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The United States Environmental Protection Agency is set to team up with the Addis Ababa Environmental Protection Agency and the Ethiopian Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, to help improve the air quality management system of Addis Ababa. This is to be a project titled – USEPA Megacities Partnership- and will be launched in the capital on September 17/ 2018 inside the compound of the United Nations Conference Centre.
The new effort comes as Addis Ababa, with its ever-expanding populations and lack of infrastructure is facing a chronic problem of air pollution that has caused health damages to thousands of residents. The week-long gathering that will host senior delegates from the US and Ethiopia is set to hear on the current state of air quality and relevant policies, learn the basics of air quality management and how to design and analyze AQM strategies and policies that can improve public health.
According to the US Embassy in Addis, the objective is to “Assist Addis Ababa to develop capacity, apply tools and analysis, and motivate action to address air pollution”.
In Ethiopia, a majority of the population continues to rely on biomass fuels, such as wood and charcoal as a substitute to modern energy, helping extradite air pollution and leading to premature deaths throughout the country. Despite an improved economical status of the nation, there is no environmental quality control within the country.
While the Government of Donald Trump continues to be lukewarm to the needs of the environment and international development, EPA continues to collaborate with local partners on sustainable development projects that impact some of the most vulnerable populations in the world.
The gathering is set to hear from a number of dignitaries, including the acting mayor of Addis Ababa, Tekele Uma Benti and the ambassador of the United States to Ethiopia, Michael Raynor.
Source-Reporter newspaper

According to the Addis Ababa City Fire, Emergency Prevention and Rescue Agency’s annual report, 83 people were killed in the city from floods and fires. Holes from construction sites contributed to another 88 people being injured. Flooding and fires damaged many shops and homes causing a loss of 408.4 million birr.
In total there were 535 floods and fires this fiscal year. This included the fire that damaged 140 shops near the Grand Anwar Mosque in Mercato causing 57 million birr in property damage.
Two weeks ago a pregnant woman and her two children drowned when they were trapped by flood waters while washing clothes by a river in Asko. Police have yet to find their bodies.
Poor safety management of construction sites means that floods are increasing according to the report. Bole Sub- City, one of the most affluent places, had 83 incidents while Adiss Ketema and Kolfe had 65 and 64 accidents respectively.
In the previous fiscal year 531 accidents occurred in the city, snatching the lives of 83 people and injuring 119. Negatu Mulu, Communications officer told Capital that helicopters and boats should be purchased because they could be used to save lives.
“Two weeks ago there were floods in Akaki and it took hours to borrow boats and helicopters from defense forces and later the helicopters came but we did not manage to rescue people and finally our rescue workers swam and saved the people’s lives. If we had a helicopter and boats we could manage our service when big fires occur.”
A recent study by the Agency disclosed that 121,000 households across all sub- cities and 1,000 government and private institutions are vulnerable to flood disasters. The study identified 143 places as high risk and stated that if the necessary relocation or reconstruction is not made soon disasters may kill thousands and damage 4.5 billion birr in property. Many of the risky places are found in Gullele and Nifas Silke Sub city where there are homes near river and drainage sites.
Riversides in Addis Ababa have been a source of worry for residents. They have been dogged by landslides, pollution and lack of development for ages. But due to a spate of development activities, that might change soon.
The research found that Addis Ababa Rivers and riversides face problems which include: badly polluted segments through direct discharge of domestic waste generated mainly from households and institutions; river bank erosion; and inaccessible rivers and riversides.

The Addis Abeba City Road Traffic Management Agency is set to upgrade accident-prone roads by installing and maintaining traffic lights, safety devices, signage and marking at a cost of 220 million Br.
The installation of traffic lights will take place at 31 proposed road intersections. It will also include maintenance work that consist of repainting 50Km of lanes and zebras, and fixing road studs along 82 different streets. While the traffic lights will cost 54 million Br, the upgrades and maintenance work will take up 128 million Br.
Covering lane dividers and pedestrian crossings with new coats of paint will cost 39 million Br. The project is a continuation of a previous repainting project of around 100Km of roads.
The work will be completed by the end of November. A tender for repainting work on another 145Km of roads has been floated as a separate project.
Four contractors, ATS Engineering, Yared Seyoum General Contractor, Yemane Tewolde General Contractor and Bed Rock Construction were hired to complete the work. Yohannes Abbay Consulting Architects & Engineers will play supervisory roles.
The project will also include the installation of speed humps, rumble strips that were started in the last budget year but interrupted by the rainy seasons, and road studs.
Road studs, which illuminate the roads at night time and make sounds when vehicles pass over them, are made out of glass beads and light emitting diodes.
The glass beads are reflectors made from aluminium alloy with compression resistance of over 30tn while the diodes use solar energy to recharge themselves.
These road studs will be installed at 82 location where overpasses and underpasses start. Bollards, short and sturdy posts, will also be used to close access to vehicles on some of the roads.
“The Addis Abeba City Road Authority allows urgent maintenance and installation work as necessary and as environmental and other conditions permit, which is the case here,” according to Demelash Gebremariam, deputy director for Road Resource Administration of the Authority. “The agency has only to inform the authority by any means of communication the need or the urgency of the installation or maintenance.”
The Agency also plans to conduct awareness creation campaigns beginning this month in a bid to reduce livestock travelling on city’s roads, according to Genetu Dessalegn, director of the Agency.
Fekadu Gurmessa (PhD), a transport geography lecturer at Addis Abeba University for more than a decade, lauds the effort made by the Agency. But he believes that continuous maintenance is necessary to justify the cost involved.
“The traffic lights, paint coatings and other safety signage don’t have a long life,” he said.

The Afincho-ber to Orma Garage Riverside Project, which will be built with a capital of little more than 600 million birr, is to be started in the coming project year.According to the Addis Ababa River and Riverside Development and Climate Change Adaption Project Office, the pilot project is in long list of other projects planned to be executed and make the city ever more clean and green.Talking to The Ethiopian Herald, Project Office Deputy CEO Debela Birru said that the Riverside project will not only provide socio-economic benefits to the public, but it is expected to elevate the aesthetics of the city by providing premier amenities for open space, recreation and culture. It will have walkways, and ermeable ponds and green areas, and as necessary, it will also have business centers that would in no way pollute the River, he added.
The Project Office has already selected winner form international bidders, and is in the process awarding the project.
Source-The Ethiopian Herald

Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) has signed an accord with Ethiopian government on September 4, 2018 to open its regional office in Addis Ababa, Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, State Minister of Foreign affairs, Afework Kassu lauded the Global Green Growth Institute’s decision to open its regional office in the capital.
Stating that Ethiopia’s significant efforts dedicated at building climate resilient green economy, the decision by GGGI to commission a regional office would display Ethiopia’s leading role in environment friendly development trajectory in Africa.
Moreover, the agreement inked to establish the original office aims at facilitating key systemic transformations in the economy and generate innovative ideas towards the full implementation of a climate resilient green economy strategy.
Dexippos Agourides, GGGI’s General Manager for Africa and Middle East said Ethiopia has done well in the process of building green economy, adding that this was the reason why Ethiopia was chosen by the Institute.
As Ethiopia is also a founding member of the Global Green Growth Institute, the country has been striving to build a green and environment friendly economy, he said.
The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) is a treaty-based international organization with headquarter in Seoul, South Korea.
With its 27 member countries worldwide, GGGI is dedicated to supporting and promoting strong, inclusive and sustainable economic growth in developing countries.


The British Council will work with cities within the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) network to identify how culture and the arts can strengthen urban resilience practice around the world. Its first report for a city in the 100RC network launched  on Septemeber 12, 2018 in Athens.

The British Council joins a group of 100RC Platform Partners, including organisations like Microsoft, Swiss Re and the World Bank. These partners help cities around the world prepare for, withstand, and bounce back from the ‘shocks’ – catastrophic events like hurricanes, fires, and floods – and ‘stresses’ – slow-moving disasters like water shortages, homelessness, and unemployment – which are increasingly part of 21st century life. They do this by providing and developing tools for building urban resilience.

Leveraging a city’s arts and cultural assets significantly boosts its resilience-building efforts, with culture and creativity supporting wellbeing, economy, and leadership. These are underpinned by heritage, knowledge sharing and cultural diversity.

The impact of culture and the arts is evident in resilient communities, from spurring economic activity through entrepreneurship to providing spaces for reflection, reconciliation and remembrance in the aftermath of traumatic events.

The British Council’s global network of offices and trusted links with arts organisations and community groups will help 100RC member cities embed cultural initiatives and considerations into their planning. This will make a critical contribution to designing and implementing citywide Resilience Strategies.

Athens is the first in the 100 Resilient Cities network to work with the British Council. ‘Athens City Resilience Through Culture’, a report drawing on consultations with Athens’ cultural and arts professionals as well as those involved in the city’s wider development, launches 12 September and will include a discussion of the report’s recommendations with representatives of the City of Athens, the British Council and 100 Resilient Cities.

One of the issues addressed in the report is the impact of the Greek economic crisis of 2008 on Athens. While the years of austerity have seen a rise in unemployment, and other social pressures in Athens, they have also provoked a wave of citizen mobilisation, solidarity networks, and the growth of civil society efforts.

On the release of its Resilience Strategy in June 2017, and while hosting internationally renowned cultural events such as Documenta 14, Athens emerged as a social innovator by supporting new models of engagement and participation among its residents.

Among the report’s recommendations are:

  • establishing a creative industries expert advisory board to help drive the creative economy of Athens;
  • exploring new finance models for the cultural sector;
  • identifying leading Athenian cultural platforms such as synAthina, Athens Culture Net and OPANDA to coordinate cultural and arts activities.

It is hoped that the report’s recommendations will serve as a model for other members of the 100RC global network to focus actively on the cultural components of resilience.

Sir Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive, British Council said: ‘Creative expression and collaboration enable cities not just to survive shocks and stresses, but to thrive. The British Council’s relationships with arts organisations and community groups in 110 countries mean we are well placed to help city leaders unlock the unique value that culture can add to urban resilience strategies.’

Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities, said: ‘In an increasingly complex and challenging world, cities need partnerships with organisations like the British Council to withstand the shocks and stresses of the 21st century. By providing expertise to network cities on leveraging arts and culture in resilience building, the British Council is adding a vital dimension to our global resilience movement, just when it is needed.’

Eleni Myrivili, Athens’ Deputy Mayor for Urban Nature, Resilience and Climate Change Adaptation, added: ‘The City of Athens Office of Resilience and Sustainability has been working closely with the British Council to produce a report with recommendations on how we as a city can harness the power of arts and culture in the face of our unique challenges. Through this partnership, the City has escalated its commitment to cultural aspects of resilience; I hope that this report will further expand the ways we understand the role that arts and culture play in building resilience in an urban environment.’

The British Council is planning a series of engagements for 2019 with other cities in the 100RC network. A consultation will soon begin in the Palestinian city of Ramallah, which is under stress from the sustained conflict affecting the region, exploring ways to establish stronger links between the city’s cultural activity and its education system.

The British Council’s work with 100 Resilient Cities forms part of its Culture and Development programme, which explores creative responses to sustainable development challenges.

Each city in the 100RC network receives access to the Platform of Partners, a curated suite of resilience-building tools and services from the private, public, academic, and NGO sectors, which can be used to help develop and implement their Resilience Strategies.

Platform partners are dedicated to providing 100RC network cities with solutions that integrate big data, analytics, technology, resilience land use planning, infrastructure design, and new financing and insuring products.


We sat down with Fitsumbrhan Tsegaye, Addis Ababa’s first Chief Resilience Officer, to learn more about the city’s resilience journey. Since authoring Addis Ababa’s application to the 100RC Challenge in 2015, Fitsumbrhan has become an active spokesperson for urban resilience in the Horn of Africa region. Here he shares with us challenges and opportunities for the road ahead.

Read the full story on the 100 Resilient Cities blog

Cities continue to grow at a rapid rate. Within the 100 Resilient Cities Network, more than half of the cities in Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa are seeing their population expand by 2% or more annually – the benchmark of rapid urban growth. A metropolis like Lagos, Nigeria demonstrates how drastic this can be: increasing from 7.1 million to 9.8 million residents between 2000 and 2015, its population is expected to more than triple to 34 million by 2050. To begin to understand what this means for urban resilience, 100RC has collaborated with New York University’s Marron Institute to develop urban growth projections for twenty of our most rapidly expanding cities located in the Global South.

Read the full story on the 100 Resilient Cities Website

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