First Secretary of the Swiss Development Cooperation Office (SDC) Global Programme Food Security in Ethiopia H.E. Mr. Daniel Valenghi and Global Programme Officer, Food Security Mr. Amsalu Andarge visited the WLRC, AAU on Wednesday Aug. 10, 2022.
The purpose of their visit was to closely know about WLRC and its activities and to explore potential areas for future collaboration between the SDC and WLRC. At the introduction meeting held at the WLRC Meeting Hall, the WLRC Director General Dr. Gete Zeleke made a brief presentation focusing on contexts that shaped WLRC, outcomes of Swiss support to WLRC, current engagements of WLRC and its partners, projects/programmes and lessons that can be scaled up and scaled out to the rest of the HOA and Africa at large, and then concluded his presentation with a remark that CDE of Bern University has invested a lot and capacitated WLRC in the water and land resources sector, and thus, by inviting the SDC to consider and use WLRC as their regional hub. Dr. Gete also outlined the wealth of knowledge resources, such as the LWs and observatories which are serving as live learning and scientific monitoring platforms, the RAAM report, the IWS project report, the DAFNE project report on Omo-Lower Gibe- Turkana Basin, the GERD report, the Sululta water security study with Nestle Waters, water security and climate impact studies, and the knowledge management platforms like LandScale, SLMP-KMIS, etc. The Deputy Director Dr. Tena complemented about activities which WLRC is doing with Helvetas, a Dutch plc.
H.E. Mr. Valenghi thanked Dr. Gete for his rich and informative presentation and he expressed that he saw many activities and projects of WLRC well align with the thematic foci of the SDC. As examples, he mentioned that SDC has programmes on food systems, building pastoral livelihoods resilience to crises, livelihoods improvement, humanitarian assistance in refugee settings and development (harnessing their nexus), climate change, and agro-ecological organic agriculture. Mr. Valenghi emphasized that he noticed many of WLRC’s research and development works on water and land and its approaches like the LWs, homestead development, observatories are pertinent to SDC’s engagements and thus he considered those as a fertile ground for forging collaborative efforts between the two. As an example, he indicated that SDC would like to consider a small project of producing maps of SDC’s intervention areas around refugee camps mapped to them by the WLRC EthioGIS/LandScale team. The First Secretary requested for some of those reports produced by WLRC, which the latter promised to avail.
Mr. Amsalu on his part appreciated WLRC’s tripodal approach of researching, implementing and learning and reflection, which he said is missing in most organizations that end up shelving dozens of study reports that never touch the ground. Both of them also asked WLRC to arrange for them a field visit to some of the learning watersheds and observatories, which WLRC promised to do at their convenience.