On the shores of Ethiopia’s largest lake, Lake Tana, in a small town called Gorgora, UoG inaugurated its long anticipated technological achievement that would aim to eliminate water hyacinth. The spreading of the Emboch has a lot of people worried. The longevity and health of what scientist say is the source of the Blue Nile is of paramount importance to the people of Ethiopia. As a result, on 28 November the University of Gondar found a sizable solution in decreasing damage to Lake Tana by focusing on technological innovation. The ribbon cutting for the inauguration of the new machine called ‘UoG #1” is sure to leave an impact.
Those who were present on the historic day were, among others, UoG president Dr. Desalegn Mengesha, vice presidents from Amhara government owned universities, the State of Amhara’s Science and Technology Information Communication’s Commission commissioner Dr. Sebsebaw Atkaw and numerous environmental sector officials.
Water hyacinth threatening Lake Tana may seem to be less significant than other issues that may arise in a state. But when one gets a chance to see the devastation and rapid decline of the lake it is clear something has to be done. From basic photographs and interviews the size of the infected area seems to be increasing daily. Hence the induction of this new machine that was built and financed by the University of Gondar couldn’t have come at a greater time.
UoG #1, as it is called, is performing at a rate that will consume and collect 5 tons of water hyacinth an hour. Before the technological innovation of this machine was conceived UoG could have been observed assisting physically to hinder the emboch’s effects. By coordinating efforts to save Lake Tana, the University of Gondar facilitated the community, as well as Gondar’s own Fasil Kenema Football Club which helped the moral of the people. This needful community engagement is ongoing and growing day-to-day.
Dr. Desalegn Mengesha, president of UoG, was pleased to witness the power of the machine. “Technology takes time to develop and from what I have seen I am glad so far” said the president.
In addition to this the University of Gondar is working on other ways and dimensions to tackle this monumental task. UoG is constantly working in labs and other relevant areas to find a solution to the emboch. According to Dr. Desalegn the benefits of such a machine is that it will ultimately eliminate the water hyacinth in the area. Secondly, it may be used to collect and further research that might have positive implications for Ethiopia.
The dedication of Ethiopia’s top university was once again showcased on 28 November. It is a fact that it may take some time to solve the overarching issue that is presented in this era. The emboch will not go down easily because of its constant dissemination. But from the looks of it, the University of Gondar is convinced that with intellectual fervor, innovation and by working together no task is insurmountable.
Lake Tana is Ethiopia’s largest lake and its tributaries flow upstream to form the Blue Nile which contributes 80 percent to the Nile River which flows through Sudan and Egypt.
By Samuel Malede| Public and International Relations Directorate