Addis Ababa to have a Botanic Garden
This news item on Addis’s botanic garden is not related to books,films or music but it is part of the new catagory I am introducing ,under City Journal,where I will try to update you on issues related to culture, nightlife, campus affairs, bookshops and environemnt.
My thanks goes to Dr. Ensermu Kelbessa, a lecturer at the Addis Ababa University for providing me with all the information on the botanic garden.
Some say it is long overdue, but Addis is on its way to having the city’s first botanic garden.It has been some months since the Addis Ababa City Administration and the Addis Ababa University jointly have embarked upon a project to develop a botnaic garden that is said to be useful to the preservation and sustainable utilization of plant species and serve as educational purposes for the public.It is hoped that some valuable plants that are on the verge of extinction would be maintained where they wil be cared for and allowed to grow.
Dr. Ensermu Kelbessa, a curator at the National Herbarum, and a lecturer at the department of Biology of the Addis Ababa University, told this writer the project cherished a dream of creating an authentic garden that would showcase the country’s rich and diverse flora.”Now we are taking steps toward turning this dream into reality.It is an ambitious project and of economic,social and cultural siginificance.It would be a prime destination for international visitors and a source of enrichement for the local community.”
Dr. Ensermu, who has played a key role in the process to relaize this project, believes the garden would play importnat roles in propagation of commmercial specious, including ornamentals.
The foundation stone for the newest botanic garden was laid in the northen parts of the city, btween Ambo and Gojam road, on Ocotber 06, 2005.And it has taken its name from the area, Gullele.
The estate occupies an area of 710 hectares and lies between 2550 and 2900m altitude, which allows for veery diverse groups of plants to grow and thrive, according to Dr. Ensermu.The east west length is 8 km and the south north 3 km.The estimated total cost of the project is around 3 million Euros (30 million Birr), which includes establishing the infrastructure for the Horn of Africa Environmental Training Center, which would serve to train conservationists and environmentalists.Much of the fund is expected to come from the Royal Embassy of Netherlands, which had shown willingness to finance the project.
At the moment, varous works are underway and the construction of the fence using hedge is already completed.
A Belgial team that is going to participate in the preparation of the master plan is expected to arrive here at the beginning of this month.And with the input from the Ethiopian experts ,the master plan is expected to be finalized at the end of December, 2006.