Kunzila Integrated Landscape Management and WASH Project (Kunzila ILMWA), a five-year project running from 2020 (including the inception and baseline phase) through 2024, was launched on Monday, 25th January, 2021 at Avanti Blue Nile Resort Hotel in Bahir Dar City of the Amhara National Regional State, Ethiopia.

Welcome Addresses
In his welcoming and introduction speech, Dr. Gete Zeleke, Director General of Water and Land Resource Centre of Addis Ababa University, said that the project aims to contribute towards meeting the broader goals of improving the overall livelihood outcomes, prosperity, and health of the people of Kunzila watershed and its surroundings, and to curtail the vulnerabilities of Lake Tana ecosystems from the buffer zone. He noted that KILMWA was conceived both with programmatic and scientific monitoring components as concomitant to Kunzila Horti-Park that was commencing in Kunzila Watershed, North Achefer Wereda of West Gojjam Administrative Zone.
Officially welcoming the Guest of Honour and the participants, H.E. Dr. Fenta Mandefro, Vice President of the Amhara National Regional State and Co-Chairman of the Project Steering Committee ascertained that Kunzila Integrated Landscape Management and WASH project is a right development venture at the right place and by the right people. He accentuated it was designed not just as a single project but also as a technical scientific monitor of Kunzila Horti-Park, which is one of the many other projects that are initiated under the broader umbrella of Kunzila Integrated Sustainable Development Programme (KISDP) of the regional government.

H.E. Mr. Thijs Woudstra, Deputy Head of Mission and Head of Cooperation at the Kingdom of the Netherlands Embassy in Addis Ababa and Co-Chairman of the Project Steering Committee from the side of the Funding on his part said he was happy the Netherlands Foreign Ministry funded the Kunzila Integrated Landscape Management and WASH project, as concomitant to Kunzila Horti-Park project, that had been initiated in the watershed previously.

Official Launching
While declaring the project officially launched, H.E. Ato Gedu Andargachew, Peace and Security Affairs Advisor Minister to P.M. Abiy Ahmed, said that the Kunzila ILMWA project appeared a strategic venture in a wanting area to improve prosperity and health outcomes of the Kunzila people and to improve the management and development of the Kunzila watersheds. He declared the project officially launched and called upon everyone to make concerted efforts to enable the project meet its golden goals.

All of the speakers underlined that the project would have multiplier impacts and contributions to improve the management and sustainability of the already vulnerable aquatic ecosystems of Lake Tana and its buffer zones, and benefit, through its scientific monitoring component, also the KISDP, to which the Kunzila Horti-Park is a part.

Presentation and Poster Session
Then, progress of the ILMWA Project (March 2020 - January 2021) was presented, focusing on its inception, key results of nine baseline studies on the biophysical and socio-economic situations of the 12 micro-watersheds in the project area and those of Kunzila town. Also the KISDP in general and Kunzila Horti-Park in particular were introduced by the respective concerned persons, followed by a presentation of the baseline-evidence-based development plans under the KILMWA. The baseline results and development plans were succinctly epitomised also in about 40 scientific posters.

The launching event was attended by about 110 people, including Guest of Honour Minister Gedu Andargachew, the Amhara Regional State Vice President and Co-Chairman of the Project Steering Committee Dr. Fanta Mandefro, the Deputy Head of Mission and Head of Cooperation at the Kingdom of the Netherlands Embassy in Addis Ababa and Co-Chairman of the Project Steering Committee from the side of the Funding Agency Mr. Thijs Woudstra, heads and representatives of the key partner and stakeholder organisations at federal, regional, zone (West Gojjam) and wereda (North Achefer) levels, Addis Ababa University, Injibara University, and project leaders and experts at WLRC of AAU and SNV.

The dignitaries and all the participants unanimously appreciated the depth and meticulous analysis of the baseline surveys and the proven approaches of Integrated Landscape Management and WASH which WLRC of AAU and SNV were bringing into the project. Upon those realizations, the participants requested the regional government to consider the KILMWA as a model on how any development project ought to start and to support its implementation best it would become a learning site about community-based landscape management and WASH development in the Zone, Amhara Region, and the country at large.
North Achefer Wereda Administrator Ato Yeneayehu Derbe acknowledged WLRC of AAU and SNV for the bottom-up yet scientific approaches that involved the Wereda and communities of the watersheds from the very beginning and he vowed the Wereda and Kunzila communities have already started owning the project and would work closely with the initiators. The West Gojjam Zone Agriculture Office Head Ato Asmamaw on his part pledged the Zone would take the Kunzila ILMWA as a learning opportunity for which they would extend all the support required.

Rap up and Closing
Rapping up the discussions, H.E. Dr. Fenta Mandefro tagged the project as an initiative with multiple dimensions: the business side; community engagement; partnerships and collaboration aspects; environmental and social dimensions; learning and reflection; commitment of actors, project leaders and the political leadership at all levels. Pulling all the evidence together, He expressed his strong conviction the project would succeed, and closed the launching event by reminding all to join hands for its causes..

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Steering Committee Group Photo                                                                              

openining remark openining remark by Drgete

 Welcome addreses to the guests of honour and participants

Launching workshop7 group photo

H.E. Ato Gedu Makes a Launching Adress                                                             Participants Group Photo

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Poster Presentation                                                                                                H.E. Dr.Fenta Speaks on the Workshope

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