The Akaki River Basin, the pilot region for the Ethiopian Collaboratory, is located in the central Ethiopian highlands. The ‘Tinishu’ (little), and ‘Tiliku’ (big) Akaki rivers flow through Addis Ababa before joining at Lake Aba Samuel, a manmade reservoir.
Research carried out by the Ethiopian team shows that water quality substantially deteriorates down the Akaki river, with different sources contributing to the pollution levels along its course, including livestock farming, poor treatment and sanitation, and industry.
Communities living in the basin use the water for different purposes, such as drinking and washing. The water is also used for irrigation, mainly for growing vegetables, posing a rising health risk to producers and consumers.
The main challenges faced in the Akaki basin are the gaps and challenges in governance mechanisms – there is a strong need for more evidence-based policies and practises, and for cohesion between multiple stakeholders. The Ethiopian team hope to be able to generate knowledge and evidence for informed decision making, and to contribute to improving management of water systems.
Take a look at some of the work carried out by the team so far in this video.