Dr Guchie Gulie, said it while opening the workshop on ‘Adaptive Capacity to Climate Change in Upper Blue Nile Basin,’ at Main Campus, on December 27, 2014.
The workshop was organized by International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and AMU; Climate Change Agriculture for Food Security sponsored it. Representatives from various organizations from across Ethiopia participated in the seminar.
Driving his point home, Dr Guchie, further said, ‘‘Different water resource developments that would help to adapt to climate change impacts are underway in UBNB but their sustainability are at stake in an uncertain climate. This workshop will serve as an impetus to understand the current implication of climate change-related problems and opportunities in UBNB and will help us to draw recommendations for building adaptive capacity.’’
Institute of Technology’s Scientific Director, Dr Negash Wagesho, introducing the participants, said, ‘‘The issue of climate change is now a global concern; in this context both climate change mitigation and adaptation are now two main approaches to alleviate the problems arising as a result of climate variability.’’
At the outset, IWMI’s Dr Alemseged Tamiru gave the overview. The first presentation by African Climate Policy Centre’s Dr Yosef Amha, said, ‘‘Climate change attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of global atmosphere. He urged that the adaptation projects should embrace local actors, enhance coping capacity and reduce vulnerability. “‘On river basin level, he said, in case of drought or floods, our response has to be multi-lateral and concerned ministry should work on large-scale irrigation and natural resource Management.’’
Water Resource Research Centre (WRRC) Director, Dr Makonen Ayana, on ‘Prospect and challenges of rain-fed irrigation,’ said, ‘‘Agriculture plays the key role in economic growth and alleviating poverty, millions of farmers depend on rain-fed agriculture as it plays dominant role in producing the world food.’’
Citing statistics, he revealed, ‘‘62% of the gross value of the world’s food is produced under rain-fed conditions on 71% of the world’s cropland. On average agriculture accounts for 54% of GDP, it employs 89% of the labour force and ensures 72% of export earnings. In Ethiopia, actual yields are low yet there is large untapped potential as we exploit 30% of our lands while 70% is still left unused.’’
Mr Birlew Abebe from Tana-Beles Sub-basin Authority dwelt in ‘Integrated water resource management in Abay river basin.’ Thereafter participants had group discussion on four thematic areas like rain-fed, irrigation, reservoir & hydro-power and adaptive capacity came up with relevant recommendations.
Group chairpersons, Dr Moltot Zewdie, Dr Zeleke Agide, Dr Abedella Kemal and Dr Yosef Amha zeroed in on key recommendations opted for early warning system, need to combine local wisdom with meteorological information, participatory approaches, integration between different actors, hydro-power schemes be designed keeping in view climate change effect; need for diversified power sources, credible information, capacity building, livelihood diversification and mainstreaming of the climate etc.
Dr Alemseged lauded the participants for their valuable inputs and Dr Negash in his closing speech, termed discussion fruitful as the participants shared their studied views on climate change adaptation mechanism. Thanking IWMI, ACPC, CCAFS and others, he expressed desire to make such workshop as the annual feature and vow AMU’s support for such initiatives.

(By Corporate Communication Directorate: Philips Joseph)