W20171024 105636ater and Land Resource Centre (WLRC) and its partners; namely, Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) of the University of Bern Switzerland and -Centre for Training and Integrated Research in ASAL Development (CETRAD) of Kenya held the joint annual WLRC Week 2017 from  October 23 to 27, 2017 held in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. 

 The purpose of this annual event included (1) reviewing the annual research activities supported through the SDC Global Water Initiative project, (2) share experiences on best practices, (3) agree on the 2018 planned activities, and (4) look into collaborative initiatives beyond 2018.  

Attending the workshop were senior research scientists from the University of Bern Switzerland - Prof Thomas Breu, Prof Andreas Heinimann & Dr. Isabelle Providoli. Professor Hans Hurni, former Director of CDE and founder of WLRC also attended the workshop and substantially contributed in shaping the way forward.  From the Ethiopian side the team was led by Dr Gete Zeleke  and the Kenyan team was led by Dr Boniface Kiteme.

Both WLRC and CETRAD provided extensive presentation on key activities of projects undertaken through the SDC Global Water Initiative support and other complementary projects. These activities were critically evaluated.

A field day at Aba Gerima Learning Watershed – A one day field visit was organized on this leaning watershed maintained by WLRC and its regional partners.  The team witnessed how the model watershed transformed physically, in terms of biological cover, and diversification of community livelihoods through host of homestead activities. Administrator of Bahir Dar Zuria District and the Coordinator of the Regional Natural Resources Management Division, experts and community representatives joined the field visit and discussions. 

After going through the presentations and field visit, there was consensus that the two country teams with the guidance of CDE were able to register impressive achievement, but agreed that more work is still required for sharing the knowledge to a wider community for subsequent scaling up/out.

In the closing, the team looked into possible options of WLRC and CETRAD to design regional projects in the horn of Africa for sustained collaboration with guidance and support of CDE.

Participants of the workshop used the opportunity to visit Rock-Hewn churches of Lalibella which is UNESCO Heritage sites.   

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