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Nestle Water and the Water and Land Resource Center of Addis Ababa University (WLRC) have teamed up with other stakeholders in an effort to make Sululta town a model eco city. Stakeholders gathered at a workshop on Wednesday January 18 at Ramada Hotel to begin the Upper Sululta Participatory Integrated Watershed Development Project.
During two five year phases projects will focus on improving the environmental condition of Sululta, 25km north of Addis Ababa.
Nestle became a major shareholder of Abyssinia Springs in May 2016 and is conducting this activity to promote corporate responsibility.
“The project is mainly focused on integrating the interest of the society and environmental protection with growing investment,” Seleshi Getahun, Vice President and Head of Oromia Agriculture and Natural Resource Bureau said.
According to the vice president, community development goes along with investment.
Currently the study on water in the area is being undertaken by WLRC through financing by a French company.
After a study is completed at the end of the year the program will begin.
“It is a substantial investment the implementation cost will depend on the results of the study,” Guy Bani, Regional Business Executive Officer, said.
Gete Zeleke (PhD), Director General of WLRC, said “when they contacted us we expressed that the project should develop the watershed system in order to recharge the surface and underground water to improve the livelihood of the area and the town.”
Phase one will include developing the integrated watershed plan and the second phase will be implementation.
The study is expected to include inception, stakeholders’ assessment, and biophysical socioeconomic reports as well as a survey.
“Finally the integrated watershed development plan that takes into consideration the rural environmental development is being undertaken in the study,” Gete explained during his presentation at the workshop.
As a consulting firm WLRC signed the contract with the company and it will coordinate the implementation that will be led by the community and the local authority.
“We will coordinate, facilitate and technically backstop the implementation,” Gete added.
The detailed study that commenced in November is expected to end this year and the implementation phase will take place in the beginning of 2018.
“The life of the farmer on the upper outskirts of Sululta should be changed to a sustainable production system and the concept of an eco city will be implemented in the town that will improve the solid and liquid waste management system,” the centre head explained.
“Our plan is to make Sululta the example of an eco city in the country. The plan will be developed on this concept and then it will be implemented in other towns and cities in the country,” Gete added.
He said that it too early to predict the total cost of the implementation because it will depend on the study.
Nestle expressed its willingness to support the implementation, at the workshop it was mentioned that other companies who invested in the area will also be part of the implementation process.
Seleshi said that the investment will be very big during the implementation process because other stakeholders and private sector companies have to have their own role in this pivotal project.
Gete expressed his expectation that industries should voluntarily participate in cleaning up resources that they use.
He said that on the detail study and implementation stage steering committee that will be led by Oromia region.
Nestle Water is the number one bottled water company worldwide with around one hundred production sites in 33 countries. The company that has USD 7.6 billion turnover has over 31,700 employees. In Africa it has water production in Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria and South Africa.
It has 51 percent shares in the Abyssinia Springs. Sululta is one of the surrounding of the capital that host several industrial investments in the countryg