From Geohazards Risk to Action in Ethiopia: a Timely and Commendable Workshop
An international workshop on reducing and managing risk from geohazards to save lives and sustain growth in Ethiopia under the theme “From Geohazards Risk to Action in Ethiopia” took place on the 6th of November 2019 in Addis Ababa..
State Minister of MoSHE, Prof Afework Kassu, in his opening remarks said “Ethiopia is exposed to numerous natural and manmade disasters of various degrees. Drought, flood, earthquakes, landslides, earth fissure, wildfire, and volcanic eruptions occurred at one time or another in various parts of the country. The likelihood of recurrence of these events is also possible”.
He added that “the unprecedented speed of economic development in Ethiopia due to various investments in agriculture, industry and service sectors demands the timely actions for the safeguarding of the assets earned”. He also emphasized “the need to protect the lives of citizens from such unexpected calamities and extreme events by making use of scientific information, scientific tools and predictions”. In this regard, he said, “the role of science and scientists is very crucial in terms of availing timely advice and information to policymakers so that evidence-based decisions can be made before it is too late”.
The workshop is organized by the Institute of Geophysics, Space Science and Astronomy (IGSSA) and the School of Earth Sciences (SES) of Addis Ababa University in collaboration with the National Disaster Risk Management Commission, Geological Survey of Ethiopia, and British Geological Survey. The workshop builds a long-term collaboration between Ethiopian and the UK, which has focused on developing a better understanding of the geohazards to which the people of Ethiopia are exposed.
The two days’ workshop is aimed to 1) discuss the challenges that geohazards (i.e. earthquakes, ground fissures, and volcanic hazards) and their impacts present to society; 2) facilitate discussions among geohazard risk stakeholders whose coordinated efforts may enable the impacts of future geohazard events to be reduced, and 3) discuss ho science and scientists can support these efforts.