Article Index

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

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Executive Summary

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.

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Executive Summary

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.

Synthesis and Characterization of Layers of CuCoZnS Based Thin Film Solar Cell and Fabrication of a Pilot Cell by Chemical Bath Deposition Technique for Clean Energy Application

PIs: Tizazu Abza (PhD) and et. al, 2019

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Executive Summary

Conducting problem-oriented research and applying the knowledge and technologies generated thereof is considered as one of the pillars in fostering the socio-economic development of Ethiopia. However, nationwide development cannot be attained by conducting fragmented disciplinary research. It demands the integration of multibackground professionals who work together to bring sound solutions for deep-rooted problems and generate knowledge and skills that aid to exploit the available resources of the nation. Therefore, a transition from fragmented research to multidisciplinary /interdisciplinary thematic research is required. Currently, most Ethiopian higher institutes are changing their research trend into this type of research. Hawassa University is doing the same starting from January 2017 (2009 G.C). This summary report is based on the three years of thematic research on the synthesis of pilot thin-film solar cells based on CuCoS, which was one of the thematic researches commenced in January 2017.  More detailed analyses will be published in other reports.

This thematic research intended to generate knowledge and lay the foundation for technology transfer in solar energy/photovoltaic technology by commencing research on synthesis and characterization of unfamiliar absorber material, CuCoZnS, using a simple chemical route. The project has been partitioned into three subprojects with a final goal to fabricate a pilot CuCoZnS based thin-film solar cell.

The first subproject was dedicated to synthesizing the CuCoZnS thin films by establishing the common deposition conditions of the binary materials CuS, CoS and ZnS and tuning its properties, especially the band gap by varying the relative concentration of the metal ions. The main purpose of incorporating Zn in the films was to tune the band gap of the absorber material, CuCoZnS, in the range of 1 eV to 2 eV. This range of band gaps could be obtained by controlling the deposition conditions and the Cu to Co ratio. As a result, no Zn was incorporated in the absorber layer of the pilot thin-film solar cell. Structural, morphological, optical, and electrical properties of the binary and the ternary films were characterized by XRD, SEM, UV-VIS, and two electrical probe measurements.

The second subproject dealt with the deposition of CdS and ZnO thin films with appropriate properties to be used as the buffer and the window layers of the intended pilot CuCoS-based thin-film solar cell, respectively. Uniform and smooth aluminum-doped CdS thin films were synthesized to get n-type material to form a p-n junction with the naturally p-type CuCoS absorber material. Very adherent, uniform, smooth, and highly conductive aluminum-doped ZnO thin films that are suitable to be used as a transparent conducting oxide material were also synthesized in this same subproject.

The last but the most important subproject was stacking of each layer of the solar cell from the bottom up order: aluminum substrate as a back electrical contact, CuCoS absorber, Al:CdS buffer, and Al:ZnO transparent conducting oxides. The operation of the sample solar cell was tested by exposing direct sunlight. A 4.5 cm2 area pilot solar cell gives an open circuit voltage reading up to 370 mV and a short circuit reading of 2.6 mA at the noontime. The core works of the project were carried out in Hawassa university's physics/material science laboratory. Sample characterizations were carried out in AAU, ASTU, and abroad due to lack of equipment in our university.

The following are recommended to improve the research findings. The sputtering technique is advised to be used for coating the front and the back electrical contacts. These can improve efficiency and minimize the material cost to coat the two electrodes. Measurement of carrier concentration and mobility of these carriers is important. Detailed measurements of the cell parameters under a controlled environment are highly recommended for the prototype solar cell to fully understand its operation and commercialize it.


Cancer in Southern Ethiopia:  Epidemiology, Quality of Care, Economic and Psycho-Social Burden

PIs: Dr. Achamyelesh G/Tsadik and et al. 2022

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Background: Cancer is a big problem in both developed and developing countries. It has become one of the most common diseases worldwide and the second leading cause of death. That is evidenced by 3.71 million new cases and 1.93 million deaths, and the incidence of cancer is increasing because of the growth and aging of the population, as well as an increasing prevalence of established risk factors. It causes enormous morbidity and mortality in our current globe, including depression and anxiety. Hence, cancer had negative effects on the quality of life of cancer patients and increased periods of hospitalization and higher mortality rates, which causes the highest economic loss of all of the leading 15 causes of death worldwide. The economic shock includes both the loss of income and the expenses associated with health care costs. Despite the pieces of evidence, little attention was given to individual patients living with cancer. Objectives:  Determine the epidemiology, quality of care, the economic and psycho-social burden of cancer in the population of southern Ethiopia. 

Methods:   Hospital-based cross-section study was employed. Patients' records treated with any cancer case was reviewed. All available data from the cancer registry and logbook located at a unit of oncology and pathology were reviewed. A 7-year card review was conducted to examine the trends of cancer distribution by socio-demographic characters. The trends of cancer were identified for all the patients treated at Hawassa university's comprehensive specialized hospital, by cancer type, stage of cancers, treatment modality received.

A Multi-stage sampling method was used to choose study participants. The documentation review interviewer-administered questionnaire and different measuring scales like Quality of Life Instrument (WHOQOL)-BREF and hospital anxiety, Quality of Oncology Nursing Care Scale and depression scale (HADS) were used to collect data. The collected data was cleaned, coded by Epi data version 3.1 and entered into SPSS, and analyzed using SPSS version 20.0 software. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the study subjects. Variables with a p-value < 0.25 in the bivariate analysis were further entered into the multivariate logistic regression model. Finally, in all analyses, P-value <0.05 was considered as significant and presented by adjusted odds ratio (AOR) with 95% C.I.

Result: Over a period of seven years, 2013-2019, more than 80 cancer types were identified by body site, a total of 4658 new cases were recorded in all outpatient departments and oncology ward of HURCSH. Out of this, 3002 (64.5%) cards with complete records of new cases of cancer were taken for this study. Of all, 1846(61.4%) were female, and 1159(38.6%) were male. M: F ratio is 1:1.6. Accordingly, laryngeal cancer was more common among males than females, followed by bladder cancer. Nasopharyngeal ca, Colonic and lung ca, osteosarcoma, and NHL were other common cancers in Male populations. On the other hand, out of gynecological ca, thyroid ca, and renal ca were common among females. However, the general burden of cancers was found among females more than males as the result of breast and cervical ca.

Despite 58.8% and 60.0% having depression and anxiety, respectively, the overall global health quality scale was 75.3(SD±17.1) with mean health satisfaction with high satisfaction on environmental domains. Among patients on cancer treatment, 60% perceived they have received good quality of nursing care and were satisfied by the health care service that was provided during their hospital stay.  The economic burden of cancer was high, with the total cost of $209.99 was spent on average. Medication cost is the highest ($20.77 IQR=0.53-112.56) from the direct medical costs and transportation cost ($58.33 IQR=22.0-131.67) is the highest from the indirect medical costs. Furthermore, medication cost is the highest compared to all other costs spent when each type of cancer is concerned. The total out-of-pocket money incurred on inpatients was $245.16 (IQR=147.64-439.20), while for the outpatients, it was $147.37 (IQR=81.42-240.50). The patients lose about 55.99% of their average annual income. The cost balances towards the patients who came from the Oromia region irrespective of the distance and those who are inpatients. Prior information about cancer is needed in the first place, and due attention has to be given by extending the service to Oromia, and timely treatment is recommended.

Conclusion and recommendations: The incidence and trends of many cancers are highly increasing through the years. Poor screening practice and increasing risk factors due to lifestyles and aging were related to cancer's high incidence and economic burdens. Regular registration, provision of preventive care through risk reduction and screening, and vaccination for some cancer types could minimize the morbidity and mortality of cancer.

Mental Health, Nutritional and Socio-Cultural Aspects of Peoples Living with HIV/AIDS; the Case of Hawassa City and Yirgalem Town, South Ethiopia.

PIs: Alemayehu Toma (Ph.D.) et al., 2021

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Executive summary

Many people in the world are suffering from HIV/AIDS, especially in developing countries.  Around 39.5 million people are infected worldwide. AIDS is the cause of death in Sub-Saharan Africa, and new infections are occurring dramatically in Sub-Saharan Africa. HIV/AIDS pandemic seriously ravaged the world for the past three decades. It left the world with full of complicated social, economic and political problems. The problem has continued as a major health problem for most developing countries, including Ethiopia. Socio-cultural practices which are predominantly determining the life of most of these peoples have structured the spread of HIV/AIDS. This study aimed to investigate how socio-cultural factors are affecting patients' adherence at ART clinics in Hawassa and Yirgalem Referral Hospitals. Qualitative and quantitative designs were used to collect the data. The findings have shown that fear of stigma and discrimination at family and community levels forced patients' affected adherence at ART clinics. People living with HIV were forced to travel a long distance to get rid of social exclusion and isolation that resulting in drug interruptions and dropouts. The findings have also shown that most of the followers of the protestant religion make them believe that HIV could be cured and boycotted them from taking ART drugs. Moreover, the confidentiality of information about HIV-positive children living with care-givers and newly tested patients was found to be resistant to start or continue their drugs. Sense of well-being elicited from long-term ART drugs effects made patients imagine complete healing thereby dropping their treatment. The findings made clear that multidimensional socio-cultural factors structure and restructure adherence problems at the ART clinics in the study Hospitals. Interventions targeting to change socio-cultural factors play crucial roles to prevent and control new infections, the occurrence of drug-resistant strains, and social and economic repercussions in society.

Key words: socio-cultural factors, adherence problems, Yirgalem and Hawassa ART clinics


Evaluation and Promotion of Triticale to Enhance Food Security and Livelihood of the Rural Community in the Highland of SNNPR

PIs: Dr. Demelash Kefeke et al

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Executive Summary

The ever-increasing world population demands a concomitant increase in food production. The increase in production should go along with environmental protection and natural resource preservation. Thus, it must come from the enhanced yield potential of the crop using production technologies rather than from expanded cultivated land. In this regard, crop diversification with improved production practices could be taken as a vital strategy in advancing productivity and improving farmers’ livelihood. Particularly, focusing on cereal crops which are the main source of nutrients for both humans and animals, would be one of the promising approaches in addressing the problem.

Triticale is one of the cereals with enormous prospective for a wide range of environments. The crop demonstrates a high yielding potential even under marginal growing conditions and could be the best alternative to enhance cereal production in such areas. Introducing triticale to the degraded and marginal areas could help to satisfy households’ nutrition needs and enhance their income. Consequently, triticale was recently introduced to Ethiopia to be cultivated as an alternative cereal in marginal wheat-growing highlands of the country. Attempts have been made to expand the production of triticale as an additional cereal in the highlands of Ethiopia; considerable gaps still exist in evaluation and promotion regarding its agro-ecological adaptation, specific agronomic requirements and mechanisms of utilization as human food and animal feed under the diverse ecological conditions of the country. This research project, with its four interlinked sub-components and a chain of objectives aimed at using a holistic approach to introduce, evaluate, identify and promote better performing triticale varieties in adaptability, yield, and grain quality in marginal highlands of two woredas of Sidama zone in SNNPR.

The first component entitled as “Adaptation and Yield Performance of Triticale (x Ttriticosecale wittmack) Varieties under Different N-fertilizer Levels” aimed to identify best performing varieties and optimum rate of N-fertilizer for maximum yield and grain quality in the targeted areas. With this, adaptation potential and yielding performance of triticale varieties were evaluated and the optimum rate of N-fertilizer for maximum yield and quality of products was determined. Practical training was given to smallholder farmers, including women-headed households, and promotion of the output was done through an agricultural extension system. Pre-scaling up demonstration trials were conducted under farmers’ fields. Training for farmers during regular farm visits and farmers’ field days was part of the project activities. Thus, triticale is well introduced and adopted in the Sidama region, especially in Arbegona and Hula districts

The second component is entitled “substitution effect of maize with triticale grain (Triticosecale WITTMACK) on growth performance, carcass components, meat compositions and quality traits of Cobb500 broiler chickens”. A study was conducted at Hawassa University Poultry farm to evaluate the substitution effect of maize with triticale grain on growth performance, feed intake, carcass components, meat composition and quality parameters of broiler chickens. Accordingly, five treatment diets were formulated with 0% (T1, control), 5% (T2), 10% (T3), 15 % (T4) and 20 % (T5) triticale grain. A total of 180 unsexed broiler chickens were weighed individually and randomly allocated to five treatments of the diet with three replicates of 12 chickens each. In such a way, experimental feeding lasted for six weeks, where feed intake and growth performance were recorded daily and every week, respectively. At the end of the feeding trial, two chickens (male and female) were selected from every replicate of the treatments, fastened overnight, weighed and slaughtered for determination of dressed carcass components. The result of the study, therefore, indicated that the average daily weight gain (g/chick/day) of broiler chickens were 23.2, 25.7, 26.3, 30.7, and 33.0 for T1, T2, T3, T4 and T5 respectively, which was higher (P<0.05) for those fed on T5 diet. Feed intake (g/chick/day) was higher (P<0.05) for those of broiler chickens fed with T2, T3, T4 and T5 diets. Though, the feed conversion ratio was higher (P<0.05) for those fed with T1 and lower of T5 fed broilers. The weights of slaughter, dressed carcass, skin, breast meat, keel bone meat, drumsticks, wings, neck and liver were higher (P<0.05) for broiler chickens fed on T5. However, thighs, backbone, thorax, gizzard and heart were not affected (P>0.05) by triticale grain inclusion in the diet. Dry matter, ash, and crude protein contents of breast meat were higher (P<0.05) for broilers fed with T5. On the other hand, fat composition of the breast meat was higher (P<0.05) for broiler chickens fed on T1. Water holding capacity and cooking loss for breast meat quality were also higher (P<0.05) for broilers fed on T3, T4 and T5 diets. Male broilers had higher (P<0.05) slaughter weights, ash and fat composition, as affected by sex difference. But, female chickens had higher (P<0.05) cooking loss. Therefore, it can be concluded that the inclusion of triticale grain up to 20% had improved growth performance, feed intake, dressed carcass components, breast meat composition and quality parameters for broiler chickens. Hence, further inclusion of triticale grain in the ration of broiler chickens beyond 20% can be recommended in future studies.

The third component, entitled “formulation of flat-bread (kitta) and bread from wheat and triticale flours: analyzing nutritional, microbial and sensorial properties” aimed to formulate flat-bread (kitta) and bread from wheat and triticale variety flours in different proportions and analyze their nutritional, microbial and sensorial properties. Experiments were conducted to evaluate nutritional, microbial and sensory characteristics of flat-bread and bread, and the effects of flour ratio from triticale blended with wheat for making flat-bread and bread quality were determined. Utilization of triticale grain as a locally available food item and input in food processing industries is encouraged. Flat-bread (kitta) is the unleavened type of bread, which is used in most parts of Ethiopia. It can be prepared from wheat, sorghum, maize, and likes alone or by combining the flour of one of the above grains with another. Bread is mainly prepared from wheat flour. The objective of this project was to formulate flat-bread and bread from wheat and triticale varieties flour in different proportions. The formulated flat-bread and bread were subjected to nutritional, microbial and sensorial analysis. The flatbread and bread were prepared in the School of Nutrition, Food Science and Technology laboratory. The nutritional, microbial, and sensorial analyses were also carried out in the same laboratory. The sensory analysis showed that all the formulated bread and flat bread are accepted for all sensory attributes. The nutritional analysis showed that when the proportion of triticale increased in all the formulated products, the nutritional values are increased. The microbial analysis result showed that all the formulated products are safe for consumption for 48 hours. It can be concluded that triticale grain is a good source of protein, fat, carbohydrate, and energy. It could be better if triticale is consumed by blending with other cereals like wheat so that the color of the product would be improved.

The last component entitled as “socioeconomic and gender analysis of triticale introduction in Hula and Wondogenet Woredas” aimed in assessing socio-economic and gender issues in the introduction and evaluation of triticale for enhancing rural livelihood in Hula and Wondogenet districts. A socio-economic baseline survey was conducted in Hula and Wondogent woredas which provided information for appropriate implementation of the above three sub-components. Information related to socio-economic and gender issues was generated that helped project designing and implementing appropriate and gender-responsive.

Bio-physical Resources, Socio-economy and Environmental Governance under a Changing Climate in Different Agro-ecologies of Sidama Zone, Southern Ethiopia

PIs: Endalew Addis (Ph.D.) et al., 2020

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Executive Summary

This study has explored the bio-physical resources, socio-economy, and environmental governance under a changing climate in different agro-ecologies of Sidama Zone, Southern Ethiopia in three sub-components. The first sub-thematic research deals with the effects of climate variability and changes on bio-physical resources, mainly on land, soil, water, and vegetation and its ecosystem, analyzing the effects of land use land cover change on water, biomass and soil organic carbon stocks, and its association with climate change. The second sub-thematic research deals with the socio-economic effect of climate change and its adaptation strategies by assessing the climate variability and change context, examining the effect of climate variability and change on the livelihoods, food security, health, water security, etc of the local community in the districts, exploring gender-differentiated vulnerability and resilience to climate change effects, and investigating the adaptation strategies for climate variability/change. The third sub-thematic research addresses the roles of policies, local institutions, and public participation for climate change adaptation in lowland, midland, and highland agro-ecologies by analyzing the climate change policy framework, assessing the role of local institutions for climate change adaptation, and examining the role of public participation in climate change adaptation.

The study covers three districts, namely Borecha, Dale, and Hula, which were selected purposively from lowland, midland, and highland agro-ecologies, respectively, from 2017-2019. A total of 700 households were selected randomly and proportionately after stratifying households by wealth ranking into poor, medium, and model farmers in each kebele. Secondary data analysis, key informant interviews, focus group discussion, field observations, and survey research are employed to collect qualitative and quantitative data. Data for land use/land cover change were derived from time-series Landsat satellite images from 1985 to 2018 and field survey. Monthly rainfall, temperature and discharge flow were collected from the Ethiopian Meteorological Agency and Ministry of Water and Energy for 33 years (1983-2014). Subsequently, qualitative information is analyzed using thematic and content analysis, whereas quantitative data is analyzed using STATA Software. More specifically, soil and biomass data were analyzed both in the field and in the laboratory. Soil carbon was measured after the collection of 450 samples for analysis of bulk density, texture, and carbon concentration, and above-ground biomass was measured using appropriate allometric equations. Secondary data is also analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively.

Sub-thematic research I results showed that climatic variability in rainfall and temperature affects the streamflow amount in a catchment with a significant decrease in the main rainy season though there is no significant change in the dry season flow. The result of temperature analysis revealed that the catchment is getting warmer. There was also a significant change in land-use systems in the catchment in the past three decades in which agricultural land increased by 26.58%, 54.75% and 18.04% from 1985 to 2018 in Dale, Hula, and Boricha areas, respectively. Moreover, the forest coverage shows a significant decrease by 37.43% and 34.78% in upper and lower stream areas, respectively, the shrubland in the lower stream area reduced by 31.8%, and the grassland declined by 52.59%, 33.18% and 59.5% in upper, middle and downstream areas respectively within the time range. The land-use change affects the soil carbon stock of both above-ground and below-ground biomass. Soil organic carbon stock and biomass were found higher under natural forest though soil carbon stock has a decreasing trend with soil depth in all agro-ecologies. More importantly, it was found that mean SOC stock under natural forest was 38.6% more than grassland, followed by the Eucalyptus plantation (32.4%), agricultural land (25.4%), and agroforestry (14.7%) in Hulla woreda.  This shows that land use cover change has a high impact on soil carbon and biomass, and water resources, and climate variability over a catchment.

Sub-thematic research two results showed that climate change has effects on livelihood, food, water, and energy security. As to livelihoods, climate change affects human, social, natural, physical, and financial capital. In relation to food security, climate change causes both transient and chronic food insecurity. Regarding water and energy security, climate change affects both the availability of water and energy sources. Accordingly, there is gender-differentiated vulnerability since climate change affects men and women differently. This is because livelihood assets are still under the control of males, especially in male-headed households, and in intra-household analysis, women are the ones who are differently affected by food, water, and energy insecurities since they are the ones who are going to be served after the men are satisfied, and the culture also expects women to fulfill the demands of water and energy of the household. Moreover, if there is any shortage of food, water and energy, women are affected more since they are expected to fulfill the food, water and energy demands of the household. As a result, soil and water conservation, water harvesting, changing crop varieties, intercropping, changing planting date, irrigation, livestock diversification, livelihood diversification, and migration are practiced in the study areas as adaptation strategies. However, these adaptation strategies should be gender-sensitive as the adaptive capacity of men and women is different.

Sub-thematic research three results showed that different public policies/programs/strategies such as Environmental Policy, National Adaptation Plan of Action, Growth and Transformation Plan, Climate Resilient Green Economy Strategy, and Climate Resilient Strategy for Agriculture & Forestry are formulated to address climate change in addition to other various issues. These policies have played their respective roles for climate change adaptation. However, key informants and focus group discussion participants have pointed out that these policies are formulated at the top without the involvement of local stakeholders. As a result, they are not aware of the contents of those policies and not implementing at their maximum potential. Moreover, local government institutions, mainly agricultural offices, environmental protection and forestry development offices, water resource development offices, health and financial institutions, are contributing for climate change adaptation in different ways though they lack integration among those sectors. Furthermore, civil society organizations like local and international non-governmental organizations and community-based institutions such as Idir and cooperatives are playing a great role in climate change adaptation. In relation to this, key informants and focus group discussion participants have argued that public participation takes place at households, women groups, youth groups and cooperatives levels to adapt to climate change through soil and water conservation, communal natural resources conservation and utilization water harvesting, and planting trees.  

This shows that climate variability/change has affected the biophysical resources, which have different socio-economic effects in general and gender-differentiated vulnerability in particular. Thus, there should be appropriate and gender-sensitive adaptation strategies, policies, local institutions, and active public participation to minimize the effects of climate change and optimize the practice of adaptation strategies.

Enhancing crop-livestock synergy for food and nutrition security in Sidama Zone of Southern Ethiopia

PIs: Dr. Girma Abera et al., 2021

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Executive Summary

This thematic research project was implemented in three districts of the Sidama region to explore crop-livestock integration and enhance future synergy. To this effect, household surely was first conducted to characterize the smallholder farmers and identify gasps. To respond to the various crop-livestock production constraints, several field experiments and on-station research were executed across Boricha, Dore Bafano, Loka Abaya, and Hawassa University Research and Farm Center.

Soil fertility degradation is the prime constraint due to continuous cultivation with low/no external input and crop residue removal. Proper fertilizer management is an important issue to maintain soil fertility and to enhance the nutrient use efficiency of crops. Scientific information is limited with regard to the response of maize to fertilizer micro-dosing technology in the study area. To this effect, the field experiment was conducted during the 2016/2017-2017/2018 cropping seasons on farmer’s field at Loka Abaya districts. The study was undertaken with the objective of determining the effect of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer micro dozing on the yield and agronomic performance of maize. The treatments consisted of control, micro-dosing treatments (50, 75 and 100% of recommended dose of nitrogen and phosphorus, 100% rNP), and 100% rNP applied by banding method.

The experiment was set up in randomized complete block design with three replications. The analysis of variance indicated that the application method with different rates of fertilizer significantly (p<0.05) affected plant height, cob length, stand count, number of grain per cob, and hundred kernel weight, grain and Stover yields. Overall, fertilized plots Stover yield was improved by 54.8 and 75.9% over the control plots, respectively in 2016 and 2017, while average grain yield was improved by 83.0 and 149.9%, respectively in 2016 and 2017. Band method application of 100% rNP was resulted in significantly (p<0.05) higher maize plant height, cob length, hundred kernel weight, Stover and grain yields over other treatments except 100% rNP applied by a micro-dose method. Thus, the band applied 100%rNP improved grain yield by 52 and 66% in 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons, respectively over the control, while Stover yield was improved by 69.9% and 90.3% in 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons, respectively. Overall, the study revealed that the micro-dosing method of fertilizer application may not be relevant in such areas where there is sufficient rain fall and heavy soils. Therefore, the application of 100% rNP by band method

Where arable land shortage is a critical constraint, intercropping legumes with cereals could be a promising option for the sustainable intensification of smallholder farming systems. Intercropping reduces environmental risks, such as erosion, nutrient depletion and leaching prevalent in monoculture systems. Choice of proper time and frequency of intercropping of common bean with maize determines system productivity. Double common bean intercropping with maize enhances productivity and contributes to improving farmers’ nutritional security during the whole growing season through diversified food production. Declining productivity and scarcity of cultivable land in smallholder systems call for exploring sustainable intensification options to increase productivity. Field experiments were conducted at five sites (site 1–5) situated in three locations (Boricha, Loka Abaya and Hawassa Zuria districts) of Sidama region, southern Ethiopia in 2018 and 2019 to determine the effects of cropping systems on maize and common bean productivity. Simultaneous, relay and double bean intercropping with maize were evaluated with monocropping of the components in randomized complete block design with four replications. Most of the maize and common bean agronomic parameters were significantly (p<0.01) affected by cropping system, sites, cropping systems* sites, and site * year interactions. In specific, the results revealed that cropping systems affected both maize and bean yields, although the degree varies with sites. The highest average maize (7.2 t ha-1) and bean (3.6 t ha-1) grain yields were obtained at site 5, while the lowest at site 4. The highest maize yields were recorded in fertilized sole maize at sites 1, 3 and 5, and in relay and double bean intercropping at sites 2 and 4, respectively. The lowest maize yields were obtained in unfertilized sole maize in most sites. The highest bean yields were obtained in double common bean monocropping at sites 1, 2 and 5, whereas the lowest in relay intercropping. Total LER ranged from 1.02–2.56 at site 1 and site 3, respectively, with relay bean–maize intercropping. The results demonstrate that intercropping (simultaneous, relay, and double) was advantageous as total LER values were greater than 1 in all sites. Overall, double bean intercropping had more economic benefit exceeding others by an average of 15%. Therefore, farmers could benefit more from maize-common bean intercropping systems in areas where the rainy season is sufficiently long to grow long-season maize.

Another field experiment was conducted at three locations in southern Ethiopia, namely Dore, Boricha, and Loka Abaya, during the 2019 cropping season. The field experiments were conducted in two experimental sites at each location. Treatments consisted of twelve treatments: sole N1 (46 N kg ha-1) and N2 (69 N kg ha-1), sole P1 (20 N kg ha-1) and P2 (30 N kg ha-1) and with one of the nutrients omitted (NP1, NP2, NK, and PK), two full NPK treatments (NPK1 and NPK 2), and a control treatment (no fertilizer application). The experiment was laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with four replicates. The results showed that nutrient omission experiments are very vital to understanding the role N, P and K nutrients across high maize production sites of the Sidama region. The maize responses varied across sites attributed to variation in soil properties, history of soil management, soil moisture content, and rainfall distribution during the crop growth. It is vital to closely evaluate the soil properties in order to provide essential macro-nutrients for profitable crop production. Applied nutrients resulted in a different grain and biomass yields across sites.  The highest maize grain (8.2 t ha-1) was obtained at site 3 of Boricha followed by site 4 of the same location. Whereas the lowest is at site 1 of Loka Abaya. Overall, the highest site average maize grain yield (8.16 t ha-1) was obtained at Boricha district, whereas the lowest (7.21 t ha-1) at Loka baya. In contrast, the highest Stover yields were obtained at Dore, followed by Boricha and Loka Abaya. Overall, the yield response for both grain and biomass of maize was tremendously high for study sites, implying soil fertility management has a substantial role for smallholder farmers to increase their production and productivity in a sustainable manner.

The potential for increased livestock production and productivity is proportionally lowered by various livestock management problems, the prevalence of major endemic diseases, poor feeding and high stocking rate on grazing lands, lack of support services such as extension services, veterinary services, insufficient data to plan improved services and inadequate information on how to improve animal breeding, marketing, and processing (Kedija et al., 2008).  In general, the livestock production system has not been studied in the study area with integrated to crop production. Haricot bean (phaseolus vulgaris L) and cow pea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp) are commonly available in the study area, where farmers use its leaves and haulms as livestock feed mainly during dry season, contains good protein and could serve as a protein supplement and maize (Zea mays l.) is commonly grown in the area and its residue could serve as an energy supplement for livestock.

Thus, this study was undertaken to evaluate the livestock production system and the effect of supplementing cereal straw-based feeds with legume forages and haulms on the growth performance of sheep. A total of 171 households were selected by purposive random sampling from three districts to respond to a pretested semi-structured questionnaire. The sample comprised of 52, 58 and 61 households from Boricha, Loka Abaya and Hawassa Zuria districts respectively. The objective was to describe the livestock production system and its integration to crop production and to evaluate the effects of supplementing cereal straw-based feeds with legume forages and haulms on feed intake, digestibility, body weight gain and carcass characteristics of the animals. The interviews, direct observation, focus group discussion ,and experimental methods were practiced. Descriptive statics and ANOVA were used for analyzing survey and experimental parts respectively. The experimental study was conducted by using thirty male Arsi-Bale sheep with an average initial weight of 18.66±0.13kg. The experimental diets used as T1 maize Stover (300 gm), T2 cowpea hay (200 gm), T3 cowpea hay (400 gm), T4 haricot bean haulm (200 gm) and T5 Haricot bean haulm (400gm). The experiment consisted of 6 days of digestibility trial and 84 days of feeding trial followed by evaluation of carcass parameters at the end of the feeding period.

A completely randomized block design was used for the experiment. The experimental animals were allocated to the five treatments with six animals blocks based on their initial body weight, and each animal within each block was randomly assigned to one of the five treatment diets. The majorities, 90.7% of household heads, were males, and the rest 9.3% were female. The average family size of Boricha, Loka Abaya, and Hawassa Zuria were 5.9±0.3, 6.1±0.2, and 5.9±0.2respectively. The level of education show that 19.91%, 17.80%,46.46% and 15.85% was illiterate, read and write, elementary and high school respectively. The major livestock feed resource was maize Stover, cob, haricot bean haulm, pasture and wheat bran. In the study area livestock’s were used for food, income, manure, social and power purposes, and livestock products were the basic source of near-cash for HHs.100%, 97.9%, and 94.4% of HHs in Boricha, Loka Abaya and Hawassa Zuria districts, respectively were use crop residue as farm fertilizer by retaining crop residue at their farm lands during crop harvesting time. CP contents of maize Stover, cow pea hay, haricot bean haulm, Linseed cake, wheat bran, and maize grain were 3.1%, 15.9%, 7%, 18.4%, 20.5%, and 10.7%, respectively. The total DM intake was higher (p<0.05) for T2 and in the order T4 >T3> T1>T5.The DM, OM, CP, NDF and ADF digestibility was greater (p<0.05) for T2 than T1 > T4 > and T3 but values for T5 were lower with the other treatments. The total Dry matter intake, DM and nutrient digestibility, final body weight and average daily gain were significantly higher (P<0.05) in T2 than in other treatments Based on these results T2 (200g cowpea + 200g concentrate mixture +100g maize stover) could be recommended as good supplemented diet as experimental sheep.


Improving the Small-Scale Poultry: designing diseases prevention and control strategies, improving production, and enhancing marketing system in selected areas of Sidama Region, Ethiopia

PIs:  Gizachew Hailegebreal (Dr.) et al., 2022

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Executive Summary

This study was conducted to evaluate small-scale poultry production practices, major constraints and opportunities in selected districts of Sidama regional state, Ethiopia. The study was aimed to identify major health constraints, production practices, challenges and opportunities of small-scale poultry production in selected districts of Sidama regional state.

For identifying major health constraints in Shebedino and Dale districts, the chickens on the selected farms were monitored for morbidity and mortality every week. Diagnosis of different diseases was made based on the flock history, age of birds, clinical signs, characteristic gross and microscopic lesions, and fecal flotation technique for coccidiosis. Semi-structured questionnaires were also administered to gather information on the risk factors and farming practices. The incidence rate of morbidity and mortality in the studied farms was 16.14 and 12.69 per 1000 chicken-week at risk, respectively. The minimum and maximum incidence rates of morbidity were 2.02 and 58.43 cases per 1000 chicken-week at risk, respectively. The minimum and maximum incidence rates of mortality were 0.21 and 58.18 deaths per 1000 chicken-week at risk, respectively. Among the risk factors studied feed type, age of chickens, and number of sick chickens on farms were significantly associated (p<0.05) with the incidence of disease. Age of chickens and number of sick chickens found on the farms were significantly associated (p<0.05) with the incidence of death using multivariable logistic regression. Newcastle Disease (ND), Infectious Bursal Disease (IBD), Fowl typhoid, and Coccidiosis were the important diseases identified during the follow-up period in the study area. Of the overall mortality and morbidity, 90.48% and 42% were respectively attributed to ND. Infectious bursal disease and Coccidia co-infection occurred in 31.55% of chickens in the infected farms.

For identifying major health constraints in Hawassa city, the chickens on selected farms were monitored for morbidity and mortality twice per week. During each visit, clinical examination of sick birds and pathological investigation of dead birds were conducted. Cloaca samples were collected for isolation and identification of Salmonella spp. and E. coli. A questionnaire was also used to gather information on various aspects of the farms and flocks. Cox proportional hazard model was used to quantify the effects of various risk factors on the morbidity and mortality rates observed. Of the total 8976 chickens followed for five months, 106 of them developed clinical disease giving morbidity of 1.18 % (95 % CI: 0.97, 1.43). The overall morbidity rate was 2.37 (95 % CI: 1.94, 2.87) per 1000 chicken months. During the follow-up period, 101 of the chickens under study were found dead, yielding mortality of 1.13 % (95% CI: 0.92, 1.37) and a mortality rate of 2.26 (95% CI: 1.84, 2.75). Multivariable Cox regression analysis showed that farm hygiene, the experience of farm manager, housing condition, housing systems, the availability of veterinary services and age of chicken were important risk factors for morbidity and mortality. Out of 58 cloaca samples collected from sick chicken, 7 (12.07 %; 95 % CI: 4.99, 23.29) of them gave positive results for Salmonella spp., while 25 (43.10 %; 95 % CI: 30.16, 56.77) of them yielded positive results for E. coli.  Out of swabs collected from 8 randomly selected sick chickens after necropsy 3 (37.50 %) of them were found positive for Salmonella spp. whereas 4 (50.00 %) of them were positive for E. coli. Swabs were collected and cultured from 15 dead chickens and of these 2 (13.33 %) and 7 (46.67 %) of them were found positive for Salmonella spp. and E. coli, respectively. Farm hygiene, age of study chicken, and housing conditions were significantly associated with the occurrence of colibacillosis. Farm hygiene, age of chickens, and frequency of use of antibiotics were important risk factors of infection with Salmonella spp. The veterinary and public health authorities should take this into account. Identification of the serotypes of Salmonella spp. and E. coli isolated should be carried out.

For identifying production constraints, a total of 118 respondents (Hawassa city=33, Dale = 40, and Shebedino = 45) were selected purposively who were engaged in poultry production with a minimum of 50 chickens. Primary data were collected by using semi-structured questionnaires. According to this survey result, 42.79% of the small-scale poultry producers have completed diplomas and first-degree and above. About (57.36%) of the small-scale poultry producers were males. The majority (76.66%) of the respondent were having production experiences of between 1-5 years. The dominant flock structures of poultry in the study area were hens followed by pullets.  The majority of the poultry producers have purchased their chickens from private farms. In the study area, the dominant chicken breeds were exotic breeds. The major types of houses used for poultry production were separate houses and cages. Disease, high cost of feed, cannibalism, and predators were the major constraints affecting poultry production, productivities, and demand for poultry and poultry sector in the area. The major opportunities available are the increase in price and demand of chicken products, veterinary and extension services and feed access. It was concluded from this study that chickens production in the study areas was good but, it needs further work for improved and better health care, nutrition and better management.


Enhancing Food Security through Improved Productivity and Nutrition of Barley (Hordeum Vulgare) in Southern Ethiopia- Away Towards Food Security

PIs: Hewan Demissie (Ph.D.) et al.,2020

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Executive summary

Aluminum is one of the dominant elements on the earth's crust. This element is toxic to plants' growth and development if it is released in the form of an Aluminium ion (Al3+). Mostly, Aluminium stays as a metallic oxide, which is less toxic to plant growth. However, in Acidic conditions, this metallic oxide changes to Al3+ in the soil. The presence of such toxic metal will affect the growth and development of crop plants. This reduces the root growth which intern affects the acquisition of nutrients from the soil. The consequence of this is stunted growth and reduced grain yield and nutrients. Enhanced Aluminum tolerance is a major target for improving and sustaining food security in acidic soil. And barely is one of the most sensitive crop plants towards acidic soil/Al3+ toxicity.

However, the research identified that there are tolerant accessions or cultivars. Their tolerance mechanism to Al3+ toxicity is by releasing citrate and malate exudate. Recently researchers shed light that this process is controlled by a major gene called HvAACT1 (Al-activated citrate transporter 1), which is expressed in response to Aluminum toxicity. This gene is responsible for the formation of a protein family called MATE (multidrug and toxic compound extrusion), which extrude Aluminum ion. We proposed that polymorphisms in 1kb insertion in the 5’UTR (untranslated region) and 20 base pair deletion in the 3’ region of HvAACT1gene is responsible for the expression of this gene and controlling Aluminum tolerance in barely, or their paralogues affect variation in root morphology and consequently Aluminum tolerance. This project has three components: 1: Molecular and Soil Science component, 2. Agronomic component and 3. Nutritional Component.

The material for this research is two hundred 200 barley genotypes which are collected from the different zones of SNNPR and Sidama regional government barley growing areas. The collected samples are analyzed for changes in primary root length and root architecture under four different levels of Al3+ concentration at the seedling stage. The same sample was also characterized using DNA sequence variations (SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphism, Indels (insertion-deletion)) on the 1kb insertion in the 5’ and 20 bp deletion in the 3’ UTR region of HvAACT1gene from each barley line. The screening result identified ten barley lines that are tolerant under acidic conditions. Furthermore, a field experiment was conducted to evaluate the performance of tolerant barley lines against soil acidity with and /or without lime application with 11 barley accession (27895a, 208855b, 234911b, 212954b, 215453b, 215454a, 217176b, 234911, 240478, 244773 plus a check HB –1307) and with four fertilizer types (control, DAP, NPS and NPSB) and four barley genotypes (217176b, 240478, 234911b and 208855b) and one barley variety (HB- 1307) as a check on under acidic soil of Southern Ethiopia- Hagereselam, Sidama. The experiment was laid out in Split Plot Design with three replications in which lime (0 and 4.8 t ha-1 ) and fertilizer (control, DAP, NPS and NPSB) were assigned to sub-plots. Data on the yield and yield components were collected and subjected to ANOVA using SAS software. Results revealed that days to emergence and days to grain filling were highly significantly (P ≤ 0.001) affected by genotypes; while days to heading, days to maturity, numbers of the effective tiller, number of seed per spike, thousand-grain weight, - 7 - above-ground biomass, straw yield, grain yield, and harvest index were highly significantly (P ≤ 0.001) affected by main effects of lime and genotypes. The analysis of data revealed significant differences due to the interaction effects of lime and genotypes on plant height and spike length. The genotype 217176b has the highest mean grain yield of 3.75 t ha-1, the larger total biomass of 9.3 t ha-1 and a high harvest index of 40.33%. There was a statistically significant difference between 217176b and 215453b in terms of grain yield. The economic analysis revealed that the higher net benefit of 23432.5 Birr ha-1 was recorded for un-limed, and the lower benefit of 16277.7 Birr ha-1 was obtained for limed treatments. Similarly, genotypes gave the higher net benefits 217176b and 240478 of 44372.5 and 41187.5, respectively, Birr with an acceptable, marginal rate of return. Their marginal rates of return were 1479.08 and 716.56, in that order. Therefore, genotypes 217176b and 240478 are recommended for use by farmers on acidic soil conditions without the application of lime for barley production.

Even though liming has made positive contributions for various soil characteristics and productivity, its use cannot be recommended under the current condition due to the associated expenses. Given the fact that grain yield performance between the two genotypes in combinations either with NPSB or DAP is not statistically significant, either of the two genotypes (217176b and 240478) with the NPSB or DAP fertilizer can be forwarded as a working recommendation for the production of barley in acidic soils of Hagereselam and acidic soils of similar agro-ecologies in the highlands of Ethiopia. It would be worthwhile to perform farmer participatory experiment over more sites of the district with the inclusion of more lime rates to refine the findings and release varieties adapted to acid soil in Ethiopia and the world. The output of the research is ten Acid/Aluminium ion tolerant barely lines, training of six MSc students who got Excellent for their thesis project and presentation. The Manuscript for Agronomic research, molecular research and Nutritional research is under preparation. The identified barley lines should become a useful community resource for Aluminum and acid tolerance cultivation and breeding program.

Ecosystem Services of Urban Green Infrastructure and Policy Aspects: Emphasis on Biodiversity Conservation and Climate Change Mitigation and their Economic Value in Hawassa City, Ethiopia

PIs: Yoseph Melka (Ph.D.) et al., 2020

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This thematic research project was focused on ecosystem services of urban green infrastructures (UGIs) and its policy aspects with emphasis on woody plant species conservation,  climate change adaptation and mitigation as well as their economic value in the case of Hawassa City, Ethiopia. The research work was conducted from  January 2009 up to January 2012 E.C. (3 years ). The purpose of  the research project was:  

  1. to assess woody plant species diversity and their richness in selected UGI; identify the actual benefits for UGI for the urban dwellers; estimate carbon stock of selected UGI and its role for carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation;
  2. to estimate the economic values of marketable products and other ecosystem services part of UGIs of the city.
  3. to assess urban UGI related policy, strategies, manuals and standards

 Interdisciplinary approaches were implemented for research design and sample selection. Standard scientific methods were employed for data collection and analysis by considering the protocol of each sub-project linked to the main goal of the project. Accordingly, a total of 173 sample plots from various UGI clusters were sampled for woody plant species inventory, for measuring soil physical properties and carbon.  A total of 260 residential houses were sampled to examine the role of UGIs on house price, on property value and to estimate the maximum willingness to pay (MWTP) of residents of the city to develop and management of recreational services. In addition, a proportional random sample of 300 residential home gardens was surveyed to identify marketed products from residential home gardens and to estimate the net benefit of urban green area management practices. In order to estimate the recreational value of city parks in Hawassa, the survey was conducted on randomly selected 202 individual visitors (142 domestic and 60 foreign).  A total of 200 city residents were randomly selected and interviewed to evaluate the implementation of policy, strategy, standard, and institutional arrangement, as well as for finding the policy and institutional gaps regarding UGIs development.

Regarding the sampling design and data collection techniques, for the urban parks, a line transect having 10m*10m plot and 1m*1m nested sample plots were laid by using systematic random sampling techniques. The smallest quadrant was placed in all corners and the center of the larger quadrant to count seedlings and collect soil samples. The distance between plots within the transect line was 200m and with a 100m distance interval between the transect line to measure biomass and estimate carbon stock. For all open green spaces and festive areas, a 10m x10m and five 1mx1m nested square sample plots were laid by using a systematic random sampling technique. For institutional and religious compound green spaces, a 20m*20m and five 1mx1m nested square sample plots were laid by using a systematic random sampling technique. For the linear green spaces, a 2m x50m and 10m*10m plots for the median and the roadside were laid systematically having 200m distance between consecutive plots because of uniformity of the species. The bigger plots were used for collecting woody plant species while the nested sample plots were used for soil sample collection. In all UGI clusters, trees having a diameter ≥ 5 cm were recorded.  Height and DBH ( at 1.3m from the ground) were measured. Soil samples from all UGIs clusters were taken from two soil depths (0-30cm and 30-60cm). For evaluating land use land cover changes of the Hawassa city field survey (primary data); Secondary data: orthophoto, a satellite image with high resolution; Hawassa city structural plan; DEM and written document were used by using GPS and measuring tape,  ArcGIS and  AutoCAD data collection instruments and software. For the social, economic and policy components of the study, a mixed approach consisting of qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques such as desk review, household and visitor survey, group discussions,  key informant interview and field observations were employed. Depending on the nature of the data, descriptive and inferential statistics, as well as content analysis, were employed.

Results show that in the UGIs of Hawassa, a total of 81 different species of woody plants belonging to 37 families were identified.  The highest species richness was recorded in green spaces of institutional compound (ICGS) (61 species), followed by amenity green spaces (AGS) (53 species), religious compound green spaces (RCGS) (37 species) and linear green spaces (LGS) (11 species).  The lowest diversity was recorded in LGS. Fabaceae is found to be the dominant family across the whole studied clusters which could be attributed to the existence of urban exploiter/opportunistic species in this family. Exotic species dominate the three UGI clusters that are AGI, ICGS and LGS while RCGS are dominated by indigenous species. The highest similarity (64%) was recorded between AGS and RCGS. The expansion of such exotic species in UGIs of Hawassa is one of the key reasons for the loss of indigenous species and thereby to the significant reduction in the vital role to be played by the urban ecosystem services.  The present study further showed the UGIs clusters of Hawassa city were holding a remarkable carbon stock both in their above and below-ground biomass with a mean above-ground biomass carbon of 70.23 t C ha-1. Moreover, non-accessibility to litter and dead wood due to continuous sweeping in most of the UGI clusters included in the study. Thus, the significance of the litter in carbon accumulation in UGI clusters is not investigated in the current study. . Besides, the soil organic carbon (SOC) stock in UGI of Hawassa City ranged from 34.47 t C ha-1 to 96.63 t C ha-1. The total ecosystem carbon stocks (living woody biomass plus soil) in UGI of Hawassa city ranges from 120.61 to 165.5 t C ha-1 with a mean of 148.55 t C ha-1. The highest and lowest carbon stock was recorded in RCGS and LGS, respectively.

This result indicates that if a significant effort has been made to develop and manage recreational sites in the city, the number of visitors and stay time will increase, which thereby indicates enhancement of the economic contribution of recreational sites to the city in general in many ways including employment generation. Likewise, the result pointed out that the domestic and non-domestic attribute's value of Gudumale and Tabor mountain recreational sites has a good possibility to be better than the current ones in many dimensions, which include enriching wildlife and plant biodiversity, improved infrastructure for access, and stay on site. In this study employing the hedonic pricing, technique, evidence has been found that proximity to Lake Hawassa, state of residential home garden, and local area green space management were significant positive factors that influence house price. However, proximity to main GIs, Millenium Park, and Tabor Mountain have been found impacting house prices negatively, which might be associated with incidence violence and insecurity incidences in the specified sites. The positive contribution of urban green infrastructures was also found recognized by city residents. Furthermore, the study revealed that different strategies and standards had been developed by the federal government in the past two decades, but those documents are not properly cascaded into the regional and local levels and not directly to the development and management of UGI in the country. Likewise, the documents are not well understood by experts, government officials, and the public as a whole. Overall, there are no clear urban green infrastructure policies at the national and regional level, but the issues of UGI are often incorporated in other policies such as GTP, Environment policy, urban development policies, etc.; this indicates that UGI issues are not taken seriously to deserve a policy framework to promote it. In addition, the study finds weak institutional arrangement, low level of public participation, low level of community awareness, weak implementations of existing manuals, lack of budget, lack of skilled manpower, low and less legally bounded coordination among stakeholders. The study recommends the need to formulate urban green infrastructure policy, awareness creation, assigning qualified professionals on each position, allocate sufficient budget, formulate and enforce rules and regulations, enhance integration among different stakeholders and improve the institutional capacities of local agencies.  Finally, simplifying the complexity of the current institutional arrangement of Hawassa city and localizing a clear structure at the sub-city level by minimizing ambiguity.

Based on the findings, good practices, and lessons learned from the current study, the followings are recommended as further intervention areas for better management of UGIs in Hawassa city.

In-depth investigation and evaluation of the current management activities and plant species site preference in the UGI clusters, which will inform appropriate biomass estimation model in the urban setting.

  • Since the UGI is found to support biodiversity and serve as the carbon sink in the city, studies in mainstreaming it as an integral part of the national and regional biodiversity and carbon stock assessments in the country, along with natural forest assessment, is vital.
  • Likewise, promoting further introduction and expansion of multipurpose woody species on green spaces, which help to improve the economic and ecological value of the green areas, need to be studied.
  • Economic estimates from Gudumale and Tabor showcases that recreational sites in Hawassa city, including the sites considered in the study, can be potential employment generation sites and sustained revenue generation opportunities for the municipality in particular and those engaged in tourism and hotels related business if developed and managed in similar fashion as in the proposed development and management scenarios/proposals in the CVM and CM. Using economic value estimates as inputs to make a cost-benefit analysis of the development and management of recreational sites, the study strongly evidences that development and management and management of recreational sites should be a priority to municipalities involving stakeholders.
  • Proper planning, development, and management standards of UGIs should be produced and enforced involving stakeholders including the local community.
  • Arranging training programs to enhance the capacity of decision-makers and employees who are engaged in urban green area management.
  • Comprehensive awareness creation program for the society through various media, like, community radio, brochures, newspapers, magazines and conferences.
  • Proper implementation of rules and regulations through ordinal scrutiny of the concerned officials and workers in fulfilling their responsibility.
  • Demarcating clear boundary for responsibility to manage urban green areas for Sanitation, Beautification, and Parks Development Agency and Environmental Protection Authority of Hawassa city.
  • Creating integration among different actors of those who are engaged in urban green areas development and management; including, Sanitation, Beautification, and Parks Development Agency and Environmental Protection Authority, private sectors, Land Development and Management Bureau and the community at large through establishment of development committee which involves delegates from each party.
  • Arranging incentives; for instance, tax-free and/or reduction for private sectors that are involved in managing urban green areas and motivating staff members of Sanitation, Beautification, and Park Development Agency financially to alleviate turnover of skilled manpower.
  • The study recommends the need to formulate urban green infrastructure policy, awareness creation, assigning qualified professionals to each position, allocate sufficient budget, formulate and enforce rules and regulations, enhance integration among different stakeholders and improve institutional capacities of local agencies. Finally simplifying the complexity of the current institutional arrangement of Hawassa city and localizing a clear structure at the sub-city level by minimizing ambiguity.


Household Energy Sources, Environmental Impacts and Alternative Options:  A Case of Hawassa City

PIs: Zerihun Demrew (PhD) and et al., 2020

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In recent years, renewable energy and improved energy technologies have been attracting the attention of the public and policymakers, particularly for their potential to reduce natural degradation and its environmental consequences. Among renewable energy resources, fuelwood remains a key source of energy for households in developing countries, particularly in the Sub-Saharan region. The household sector is the major consumer of firewood in Ethiopia that contributing to forest degradation and greenhouse gas emissions. The reported study is therefore conducted to assess the household energy sources and consumption pattern, evaluate its contribution to climate change, the performance of the improved stove, and forward a way out. The study was conducted in Hawassa city, the capital city of the Southern Nations Nationalities and People (SNNP) Regional State.

Multi-stage sampling procedure was employed to select sample households. Households with different wealth statuses were involved in the present investigation. Sample households were taken to measure daily firewood consumption. Stove performance test was done to compare firewood consumption of improved and traditional stoves. The result revealed that most households use biomasses as a major household energy source. The average daily firewood consumption of households in Hawella Tulla sub-city, for all wealthy categories, was 7.62 kg/household/day equivalent for the average family size of 6.37. The overall average of annual firewood consumption per household was 2781.3 kg (2.78 tons) and about 1115.04 ha of forest land will be cleared by the households in the sub-city. Burning of this amount of firewood could emit on average 0.93 kg CO2e day-1 HH-1. The average wood consumption of traditional and improved (Yekum mirt) cooking stoves was 2.15 and 1.24 kg/kg dough per stove, respectively. Use of Yekum mirt stove would save 0.91 kg firewood /kg of dough. It is predicted that individual households can save 425.9 (0.43 t) firewood per year from baking Injera. The findings identified affordable, innovative technology that reduces the impact of traditional energy usage; however, the value chain of alternative energy sources in the case of Hawassa city is not strongly institutionalized. All stakeholders need to work on the provision of alternative energy sources and improved energy-saving technologies.


Assessment of Wildlife Species, Natural Habitat Monitoring, Eco-tourism, Socio-economics and Conservation Policies in Sidama and Western Arsi Highlands of Ethiopia: Implications for Sustainable Wildlife Conservation

Zerihun Girma (PhD) and et al., 2020

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Executive summary

  1. I) Study Area

The study was carried out in the Afro-alpine ecosystems and fragmented Afro-montane forests located in Arebgona Woreda of the Sidama Zone of the South Nations and Nationalities People Regional State and three Woredas  (Dodola, Kokosa and Nensebo) of West Arsi Zone of the Oromiya Regional State (Figure 1). The study area is situated between 6° 18' to 7° 12 'N and 38° 34' to 39° 30′ (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Location map of the study area

The study populations were vascular plants (both woody and herbaceous plant species), mammals, birds, livestock abundance, tree stump counts, and percent vegetation. Eco-tourism attraction sites such as mountains, rocks, caves, wildlife, vegetation, people culture etc were subjected to study. In addition, local communities, district forest and wildlife enterprise staffs, district natural resource conservation, tourism and agriculture departments officials, and members of the community forest dwellers were the subjects of the study.

The study was carried out from 2017 to 2019 for three years, covering both wet and dry seasons.

The general objective of the project is to investigate species diversity and distribution of mammals and birds and their habitat conditions and human-wildlife interactions, assess the potential of the area for community-based eco-tourism as a proxy for income diversification schemes and evaluate the effectiveness of wildlife conservation institutions, policies, legislations and law enforcement procedures in Sidama and adjacent western Arsi highlands so as to develop a holistic, sustainable wildlife conservation plan and monitoring schemes.

  1. II) The sub-components of the thematic research and methods in each sub-component

1)  Large mammals and bird monitoring and habitat quality evaluation (Sub-component 1)

To effectively survey the species diversity of large mammals, two standardized survey techniques direct (line transect direct sighting) and indirect (scat/footprint) census, were followed. For birds, the only direct census was employed. Intensive-Modified Whitaker (I-MW) nested plot design was used to sample vegetation and livestock dung across the study area. The I-MW plot is framed within an outer 100-m2 plot (20 x 5m) with four 1-m2 subplots (0.5 x 2 m2) positioned at fixed locations inside its perimeter and one 10-m2 (2 x 5 m2) subplot in the center

2) Eco-tourism potential assessment as income diversification for the local community as a proxy for sustainable wildlife conservation (Sub-component 2)

Based on the preliminary survey 2 kebeles in Arebegona (Fodo folesho and Cherecho) woreda and 2 kebeles in Nenesebo (Rerepa, and Nensebo chebi) woreda were selected purposively. On the other hand, ecotourism physical assessment was made throughout Kokosa woreda. Structured and semi-structured interviews, key informant interviews, focus group discussions, and field observations were used for data collection.

3) Livelihood, attitude, knowledge and practice of local community and human-wildlife interactions nexus for sustainable wildlife conservation (Sub-component 3)

Three study woredas (Arbegona, nensebo and Kokosa) in 8 kebeles were selected purposively due to the presence of the forest resource, existence of wild animals, human-wildlife interactions and research gap. Structured and semi-structured interviews, key informant interviews, focus group discussion and field observation were used for data collection.

4) Wildlife conservation institutions, policies, law, and law enforcement (Sub-component4)

Three study woredas (Arbegona, nensebo and Dodola) were selected purposively due to the presence of the forest resource, existence of wild animals, human-wildlife interactions and document analysis.

III) Summary of Results

1)  Large mammals and birds and habitat component evaluations (Sub-component 1)

The vegetation analysis in three-four study woredas revealed various domain habitat types, namely Dry evergreen Afromontane forest (modified and relatively intact) (occur in higher altitudes of Arbegona, Dodola, Kokosa, Nensebo; among the dominant tree species are Juniperus procera, Hagenia abyssinica, Hypericum revolutum, threats such as livestock encroachment, expansion of agriculture, etc. are prominent in this vegetation type), moist Afromontane forest (modified and relatively intact; occur in the middle attitude of Nensebo woreda; among the dominant tree species are Convolvolus klimandischari,  Euphorbia abyssinica, threats such as livestock encroachment, expansion of agriculture etc. are prominent in this vegetation type), Alpine bamboo forest (occur in higher altitudes of Arbegona, Nenseob, and Kokosa; relatively less distributed), Erica scrubland (occur at higher altitudes of Arbegona, Nenseob, Dodola, and Kokosa woredas; seasonal livestock and human settlements predominant). In Geremba mountain (Arebegona), a total of 76 plant species were recorded, while in Nensebo a total of 104 plant species were recorded. The land use land cover change analysis (1995 to 2019) revealed dominant forest cover (wildlife habitat quality) change, particularly a) expansion of non-forest land cover types at the expansion of the natural forests beginning from the center, b) appearance of non-forest cover types within the forest, c) defragmentation of the forest cover (appearance of patches of forests) due to the expansion of non-forest land, d) shrinking of the forest cover types due to the expansion of the non-forest cover types, and appearance of woodlots in the non-forest landscape area.

A total of 10, 16, and 24 species of large mammals, including endemic and endangered mammals, were recorded at Arbegona (Germeba Mountain) and Nensebo and Dodola remnant forests, respectively. In Geremba mountain alpine bamboo (H=2.052) has the highest diversity of large mammals, whereas in Nensebo intact moist Afro-montane forest has the largest mammals diversity (H=2.188). On the other hand, dry evergreen Afro-montane forest harbor the largest diversity of large mammals (H= 2.19).  A total of 74, 105, and 78 species of birds, including endemic and threatened species, were recorded from Garemba Mountain, Nensebo, and Dodola remnant forests. In Garemba Mountain, 71 residents and 3 were Palearctic migrants; In Nansebo forest, 96 residents, 9 Palearctic migrants’ and in Dodola remnant forest, 70 residents 8 Palearctic migrants’ were recorded. In Dodola, Arbegona and Nensebo modified Dry evergreen Afromontane forest harbored the largest bird diversity, 2.91, 3.71, and 4.17, respectively.   

2) Eco-tourism potential assessment as income diversification for the local community as a proxy for sustainable wildlife conservation (Sub-component 2)

The identified potential ecotourism resources of Nensebo, Arbegona, Kokosa and Dodola woredas can be categorized into natural attractions such as wildlife, vegetation composition, beautiful landscape, waterfalls, caves; and cultural attractions such as communal events and festivals, traditional lifestyles and cuisines. The available resources indeed make the destinations potentially rich and conducive to develop ecotourism as an alternative means of livelihood for the local communities.

3) Livelihood, attitude, knowledge, and practice of local community and human-wildlife interactions nexus for sustainable wildlife conservation (Sub-component 3)

In Arbegona, Nensebo, and Kokosa, local communities predominantly (on average> 90%) believed those wildlife resources and their habitats should be sustainably conserved for their ecological, economic, cultural, and scientific values. However, most (on average> 80%) mentioned that livestock predators (such as hyena, common jackal) and crop raiders (such as warthog, bush pig, baboons, and monkeys) cases considerable loss to livestock and crop that needs attention to sustainable promote human-wildlife coexistence. The local communities demonstrated indigenous knowledge towards wildlife resources and their conservation and in the meantime, agreed that considerable loss of populations of wildlife species and their habitat have occurred over the last six decades.

4) Wildlife conservation institutions, policies, laws, and law enforcement (Sub-component 4)

Wildlife and forest conservation institutions such as the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA), Commission for Environment, Forest and Climate Change (CEFCC), Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resource Department are responsible for managing wildlife resource and their habitat at the federal level. However, at the regional and local level, Arbegona (SNNP) is managed under the SNNPR Bureau of Tourism and Woredas CEFCC and Woreda agricultural bureaus. On the other hand, at Kokosa, Dodola and Nensebo (Oromia region), the wildlife resources and their habitat are managed under Oromia Forest and Wildlife Enterprise, Community Forest Dwellers Associations and Woreads CEFFC and agricultural offices. However, local communities unanimously agreed that conservation institutions have not been effective and wildlife resources and their habitat continues to deteriorate. Furthermore, document analysis revealed that there are policy and legislation gaps that hindered effective wildlife and their habitat conservation. Local communities reported that law enforcement is not transparent; weak and not integrated well. Local communities unanimously agreed that poaching, livestock and human encroachments, expansion of agriculture, deforestation, and anthropogenic fire are common illegal activities overall study areas that threaten the survival of the wildlife resources and their habitat.    

  1. IV) Holistic outcomes/outputs of the project

The project clearly demonstrated that the Sidama and adjacent West Arsi Zone highlands harbor diverse and unique large mammals, birds and vegetation closely associated with the wildlife species. The wildlife resource and their habitat and physical attractions such as waterfalls, mountains and local communities' culture present extraordinary tourist attraction potential that are important for sustainable conservation of wildlife resources and their habitat, contributing for livelihood improvement of the local community through income diversification schemes. Furthermore, the project has met its management objectives through sharing scientific knowledge among research staff and scientific communities (three articles already published and one 4 in preparation to submit). Furthermore, 9 M.Sc. students attached to this project were trained and graduated with these rated very good and excellent.

  1. V) Recommendations

Participative conservation with the goodwill of people towards wildlife would certainly improve the situation at the ground level and protect the wildlife which has strayed out of their habitats.

The development and creation of alternative livelihood options, through promoting the development of ecotourism, encouraging benefit-sharing, and conservation of natural resources of the areas are very important for the development and sustainable use of ecotourism resources of the study sites.  Developing tourism-related infrastructure, facilities, and services, including quality accommodation (eco-lodges), tourist information centers, adequate medical facilities, shopping centers, internet networks & centers for exchanging foreign currencies, are pertinent for the development and expansion of ecotourism at the destinations. 

Conservation authorities need to make local community beneficiaries from conservation activity and enhance their involvement in management decisions of wildlife resources. Although the majority of respondents had a positive attitude and knowledge about wildlife conservation, there is illegal use of resources from the forests, they kill animals for food, medical purpose, and problem causing wild animals are killed by using poisons and trap as a control method. So the concerned body should create awareness and train other methods of controlling problem-causing animals.

Fish Production Sustainability, Value chain, Fish Food Safety and its Contributions to Food and Nutrition Security; the Case of Lake Hawassa and Rural Sidama Region, Ethiopia

PIs: Derese Tamiru and et al.,2020

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Executive Summary

The major aim of the research project was to assess the fish food safety and quality, contribution of fishery and aquaculture for food and nutrition security, sustainability, and value chain of fish production in open fish market of Lake Hawassa and pond fish in Wensho and Darra woredas of Sidama region. As a result, a total of 1,437 individuals, including fishermen, and women and under-five children of fishing households and consumers participated. Key informant interviews among stakeholders were also approached. The result showed fishery contributes to household food security and women’s nutrition. It contributed to household food security, better fish consumption, and dietary diversity.  The laboratory experiment showed that adding fish to the children’s diet improves ash, fat, and protein contents of the diet if it is added. High commercial values Nile tilapia, (Oreochromis niloticus) fish muscle usually consumed in the market was considered for key food safety and quality assessments. The hypocholesterolemic/hypercholesterolemic ratio was relatively similar in the fried (1.09) and raw (1.02) fish muscles. The n-6/n-3 ratio (7.83), index of atherogenicity (0.85), and thrombogenicity (1.71) in the fried fish muscle were in undesirable values compared with the recommendations.

A higher percentage of Tran’s fatty acid was identified in the fried fish muscle compared with raw.  Beyond these, repeated use of frying oil is becoming familiar practice for cost minimization and there are health-related problems associated with reusing of frying oil. The experimental result indicated that ash, crude fat content, saturated fatty acid, Tran’s fatty acid, free fatty acid content and peroxide value of deep-fried fish were increased with the frying cycle, while the protein, moisture, unsaturated, cis and essential fatty acid were decreased. The heavy metals were below the permissible limits of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization of the United Nations.  The microbial load analysis showed that results were failed in the unsatisfactory category according to the international food standards. So, special attention should be taken from concerned authorities and food handlers.

On the other hand, smallholder farmers’ participation in fish production in the study areas is perceived to be generally very low. Several factors motivated to go for fish production and marketing. In contrary to this, improper fishing gears, absence of adequate fish feed supplier, land shortage, absence of fingerling suppliers lack of awareness, weak institutional support to the producers and technical knowledge regarding how to prepare and feed improved formulated feed, a lack of equipment, unstable predator price, insufficient supply or low capacity of production to attain breakeven (covering all fixed at least), infrastructural problems like a road, electric city, post-harvest loss, poor market information and lack of a permanent market place where some of the constraints. Therefore, improving both fish production and marketing could improve the livelihood of the farmers. The result of the economic viability analysis revealed that pond fish production would be a profitable job if done properly. The Lake has been over-exploited during the past two decades, and the overfishing in turn did cause declining the annual yield of the fisheries of Lake. The rate of exploitation of the stock by fisheries is much faster than it replenishes itself. The majority of the fishermen believe that the amount of fish they produce is decreased; customers are not satisfied in terms of size and amount; fish production is affected by frequent fishing without proper advice. The key informants confirmed the visible ineffective management of the fishery resources as the lake is owned by two regions making it difficult to effectively control the illegal fishermen. 


Corporate Governance, Operations Core Competency, and Firm Performance: A Study in Medium and Large Scale Manufacturing Industry in Ethiopia

PIs:  ObsaTeferi and et al., 2020

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Executive Summary

The crucial role of manufacturing firms in creating employment, wealth accumulation, and poverty alleviation is highly recognized in emerging economies. To maintain sustainable economic growth, firms need to be innovative, competitive and increase firm value. Innovation, among other factors is generally recognized as a powerful engine that enables a firm to be competitive, build market share and increase export performance. However, innovation is not a one-off process rather a gradual process of transforming ideas into marketable products or processes. In this regard, little is known about the drives of innovation and how those drivers collectively influence firm performance, especially based on evidence from medium and large-scale firms operating in developing countries.

The project examines the effect of corporate governance on firm performance and the role of operations core competency (knowledge management and technology management) in enhancing innovation. The project encompasses three sub-components (1) Corporate governance and firm performance, (2) knowledge management and innovation, and (3) technology management and innovation. For the current survey, 200 medium and large-scale manufacturing firms were selected from the total list of 2,610 firms in 2015. A standardized questionnaire with four separate components has been used to obtain data. Of the 200 questionnaires distributed, 153 usable questionnaires of firm performance, knowledge management, and technology management were returned. However, only 120 usable questionnaires on corporate governance were returned. The study was carried out over three consecutive years commencing January 2017.

The research design applied involves descriptive and explanatory. A quantitative approach was used for all sub-components. We have used Structural equation modeling to test the conceptual hypotheses. The measurement model of structural equation modeling has been evaluated for validity, reliability and goodness of model fit based on the recommended statistics and fit indices. The multi-normality and cross-loading assumptions were also performed for all models. The findings of the first sub-component show that board independency and disclosure have a strong positive effect on firm performance. However, boar effectiveness and internal audit effectiveness have a significant negative relation with some constructs of firm performance. The study finds shareholders' role has a direct and indirect significant positive effect on both board effectiveness and firm performance. 

Knowledge management (as operationalized by knowledge acquisition, sharing, conversion, and storage) has a significant positive influence on all dimensions of innovation (product, process, administrative, and marketing). The result also revealed organizational factors (organizational culture and leadership & management support) have a significant positive effect on all knowledge management dimensions. There is a direct and indirect association between organizational factors and innovation. Knowledge sharing best functions in mediating between organizational factors and innovation dimensions. Additionally, technology management (technology process, acquisition, absorption and transfer) has a strong positive effect on technological innovation measures: process, product and method innovations.

The project has brought valuable findings which might help different stakeholders. For example, it will help the target firms to identify efficient methods of promoting innovation.  They would also get a clue on corporate governance mechanisms. Eventually, the result will be used as a reliable source of information for policy makers and other stakeholders who are working in support of medium and large-scale manufacturing firms.

Future Climate Impact Under CMIP5 RCP Scenarios on Maize Water Requirement and Growth Period, Land Suitability Evaluation and Sediment Yield Modeling for Sustainable Land Use Planning and Management: A Case of Lake Hawassa Watershed

PIs:  Rediet Girma and et al., 2021

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Executive summary

The meteorological data were interpolated using high-intensity stations distributed over the Lake Hawassa watershed. Two GCMs (CNRM5 and CSIRO-MK-3-6-0) were used for future climate change projections over the Lake Hawassa watershed under the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios. Therefore, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 were taken to be suitable for studying the impact of climate change over the Lake Hawassa watershed for crop growth period and crop water requirement because they have the ability to consider the moderate and extreme scenarios required for planning a better management strategy. The period from 1980 to 2010 is defined as the baseline period in this study, where the future impact of climate change on the length of growth periods (LGP) and crop water requirement (CWR) are analyzed. Soil physical property analysis was demonstrated to assess the suitability of soil properties for Maize production.

The crop water requirement of Maize, under RCP4.5, is 518.1mm by 2020s, and 528.4mm by 2080s, respectively for the initial growth period. For the same scenario (RCP4.5) Maize shows an increment in the CWR from 2072.4mm to 2213.25mm from the 2020s to the 2080s, respectively. During the late season, there was also a remarkable increment in the CWR of Maize up to the end of the 21st century. The future growing season of the area is projected between April 15 to May 1 onset time and the end of September is the cessation time with LGP ranging between 150-160 days. Even though the future is estimated to be suitable for rain-fed agriculture. In general, comparing the past and the future growing season of the area, there was a time when both Bega (between October and February) and Belg (stays from March to May) remained mostly not operational for the rain-fed agriculture, but the future is anticipated to be suitable for rain-fed agriculture during Kiremt (stays from June to September). There is also a considerable change in the onset time from April to May and offset time from September to October and a decrease in the length of the growing season is an early warning that requires redesigning the traditional agricultural practice and utilizing the anticipated rainfall optimally for the future periods.

Land is one of the most important natural resources, and maintaining it in good health, is very much needed for meeting out the increasing demands. Land degradation is severe in the Lake Hawassa catchment so a high sediment inflow rate and the increasing trend of runoff from the watershed are delivered to the Lake manifested by land-use changes, deforestation, misuse of land resources and/or unsustainable use of land. Thereby, biophysical and socio-economic land suitability analysis is a prerequisite for sustainable agricultural practices. It is of dominant importance to identify and assess suitable land for various uses in a sustainable manner by optimizing land resource utilization while causing minimum impact on the environment. It is, therefore, vital to identify, analyze, describe and prioritize problems linked with land-use practices to set development objectives and key interventions/actions based on the findings of this project in order to address all components and factors affecting the characteristics and functioning of the watershed.

The study was generally comprised of the following major objectives/sub-components: Impacts of climate change under CMIP5 RCP scenarios on maize water requirement and growth period, a case of Lake Hawassa watershed; Evaluating biophysical parameters for land suitability study in Lake Hawassa watershed, Ethiopia: a methodological study for agricultural land use planning and management; Comprehensive socio-economic land evaluation for land use planning and sustainable land management: the case study of Lake Hawassa Watershed, Ethiopia; Mapping runoff and sediment yield susceptibility of the Lake Hawassa Watershed, Ethiopia.

The methodology followed for the respective component is summarized as follows: Impacts of climate change under CMIP5 RCP scenarios on maize water requirement and growth period (component 1) was conducted by using CMIP5 model outputs of CNRM and SCIRO under RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 scenarios. Biophysical land suitability analysis (i.e., resource surveys and interpretation) was attained using ArcGIS version 10.7.1. The socio-economic analysis was carried out using VIKOR-AHP method developed as a Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) to solve problems with conflicting or non-commensurable criteria. Hence, socio-economic criteria will be weighted, and alternatives are ranked using the integrated VIKOR-AHP method. The fourth component focuses on the amount of the runoff and sediment yield from the Hawassa lakes watershed using SWAT model, and asses/evaluates the relationship between the runoff and sediment yields. Finally, outputs from each component were documented and monitored for future decision-making processes and possible interventions.


Assessing the carbon stock potentials, land degradation processes, and Impact of climate change on Hydrology and Watershed Prioritization in Lake Hawassa Watershed, Ethiopia

Zemede Mulushewa et al., 2020

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Ethiopia is one of the countries most affected by severe degradation of natural resources, including deforestation, soil erosion, and climate change, and shrinking and disappearing of water bodies. The rates of soil erosion and land degradation are frighteningly high. Crop and livestock production and energy supply situations are at risk. The human health situation is dreadful. As a consequence, drought, low agricultural productivity, and food insecurity are common features of the country.

Lake Hawassa watershed is located within the Central Main Ethiopian Rift Valle. Geographically the watershed lies between 6o49’N to 7o15’N latitude and 38 o17’E to 38o 44’E longitude.  Lake Hawassa is a fresh closed lake playing an important role in the lives of many people in the SNNPR. Despite its importance in a wide spectrum of purposes, the Lake Hawassa Watershed is under serious threat due to anthropogenic factors. It has bitterly experienced the consequences of severe loss of forest cover while recurrent drought and crop failure, loss of topsoil, and land degradation are common in the watershed. This all has resulted in severe land degradation, reduction in agricultural productivity, and siltation of Lake Hawassa. This will have a profound impact not only on the natural resource base but also on the livelihoods of the farmers confined within the wide plains and mountainous landscapes surrounding the lake.

It is, therefore, vital to identify, analyze, describe and prioritize problems of the watershed to set development objectives and key interventions/actions in order to address all components and factors affecting the characteristics and functioning of the watershed.

 The proposed study will comprise four components:

  • Estimating and mapping carbon Stock to mitigate climate change across different LULC by using remote sensing and ground truth in Lake Hawassa watershed, Ethiopia
  • Evaluating the Impact of Land use/cover conversion on Run-off, Soil Loss, and Sediment Yield Response Using Geospatial Technology in Lake Hawassa watershed;
  • Evaluation of climate change impact on the hydrology of Lake Hawassa watershed, Ethiopia.
  • Watershed Prioritization based on Morphometric Parameters and Land Use/Land Cover Analysis: The Case Study of Lake Hawassa Watershed, Ethiopia

Finally, all outputs (i.e., LULC, soil erosion, carbon stock, sub-watershed prioritization and climate change impact on the hydrology interpolation) of each component will be mapped and monitored by using a web GIS-based integrated approach to make Lake Hawassa watershed for better management of watershed.  

The methodology to be followed for the respective component is presented in the following sections in detail.  Estimating and mapping carbon stock potential to mitigate climate change by using remote sensing and ground truth (component 1) will be conducted by using high-resolution satellite images (i.e. object-based image analysis) and the ground survey method.  Estimating soil erosion and runoff modeling via using Geospatial Technology will be performed by using Landsat TM imagery, AVSWAT model integrated with remote sensing, soil map, runoff data, and related materials/methods as presented in (component 2). Watershed Prioritization based on Morphometric Parameters and LULC (sub-project 3) will be done by using geospatial technology and ground truth data as presented in respective sub-project methodology sections. Evaluating climate change's impact on the hydrology of the Lake Hawassa watershed will be done by evaluating all water balance components in detail and the CC impact will be projected until the end of the 21st century (see more details in Sub-project 4). Finally, the output of components 1-4 will be mapped and monitored for future and updated technology use in a web-GIS-based integrated mapping and monitoring of LULC, soil erosion and carbon stock of Lake Hawassa Watershed. 

The overall objective of this study is to estimate/ map carbon stock, soil erosion and runoff modeling, prioritize watershed and evaluate climate change's impact on hydrology; furthermore, to identify suitable interventions in Lake Hawassa watershed.  

Therefore, for successful and sustainable watershed management, an integrated and participatory approach is necessary to accomplish essentially different objectives and address the agendas of different stakeholders with a collaborative watershed vision and holistic focus on challenges and opportunities prevailing in the Lake Hawassa watershed.

As a consequence, the watershed development plan has become mandatory, and integrated watershed management based on morphometric and LULC parameter analysis to recognize the overall status of the watershed will be required.

Internet GIS combines the advantages of both GIS and the Internet. Geographic information can be distributed in a variety of forms on the Internet. Moreover, as Internet technology takes to progress, web-based GIS applications also change. The terms web GIS and web mapping remain somewhat synonymous. Web GIS uses web maps, and end-users who are web mapping are gaining analytical capabilities. Web mapping is the process of using maps delivered by geographical information systems (GIS). Most of the maps display information about the natural resources available around. A web map on the World Wide Web is both served and consumed, thus, web mapping is more than just web cartography, it is a service by which consumers may choose what the map will show. 

The exponential Internet growth and the global connectivity reached in the last few years have had a great impact on the requirements of contemporary and next-generation information systems. Fundamental characteristics include efficient data access, delivery over the Web, heterogeneity, and interoperability.  The primary focus of Internet/Web use for mass distribution and presentation of public information has moved to the distribution of software services over intranet, extranet and Internet. Next-generation information systems are going to be assembled of specialized Web services (components) that are self-contained, self-describing, modular applications that can be published, located, and invoked across the Web using a wide spectrum of Web-enabled stationery (desktops, workstations, Web TV) and mobile devices (PDAs, mobile phones, laptops, handheld computers.  

Thus, Integrated and participatory watershed development is managed and developed eco-friendly to other natural resources, which are capable of addressing many natural, social and environmental intricacies.  However, in the Lake Hawassa watershed the farmers and most of the stakeholders were not aware of the major constraints for the increasing potential of the watershed specifically in terms of carbon trading, natural and environmental aspects. Therefore, in order to break these intertwined problems, integrated and participatory watershed management and development-oriented research is required.

The general objective of this study is estimating and mapping Carbon stock to Mitigate Climate Change by using remote sensing and ground truth; estimating Soil Erosion and Runoff Modeling via using Geospatial Technology and mapping/ monitoring lake watershed for a better future via a web-GIS based integrated of LULC, soil erosion and carbon stock.

Health, Economic and Legal Burdens of Road Traffic Injury (Rti) in Selected Hospitals in Southern Region, Ethiopia

PIs: Gemechu Kediro et al., 2019

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Executive Summary

Road traffic injuries (RTIs) were responsible for millions of deaths and disabilities, various psychosocial and economic crises globally, with the highest incidence in developing countries.  However, the magnitude of RTIs, their risk factors, and outcomes impact on physical, social, mental, and economic aspects of the individual is not well addressed in the study area. In this context, the main objectives of this project are to determine the magnitude and characteristics, treatment outcomes, incidence and predictors of psychiatric morbidities, socioeconomic costs; gaps, and challenges in the legal framework for redressing economic and moral losses of victims of road traffic injury (RTI) in selected public hospitals in Southern Ethiopia.

In this research, an institution-based mixed study design (both quantitative and qualitative methods) was employed according to the specific objectives of the study from April 1st 2017, to March 30th, 2019. All injured victims presented to selected public hospitals in Southern Ethiopia were the study population. A random sampling technique using the entry point to the triage seat was used as a sampling frame to assess the incidence of RTIs, then victims with RTIs were taken for the rest of the studies. The total sample size was 423, using single population proportion formula with p=50%. Doctrinal and non-doctrinal legal research methods were also employed to examine the policy and legal frameworks governing RTIs. Victims were selected for in-depth-interview purposefully until the data was saturated.  Death on arrival, victims of injury with repeated attendance, injured cases that need immediate transfers to other hospitals during the day of the data collection, and injury involving a stationary vehicle (e.g., persons getting injured while washing or loading a vehicle) were excluded from the study.

Hence, almost half (50.4%) of the injuries were induced by motorcycles, followed by Minibus (21.3%) and Bajaj (15.3%). The findings of multivariate analysis showed that the type of road and weather conditions were significantly associated with motorcycle accident injuries. More than half (54.7%) of the victims received first pre-hospital care, whereas the vast majority (82.7%) was provided by other road users and pedestrians, where the quality of care can be questionable.  Among victims, 17.7% have developed complications following injury. A quarter (23.9%) of the respondents were dissatisfied with the care received at hospitals. About 12% had depression, and 27.6% had a common mental disorder. Above quarter (26.9%) of participants use substances in the past 3 months. The magnitude of post-traumatic stress disorder was 15.4%. Factors associated with PTSD for RTA survivors are duration since accident (<30 days), history of previous road traffic accident, depression and common mental disorder (CMDs).


Quality of Education at Primary and Secondary Level: Assessment, Interventions, and Improvement

PIs: Dr Abraham Tulu et al.  2020

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Executive Summary 

This is a mega thematic research project which aimed to investigate the trends, practices and challenges in ensuring the quality of education in the primary and secondary levels of Sidama Zone and Hawassa City Administration. It was conducted from September 2016 to December 30, 219 G.C. The project had four interconnected sub-projects whose investigations were carried out independently. These were practices of educational leadership, teachers’ Pedagogical Competencies in lesson delivery (Especially on Natural Science, Mathematics and English Language), practices and problems of educational supervision and learners’ assessment.

The study was employed a descriptive survey design to collect, process, analyzes and presents the data. The design was preferred for its strength in giving detailed explanations of the existing phenomenon in educational settings. The study was conducted in selected schools from all Sidama zone Woredas/ districts and Hawassa city administration.  In the study area, there were 19 rural Woreds and 4 city administrations. The schools in the setting were clustered into five: Bensa cluster, Aletawondo cluster, Dale cluster Hawassa Zuria and Hawassa city administration cluster of which two preparatory, secondary and three primary schools, which were involved in the study.

The subjects of the study were primary and secondary school students, teachers, department heads, school principals, vice-principals, school supervisors, Woreda Education Office, Zone and City Administration Education Department quality assurance experts and heads currently working in study areas.  A total of 388 (179 primary & 131 secondary) teachers were selected by simple random sampling technique to fill the questionnaire. Similarly, using the same sampling technique, 600 primary, 350 secondary and preparatory school students were selected and involved in the research. Likewise, 156 school principals, 54 supervisors and 24 experts participated in the study.

The data-gathering instruments were questionnaires and classroom observation. A pilot study was conducted to ensure the validity and reliability of the instruments before the actual data collection. Regarding the data analysis, both quantitative and qualitative data analysis techniques were employed. To analyze the quantitative data, both descriptive and inferential statistics were used, depending on the nature of the basic questions. The descriptive analysis such as mean score, frequency, standard deviation, and percentage were used to guide the analysis of the data. In addition, the quantitative data was analyzed through inferential statistics like ANOVA and regression analysis. Unlike the quantitative data, to the qualitative data, the researchers used qualitative narrative written techniques and gave attention to quotations from the respondents.

The findings are categorized in sub-projects. Accordingly, regarding the practice of educational leadership, school leaders fail to properly discharge their leadership practices/roles for improving the quality of education as revealed by most of the respondents that their performance in all the four dimensions i.e., setting direction”, “developing people”, “redesigning the organization”, and “managing the instructional programs” was minimal or low. In addition, it was confirmed that school leaders’ practice in applying leadership skills such as understanding needs and characteristics of the staff, knowing and using resources, communication, planning, controlling group performance, and evaluation was poor or below average.

The findings of teachers’ Pedagogical Competencies in lesson delivery (Especially in Natural Science, Mathematics, and English Language) revealed that teachers’ competence in planning status, which helps learners to achieve better in the academic subjects mentioned, is in good. The other basic component of the pedagogical practice is the teachers’ competence on lesson delivery. Here, although teachers claim that they are good in lesson delivery, the learners disclosed that teachers have critical problems in lesson delivery. As the results from classroom observation are in line with the learners’ views, lesson delivery is one of the critical areas which require intervention so as to improve the learner's performance in the school subjects indicated above. Both the teachers and the learners in the case of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, and only students in general pedagogy and English language, indicated that the practice of supporting students is poor. Since the data from observation backed the students' view, it can be concluded that the teachers are not supporting students learning.

The findings related to educational supervision disclosed that the school supervisors were not competent enough in fulfilling their roles and responsibilities. This implies that quality education in primary and secondary schools of Sidama Zone is deteriorated and needs improvement in enabling supervisors to fulfill their supervisory roles. Concerning the Support provided by the supervisors, the finding of the study revealed that the supervisors of primary and secondary schools of the Sidama Zone were unable to support teachers’ professional development and students’ academic achievement. Moreover, regarding supervisors’ behavior, skills, and experience, this study revealed that the supervisors’ behavior, skills, and experience were at the lowest level, and they were ineffective. And, with regard to perceived problems affecting supervision services, the findings of the study disclosed that the problems related to teachers were relatively found high compared to others.

The component of the fourth sub-project is related to learners’ assessment. Thus, the findings indicated that due to attitude-related challenges, it is not practical to implement continuous assessment in large classes and students become nervous and uncomfortable while teachers assess their performance frequently. What is more, of the four challenges for continuous assessment (CA) implementation, factors only attitude and school factors were the significant predictors of the effective implementation of CA procedures.

Generally, the findings revealed that education at primary and secondary levels in the study area was experiencing various challenges which were contributing to the deterioration of the quality of education. This can be expressed in terms of the competence of key professionals in the schools' system, the ground practice, and the trends in assessing learners. The key professionals such as principals, supervisors, and teachers perceived themselves as competent ones, whereas the existing practice and their immediate beneficiaries' responses indicated that their professional competence is very much low/ below the expected standard. The study also disclosed that most of professionals are not interested in discharging their responsibilities. Moreover, apart from competence-related limitations, attitude-related challenges are significantly affecting the implementation of continuous assessment in the schools' context.

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