Completed Thematic Research
Thematic research is one of the types of multidisciplinary research. Thematic research is a recent type of research at Hawassa University. It was launched in 2017. Thematic research should better include at least three sub-components from different disciplines and be consistent with the priority thematic areas of Hawassa University. Thematic research could take two or more years to finish. Concerning funding, there is no ceiling on the amount of funding that will be allocated for thematic research. The funding of the thematic research will depend on the depth of the thematic research.
The following are completed thematic research by Hawassa University academic staff with information including research titles, PI, and executive summaries.
Tourism Destination Situational Analysis: Assessment of Destination Competitiveness, Marketing and
Economic Contribution of Tourism to Local Economy in Selected Destinations of Southern Ethiopian Route
PIs: Amare Yaekob, Dagnachew Wegayegu and Taesse Temesgen, 2020
To achieve proper matches between tourism resources and management strategies, it is necessary for the industry and government to determine and understand the weakest and strongest points of their destination. Also, it is helpful for both the industry and government to know how destination competitiveness is changing and why these changes are occurring, and their implication in terms of destination marketing and tourism’s economic contribution to local communities. This study focuses on destination situational analysis assessing destination competitiveness, marketing, and the economic contribution of tourism in selected sites of the southern Ethiopia route. The project specifically focuses on selected destinations of Arbaminch, Konso, and South Omo Zone and their vicinities.
The objective of the study is to determine the destination competitiveness and marketing level of the Southern Ethiopia Route and the economic contribution of tourism to local communities in these areas. For this purpose, three thematic groups were formed – Destination Competitiveness, Destination Marketing, and Tourism Economic Contribution themes. The study employed descriptive and explanatory research designs across sub-themes through a mix of quantitative and qualitative approaches. Usage of a plethora of primary and secondary data was sought, with the former involving both the demand and supply side of the tourism sector that included tourists and tourism supply-side stakeholders. A variety of analysis and presentation techniques were used to provide a discussion of data collected from different bodies sampled in a number of modalities.
The study project, which was completed in nearly three years, revealed several findings. It uncovered that the tourism sector in selected study destinations suffers from copious constraints, which lower the competitiveness of the destination and thereby the potential tourism receipts accrued to the local economy. As to destinations competitiveness, Inherited Resources, Supporting Conditions, and Human Factors were found to be the primary determinants of the study area competitiveness. Regarding marketing, though the main positive image built from tourist stay is based on the cultural diversity, friendliness of the people, and beautiful landscape, Seasonality, lack of promotion, and security threats continue to hamper destination marketing efforts of stakeholders in the destinations. This, coupled with usage of the conventional tourist information schemes, has bounded the tourism industry to make a direct contribution of about birr 526.8 million in 2018, which accounts for a 0.315% share of the regional GDP. The study project generated substantive conceptual and practical benefits. Conceptually, it brought together the different theoretical perspectives around tourism destination situational analysis, thereby allowing bringing about aggregated project findings from competitiveness, marketing, and economic contribution of tourism in a relatively undeveloped destination context. Practically, helpful inputs have been recommended to wide-ranging key actors of tourism in the study areas to assess, market and make the most out of tourism in the destinations.
Key Words: Competitiveness; Destination, Local Economy; Marketing; Sothern Ethiopian Route; Tourism
Urban Waste Management and Utilizations for Agriculture and Energy Production in Hawassa City: An Integrated Research Approach
PIs: Sintayehu Yigrem (PhD) and et al.
Meeting an ever-increasing demand for food, feed, and fuel and managing wastes have become a major global challenge in ever-increasing urbanized and populated societies. This project proposed the use of biodegradable urban sold wastes as animal feed resources, compost for crop and biogas production in Hawassa city, which is anticipated to resolve the dual burden of our society: the burden of urban wastes to the environment and society, and also lack/price of inputs for agriculture and energy production. A multidisciplinary research approach encompassing five interlinked project components was proposed. Classical unlined sanitary landfills and open dumps are well known to release large amounts of hazardous and otherwise deleterious chemicals to nearby groundwater, surface water, soil, and also to the air via leachate and landfill gases.
Sub-component I of this project studied the impacts of ‘solid waste landfill in Hawassa city’ on water and soil qualities and associated impacts on surrounding residents. In sub-project II, the volume, nutritional qualities, and safety, as well as economic values of urban solid wastes as animal feeds, were quantified from various sources that included residence households (HW), Hospitalities/restaurants (RW), Hawassa University student cafeterias (HUC), open vegetable and fruits markets (VFW), and fish markets on Hawassa lake side (FW). This survey was followed by nutritional composition analysis and trials on experimental animals (broiler chicken and dairy goats) for performance and product quality analysis. In sub-project III, various types of composts were prepared from urban solid waste and evaluated the nutritive qualities (physicochemical, nutrient composition & heavy or trace metal concentration) as important fertilizer for crop production. Various agronomic experiments were held using composts and bio-slurries collected from Hawassa city and applied on field crops with varying rates to see the combined and singular effects of synthetic and bio-compost fertilizer on crop production. In sub-project IV, the opportunities of urban solid waste for making biogas were studied. Feasibilities of small and large scale biogas production, economic and efficiencies in resource use efficiencies were evaluated. In sub-project V, the socio-economic implications of using urban waste as animal feed, compost, and biogas production were analyzed. Finally, as sub-project VI, the safety, quality, and acceptability of foods produced from animal products and field crop/horticultural products were analyzed for their safety.
Strategies on how to safely collect, sort, and properly utilize organic solid waste for livestock feeds, compost making for field crops, and biogas production have been identified and reported. This research project followed a multidisciplinary approach, encompassing 18 academic staff from four schools of the College of Agriculture, IoT, and Wondo Genet College of Forestry and Natural Resources. Eight MSc students were financially and technically supported for their writing (research projects), and five peer-reviewed articles have been published until the reporting period, still, Co-PIs are producing many more articles for publications.
Overall, the present thematic research project has shown the potential of utilizing urban waste for food and energy production. The 3 experiments on food and horticultural crops have shown the huge potential of bio-slurry and composts made from urban wastes. Most agronomic and nutrient content analyses have shown the potential of urban waste as a substitution for inorganic fertilizers. The two animal experiments on broiler chicken and milk goats by incorporating urban waste as a substitute to conventional feeds, at various levels of inclusion, have shown an improved production on broiler and milk production. However, the biosafety study on the foods produced from urban wastes, as composts to crops or feeds to animals should be carefully handled due to heavy metals and pathogenic micrograms found on the foods produced from the same.
The studies Overall, one of the most difficult bottlenecks to urban waste is that wastes are disposed of all along with plastics, metals, papers, and even radioactive substances. A very strong policy and its enforcement should be in place in order to encourage waste separations (starting from the initial waste sources). Thereafter, different types of wastes should be transported and managed in different process lines. Due to economies of scale, the private sector may be encouraged to process organic wastes, plastic wastes, paper wastes, glass wastes which all, on the one hand, helps to safeguard the environment and residents, and on the other hand, these wastes could create a great economic opportunity in terms of job creations, income for many. Hawassa University, as a key institution in the city, could embrace and initiate a platform where key stakeholders could collectively and systematically tackle the key bottlenecks in the area.