Green Legacy for Addressing Water Dispute, Food Insecurity in East Africa

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Addis Ababa July 31/2022 /ENA/ Ethiopia’s Green Legacy Initiative would be instrumental in solving disputes on water among countries and food security problems in East Africa, National Green Legacy Program Technical Committee said.

Coordinator of the technical committee, Adefris Worku, told ENA that the Green Legacy program, which  is a flagship environmental project, has to be adopted by countries in the Horn of Africa region to counter the vulnerability of drought and water shortages.

The region is suffering from climate-induced  impacts.

The coordinator particularly stressed the need that downstream countries should support the Green Legacy Initiative which is vital to increase the volume of water to the Nile River basins.

“Our call especially for those downstream countries, you should come and help Ethiopia’s efforts in its massive campaign of planting tree seedlings. The Nile can flow into Egypt or Sudan when the mountains of Ethiopia are covered by greenery…. This should be recognized and supported by  resources mobilization as well as expertise assistance[of lower riparian countries].”

The Green Legacy Initiative has been initiated by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to address various environmental challenges through promoting a green culture, it was indicated.

In this regard, the Government of Ethiopia envisions planting 20 billion trees across the country over four years, significantly enhancing the contribution of forestry to agriculture, water and energy.

He pointed out that Ethiopia would like to make that its  flagship project would contribute to the East African region to help reduce the vulnerability of climate change.

“Ethiopia is reinforcing this Green Legacy program to reduce the risk of climate change vulnerability, which is getting worse in our region from time to time. Hopefully, this program is indeed instrumental to have a regional meaning as naturally the East African region is highly exposed to drought and climate change.”

Adefris added that the Horn of Africa is the toughest area of the globe where the ever steady  conflict, population growth  and water shortage exacerbate the situation.

“Therefore, one of the first things we need to address in this region is to restore the affected areas through planting millions of trees,” he urged.

Further, Adefris said one of the benefits of this Green Legacy program is to solve the region’s acute water problem by allowing sufficient rainfall and flow.

“Therefore, the contribution of Green Legacy in the future is to adjust the use of the ecosystem and ensure that there is enough rain and water in the Horn of Africa and beyond. Moreover, when there is water, production increases in the agricultural sector. That will avoid water and other resource utilization disputes,” he stated.

And when the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) members countries combine efforts to green the region, East Africa will become politically stable and food security will be ensured.

As Ethiopia has launched the 2022 Green Legacy Campaign in June last month, which is fourth round, it is expected that more than 5 billion seedlings will planted this rainy season, it was indicated.

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