4kilo

Environment and sustainable development an Ethiopian perspective

Sir Charlie Chaplin Speaks!

Posted by 4kilo on October 17, 2007

This is not Joke!

Posted in Society | 6 Comments »

The Talk of tolerance!

Posted by 4kilo on October 9, 2007

While observing the current political atmosphere… it is disappointing to note that we are still in such intolerable hate politics.One might not be surprised the way the Pro-TPLF website,Aigaforum, is posting, death treats against CUD leaders,talk of revoking their citizenship.All these is simply because CUD leaders supported the bill HR2003,the Ethiopian democracy and accountability act,which they thought will help in consolidating the democratization process in the country. They have started to think as if we are a commodity to be re-named or thrown out whenever they feel like it and again this is in addition to all kinds of abuses,human right violations,mass detentions,extra judicial killings,abstraction of justice,crime against humanity,killing of women and children,peaceful protesters in streets of Addis and in recent times in mass starvation,burning villages,raping women and children,denying access to medical treatment etc….to Ethiopians in the Ogaden area as claimed by various human right organizations,aid agencices etc their master’s are perpetuating against innocent civilians and remember these are the same people who are/were talking about tolerance,democracy,millennium,reconciliation …. if and when the senate passes HR2003 bill who knows how they will respond? time will tell.

Posted in Politics | Leave a Comment »

My recent Addis Visit

Posted by 4kilo on September 2, 2007

Addis Ababa being the socio,economic and political capital of Ethiopia,as is the whole nation, is facing all kinds of challenges.The ever growing number of its residents,lack of Transportation system,Sanitation and Waste disposal,environmental pollution,Housing ,modern communication and information system infrastructures but most importantly lack of visionary leadership has exacerbated its problems. a brief look into some of the above stated challenges,will give us a hint up to how much we should be worried in the future of our beloved city.

  • it is unthinkable to satisfy public transport by just few thousand taxis and public buses for a city of millions as Addis Ababa.There must be other means of transportation as subway train system ,other electric driven city buses etc.At present the city may not afford to built all these infrastructures but we should be able to see the city is going in to the right directions.
  • I am not mistaken when i say there are no sanitation and waste disposal system in the capital.Off course, there are few sewerage systems that drain into the nearest river crossing the city or to streams within the city.It is also common to see sewer flowing right by your door step in the middle of the day.It is not a matter of spending billions to make it right that is needed, it is a change in peoples attitude that must be changed too.
  • Housing is the other big problem.If you are a college graduate or even have five or ten years of experience ,you can’t still afford to rent a dissent home let alone owning it.These problem can only addressed only if the private sector is actively involved.The government can make deal with private investors in real estate business so that they can provide affordable services to the public.At present, you have to invest millions if you try to purchase a house from one of private real estate developers.It is very frustrating to note that the government is trying to control every aspect of our lives.Why is everything have to be done by the government? which results, time and again, total mess in both quality and quantity.
  • although,the road density in the city is the smallest even when compared to neighboring countries capitals,Addis Ababa leads in the number of traffic accidents.Officially, the city roads are owned by Addis Ababa Roads Authority ,however in practice the roads doesn’t seem to have owner,one can simply see roads which are constructed just a few years back are highly damaged including the ring road which suffers from faulty design,construction work and miss management.Roads of such type,flexible pavements with butmen surfacing and selected material fill as sub base are basically designed with great protection from storm water . Routine maintenance works which may involve single person with normal hand tool should have been enough in most cases to save most common road damages in the city.Unfortunately,during rain season sometimes it is very difficult to differentiate between the road and storm water drainage.why is these happening?somebody must be responsible for all these basic in tolerable mistakes.Another sad fact is the general public attitude and usage of the roads by both the pedestrians and drivers…….why don’t people use the crossing bridges over the ring road instead risk their life and try to cross an 80km/hr freeway? more on addis soon….

Posted in Society | 1 Comment »

Thinking blogger Award!

Posted by 4kilo on May 23, 2007

 

Filwehapundit has recently awarded my blog and it is with great honor that i accept the award
.It encourage me to do more out of my busy schedule. Thank you for noticing my posts.Obvisouly i need to do a lot.I would like in return to dedicate this ‘ thinking blogger’ banner to all those bloggers who are pro-democracy and concerned bloggers about environment.

Posted in Society | 2 Comments »

May God bless his soul!

Posted by 4kilo on May 7, 2007

Anthiny Mitchell

The Death of Anthony Mitchell,AP’s Ethiopia reporter since 2003 until his expulsion by the notorious then Information Minister,Bereket Simon, is really a big loss to Ethiopia and Africa in General.I had to wait till officials confirm his death partly because i don’t want to believe his death as he was really good to Ethiopians.A few days before this tragic accident i put Alan Johnston, BBC’s Gaza reporter, picture in the side bar in protest to his continued detention by Palestinian kidnappers not knowing this tragedy will happen to our hero,Anthony Mitchell.May God bless his soul!

Posted in Society | 31 Comments »

Going against the country or Opposing a government?

Posted by 4kilo on May 2, 2007

I see no difference between these so called news agencies and disinformation centers: Walta or ENA or Aiga or Radio Fana or Reporter(it was okay till election day) and Ethiopian Review yes Ethiopian review! trying to oppose or criticize or condemn a brutal regime is one thing but going against the very country that we love and trying to protect is totally different thing.Over all, the brave ONLF fighters should be congratulated for a job well donewhat? for killing civilans? it is not just only that even advising terroristsInstead, cut off Woyanne supply lines. Try to also cut off the roads from Ethiopia to Djibouti and Kenya so that the Woyanne terrorist regime cannot continue to import weapons from North Korea who do you think will suffer most?When Dagmawi first call ethiopian review as ‘unscrupulous, hate-mongering websites’ I was shocked but now it seems he was right.Ethiopian review have been doing great in informing ethiopians and exposing the regime in Ethiopia. In fact you can easily notice its impact on the pro-EPRDF websites as they are busy attacking his website even by creating sites similar to its name and create confusions. I think they are succeeded now.But there is still time to correct mistakes.

Having saying this perhaps i should also appreciate some of Ethiopian blogs and news sites where i learn and get reliable news from.

Ethiopundit has always been my inspiration just reading a single post is not enough for me i had to read it word by word with my friends and even make hard copy each of the posts. Weichegud another excellent blog please do continue where are you anyway i have been waiting since December last year.Meskel square has been at the center of Ethiopian blogsphere thank you for that.Ethio-Zagol is now adays a must see blog may be more than twice a day .many other wonderful Ethiopian blogs some of them are stated in my blogroll are becoming increasingly relevant to Ethiopian politics and general out look. Ethiomedia thank you for your consistency please keep it up.I think a day will come and we will blog without fear even when we are thousands of miles away from home.

Posted in Politics | 21 Comments »

Bottled water as an Environmental problem

Posted by 4kilo on April 29, 2007

”Bottled water” according to IBWA code of practice, means water that is intended for human consumption and that is sealed in bottles or other containers with no added ingredients except that it may optionally contain safe and suitable antimicrobial agents.It is newly growing business in Ethiopia.People barely knew other than Ambo mineral water before the 1990’s.The success of Highland natural spring water was easily noticed by other investors and now different other brands are available in the market. The introduction of bottled water into market and success in the local market is a good news to Ethiopia only if it is utilized in accordance with principles of sustainable utilization of resources.

The demand for bottled water is likely to rise significantly and export to neighboring countries even to middle east and beyond is an increasingly growing possibility.Water has become increasingly a scarce resource which has to be utilized carefully keeping the water balance or hydrological cycle.Catchment re-charge during rainy season,annual production and total natural water reserve in the area has to be balanced to avoid depletion and pollution.Investor’s in this sector should play major role in making sure the water source is protected and the production is in accordance with catchment yield.They are also expected to sponsor,motivate and even organize different environment clubs and create public awareness in this regard.This also includes how to dispose used plastic bottles.

Bottled water has advantage over tap water as it encourages saving and is clean or at least easy to keep it clean and off course it is easy to handle and manage.But this advantage has come at cost of environment.I hope business in Ethiopia will play significant role in addressing the environmental issues which apparently is becoming and ever growing treat to our environment.Here is an interesting article from ‘oneworld.net’ titled Bottled Water: A Global Environmental Problem”

Consumers spend a collective $100 billion every year on bottled water in the belief—often mistaken—that it is better for us than what flows from our taps. Worldwide, bottled water consumption surged to 41 billion gallons in 2004, up 57 percent since 1999.

“Even in areas where tap water is safe to drink, demand for bottled water is increasing—producing unnecessary garbage and consuming vast quantities of energy,” reports Earth Policy Institute researcher Emily Arnold. Although in much of the world, including Europe and the U.S., more regulations govern the quality of tap water than bottled water, bottled water can cost up to 10,000 times more. At up to $10 per gallon, bottled water costs more than gasoline in the United States.
“There is no question that clean, affordable drinking water is essential to the health of our global community,” Arnold asserts, “But bottled water is not the answer in the developed world, nor does it solve problems for the 1.1 billion people who lack a secure water supply. Improving and expanding existing water treatment and sanitation systems is more likely to provide safe and sustainable sources of water over the long term.” Members of the United Nations have agreed to halve the proportion of people who lack reliable and lasting access to safe drinking water by the year 2015. To meet this goal, they would have to double the $15 billion spent every year on water supply and sanitation. While this amount may seem large, it pales in comparison to the estimated $100 billion spent each year on bottled water.

Tap water comes to us through an energy-efficient infrastructure whereas bottled water is transported long distances—often across national borders—by boat, train, airplane, and truck. This involves burning massive quantities of fossil fuels.

For example, in 2004 alone a Helsinki company shipped 1.4 million bottles of Finnish tap water 2,700 miles to Saudi Arabia. And although 94 percent of the bottled water sold in the U.S. is produced domestically, many Americans import water shipped some 9,000 kilometers from Fiji and other faraway places to satisfy demand for what Arnold terms “chic and exotic bottled water.”

More fossil fuels are used in packaging the water. Most water bottles are made with polyethylene terephthalate, a plastic derived from crude oil. “Making bottles to meet Americans’ demand alone requires more than 1.5 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel some 100,000 U.S. cars for a year,” Arnold notes.

Once it has been emptied, the bottle must be dumped. According to the Container Recycling Institute, 86 percent of plastic water bottles used in the United States become garbage or litter. Incinerating used bottles produces toxic byproducts such as chlorine gas and ash containing heavy metals tied to a host of human and animal health problems. Buried water bottles can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade.

Worldwide, some 2.7 million tons of plastic are used to bottle water each year. Of the bottles deposited for recycling in 2004, the U.S. exported roughly 40 percent to destinations as far away as China, requiring yet more fossil fuel.
Meanwhile, communities where the water originates risk their sources running dry. More than fifty Indian villages have complained of water shortages after bottlers began extracting water for sale under the Coca-Cola Corporation’s Dasani label. Similar problems have been reported in Texas and in the Great Lakes region of North America, where farmers, fishers, and others who depend on water for their livelihoods are suffering from concentrated water extraction as water tables drop quickly.

While Americans consume the most bottled water per capita, some of the fastest collective growth in consumption is in the giant populations of Mexico, India, and China. As a whole, India’s consumption of bottled water increased threefold from 1999 to 2004, while China’s more than doubled.

While private companies’ profits rise from selling bottled water of questionable quality at more than $100 billion per year—more efficiently regulated, waste-free municipal systems could be implemented for distribution of safe drinking water for all the peoples of the world—at a small fraction of the price.

Posted in Environment | 4 Comments »

Waiting On The World To Change

Posted by 4kilo on April 21, 2007

 

This is one of my favorite songs by Mayor,John from his album ‘Waiting on the world to change’ below is the lyrics and you can also use youtube link next to it to watch.

 

Waiting On The World To Change

 

me and all my friends

we’re all misunderstood

they say we stand for nothing and

there’s no way we ever could

now we see everything that’s going wrong

with the world and those who lead it

we just feel like we don’t have the means

to rise above and beat it

 

so we keep waiting

waiting on the world to change

we keep on waiting

waiting on the world to change

 

it’s hard to beat the system

when we’re standing at a distance

so we keep waiting

waiting on the world to change

now if we had the power

to bring our neighbors home from war

they would have never missed a Christmas

no more ribbons on their door

and when you trust your television

what you get is what you got

cause when they own the information, oh

they can bend it all they want

 

that’s why we’re waiting

waiting on the world to change

we keep on waiting

waiting on the world to change

 

it’s not that we don’t care,

we just know that the fight ain’t fair

so we keep on waiting

waiting on the world to change

 

and we’re still waiting

waiting on the world to change

we keep on waiting waiting on the world to change

one day our generation

is gonna rule the population

so we keep on waiting

waiting on the world to change

 

we keep on waiting

waiting on the world to change

 

Posted in Culture | 1 Comment »

Internet and Mobile subscribers

Posted by 4kilo on April 16, 2007

Ethiopia’s performance with regard to internet subscribers is frustrating ,with only 2 subscribers per 1000 people , is the lowest even among other fragile states . Ethiopia continues to hit bottom also in mobile and land line subscribers according to World bank ‘Global Monitoring report 2007’. This isn’t really fair for a country which had telephone service even earlier than Japan.At this time of civilization where information is everything, keeping Ethiopians in the darkness is the worst crime one can do to its own people.We all know even the two subscribers alleged to have enjoyed internet connection are using a dial up connection with the slowest possible connection speed with censorship.In this regard Ethiopia is currently performing as Iraq and Afghanistan.The much needed development and the poverty reduction strategies will only be effective if only people are informed and use them accordingly.

Millennium development goals country profile and Global Monitoring Report 2007 only confirms we are far from the would be targets.

Posted in Development | 3 Comments »

Spotting the Losers: Seven Signs of Non-Competitive States

Posted by 4kilo on April 10, 2007

”……….For countries and cultures that not only restrict but actively reject information that contradicts governmental or cultural verities, even a fully industrialized society remains an unattainable dream. Information is more essential to economic progress than an assured flow of oil. In fact, unearned, “found” wealth is socially and economically cancerous, impeding the development of healthy, enduring socioeconomic structures and values. If you want to guarantee an underdeveloped country’s continued inability to perform competitively, grant it rich natural resources. The sink-or-swim poverty of northwestern Europe and Japan may have been their greatest natural advantage during their developmental phases. As the Shah learned and Saudi Arabia is proving, you can buy only the products, not the productiveness, of another civilization.

States that censor information will fail to compete economically, culturally, and militarily in the long run. The longer the censorship endures, the longer the required recovery time. Even after the strictures have been lifted, information-deprived societies must play an almost-hopeless game of catch-up.”

I first read this paper some four years ago from US army war college quarterly -spring 1998 edition by Ralph Peters .According to the paper the seven factors shown below among others will indicate performance of states.It continues as follows:

”…………..Traditional indicators of noncompetitive performance still apply: corruption (the most seductive activity humans can consummate while clothed); the absence of sound, equitably enforced laws; civil strife; or government attempts to overmanage a national economy. As change has internationalized and accelerated, however, new predictive tools have emerged. They are as simple as they are fundamental, and they are rooted in culture. The greater the degree to which a state–or an entire civilization–succumbs to these “seven deadly sins” of collective behavior, the more likely that entity is to fail to progress or even to maintain its position in the struggle for a share of the world’s wealth and power. Whether analyzing military capabilities, cultural viability, or economic potential, these seven factors offer a quick study of the likely performance of a state, region, or population group in the coming century.

The Seven Factors

These key “failure factors” are:

  • Restrictions on the free flow of information.
  • The subjugation of women.
  • Inability to accept responsibility for individual or collective failure.
  • The extended family or clan as the basic unit of social organization.
  • Domination by a restrictive religion.
  • A low valuation of education.
  • Low prestige assigned to work.”

How much do you think Ethiopia will score? of course as a loser? you can read the whole paper here

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment »