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March 2012

Lake Ziway   (published in Ethiopia)

March 30, 2012 by   Comments(0)



Lake Ziway


Lake Ziway, known in the local language of Oromifa as Hara Dembel, is the largest lake in Ethiopia’s Central Rift Valley and is home to thriving bird populations, resident hippos, and tilapia fish – delicious served grilled with lime!

Five volcanic islands dot Lake Ziway’s surface, with hiking trails, forests, and ancient monasteries to discover. Tulu Gudo is the largest island and is famed for once acting as the hiding place of the Ark of the Covenant. The story goes that King Menelik I, the son of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon, brought the powerful relic to Ethiopia in the 4th century B.C. Hidden deep within the Saint Mary Zion Church’s sacred Holy of Holies in Aksum, the Ark rested peacefully until the 10th century when the violent campaigns of warrior-Queen Yodit Gudit threatened to destroy it. Queen Gudit, the then ruler of Aksum, was known for her destruction of Christian churches, and her crusade to exterminate the rulers of the Axumite dynasty. To protect the Ark, it was carried far south to the island now known as Tulu Gudo, where it remained for some 70 years before being safely returned to Aksum. Those that brought the Ark to Tulu Gudo became known as the Zay people, the guardians of the Ark. 

Lake Ziway holds adventures for both culture and nature lovers alike. Due to its important role in Ethiopian Christian history, Tulu Gudo’s Maryan Tsion monastery boasts a number of manuscripts dating back over 1,000 years, that are said to have accompanied the Ark on its journey to the island. For nature lovers, Lake Ziway offers a fantastic variety of aquatic and arboreal bird species on its islands, shoreline, and neighbouring forests. Highlights include the Sacred Ibis, Hammer Kop, and Long-tailed Starling as well as a host of endemic and near-endemic species including the Black-headed Forest Oriole, Abyssinian Catbird, Yellow Fronted Parrot, Black-winged Lovebird, Wattled Ibis,and Thick-billed Raven. 

Source Internet

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Lake Ziway
Lake Ziway

ETHIOPIA RIFT VALLEY LAKES   (published in Ethiopia)

March 28, 2012 by   Comments(0)


Lake Ziway is one of the freshwater Rift Valley lakes of Ethiopia. It is located about 167km (60 miles) south of Addis Ababa, on the border between the regions of Oromia and the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples. The town of Ziway lies on the lake’s western shore.
Lake Ziway measure 25 kilometers long and 20 kilometers wide, with a surface area of 434 square kilometers. It has a maximum depth of 4 meters and located at an elevation of 1,846 meters. There are five islands which include Debre Sina, Galila, Bird Island and, perhaps most notably Tullu Gudo, home to a monastery said to have housed the Ark of the Covenant around the ninth century. The lake is fed primarily by two rivers, the Meki and the Katar, but does not always have an outflow.
The lake is known for its population of birds and hippopotamuses as well as supports a fishing industry; according to the Ethiopian Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, 2,454 tones of fish are landed each year, which the department estimates is 83% of its sustainable amount.
Source Internet
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Zumra Nuru, the founder and Co-Chair of Awramba Community   (published in Ethiopia)

March 26, 2012 by   Comments(0)

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 4, 2009 ( -- Zumra Nuru never got a chance to go to school. He cannot read or write. However, as a child, he was a very inquisitive kid. When he was 2 years old, he questioned his mother about religion. One day, he ate a piece of meat from one of his Christian neighbors. This offended his Muslim family, including his mother. His mother snatched the meat from him and threw it away. He was very sorry and asked his mother, “why can’t I have that meat?”

His mother replied “it belongs to Christian people”. Zumra asked “What is Christian, are they not human beings?” His mom replied, “Yes, they are.” Zumra followed on, “Are we not human beings as well?” And his mother replied “Yes we are human beings, too.” “So why can’t we have the same meat?” Zumra asked. His mother could not reply.


When he turned 4 years old, he started questioning about the behavior of human beings. He observed the unfairness on gender inequality, maltreatment of the elderly, labor exploitation, cruel punishment of children, and dishonest dealings among people.

When he brought various questions that bothered him inside the house, his parents and relatives considered him mentally ill person. When he turned 13 he was thrown out of his family house. At the age of 20,he decided to travel to places to preach his ideology. In 1980(E.C.), he founded the then 19 member association called Awramba Community. At that time, this group was ostracized by the society and its followers considered radicals. At some point, they were forced to flee their homes, their land confisicated, and their leader, Numra Nuru, arrested for several months.

Awramba was founded in Fogera Woreda in southern Gonder zone of the Amhara Regional State. Currently, the community has 403 members in 109 households, living over 17 heactars of land. The Awramba Community has its own rules and regulations. Formulated by Zumra, the community has four pillars of rules for its society. These are Gender equity; the right of children; the principle of helping the less fortunate, ill and old; and the principle of discouraging dishonesty, lying, murder and stealing.

The Awramba Community does not follow any religion, and they believe in honesty and love for all human beings – this is their religion. Children and women are respected and equal to male adults. They have home-tutors for children from 3-5 years and a library (out of mud hut) and few classrooms. When Zumra is asked about ethnic or religious affiliations he simply says “we belong to every ethnic group; not one or the other; after all, we are creatures of one God (whatever you name it), and we only have one father. How can we choose one while we can have it all?”

Eden Habtamu of Ezega News met with Zumra Nuru, 62, and his wife Enani Kibret, 35, and interviewed them at a hotel in Addis Ababa. Zumra was on visit to Addis Ababa after being invited by Addis Ababa University students to share his experience. I am very pleased to have you for my interview, would you please introduce yourself, where were you born and where did you grow up?

Zumra: I am Zumra Nuru, the founder and co-chairperson of the Awramba Community. I was born in Tsimada Wogeda. I grew up in Esti Woreda in Gonder. What led you to come up with such astonishing ideas and to form this exemplary community?

Zumra: I came up with such an idea out of things that I have seen in my family. My parents were farmers. They both spent the whole day in the farm but when they came back home it was time for my father to rest but never for my mother. After she has been through the same tiresome day with my father, she had to do everything at home. She was expected to cook, clean the house, and us, the children, wash my father’s foot, serve the traditional meal. On the top of that, when my mother could not take care of the house on time, my father abused, insulted and sometimes harmed her. I just wondered why this had to happen to my mother as if she had extra strength or something. But I realized later that this was not an isolated event that only happened in our house, rather it was happening in all families. At the time, I believed (as I do now) that the man as a father and the women as a mother should be engaged in duties in accordance to their capacities and should both be respected and treated equally.


The second thing I noticed was that the right of children is not respected in our society as it should be. Too often, children are engaged on duties that do not take into account their capacities for doing things.


The third issue I have is, all too often, the less fortunate and the old do not have anyone to take care of them. They may not even have anything to eat and a place to live. But the young and the stronger ones are having the good time and don’t have time to look after the less fortunate ones in our society.


Fourth, I saw people hurting, killing, and stealing from one another. I knew that we as people were doing something to others that we would hate if it happened to us. I kept asking why? How do we differ from animals if we don’t think and behave humanly? When I asked my parents such questions, my parents thought I was mentally ill person. But I could not get answers for my questions, nor proof that I was indeed mentally ill. How did you get the courage to teach your principles and succeed against all odds?  

Zumra: I cannot answer such things. It is not completely a human thing. I did not learn such matters from anyone. I started asking questions since I was four. It is a gift from God – actually a responsibility. I have been through a very rough time, so you can say it is more of a burden. People are listening to you now and you have your community. Are you happy that you are past the time when no one was listening and you were considered mentally ill person?

Zumra: I shall say it is a bit better now than it was before. At least people are listening. But what matters to me is when people not only listen but also put our teachings into practice. Then I will be very happy. Do you believe that it is practical and realistic that you can persuade our society to follow such rules?

Zumra: That is exactly what makes me sick. I did not know how to tell what I am thinking and feeling inside. It’s a burden for me. Sometimes I wish I could run away from my conscience, but I just cannot. The people that I love very much do not even understand me. I usually run away for a month or twenty days, just to find some break, but I will be back home again and start teaching although they considered me a mad person.


I am thankful for the acceptance we get from everyone for the past 5-6 years. I have been in trouble often and my community has also been in trouble often. We have been migrating from place to place just because people did not understand what we were trying to do. I am thankful at least that we are recognized as a harmless community now. What was your main goal when you formed the “Awramaba” community?

Zumra: Generally, in addition to my pervious four points, I wanted to reach literate people everywhere so that my thoughts reach the larger population. I wanted peace and love among all human beings. I believe little by little people are listening to what we are saying. We have many visitors from Ethiopia and from all over the world. I just wanted to take out what was bothering me for a long time. I think I did a little to reach the human heart, but a lot remains for you, the next generation. Let me come to you, Enani. Zumra seems a bit tired with the speech he has been giving at different places. I understand that “Awramba” has thirteen committees which help your community function properly. Would you mention some of them and their duties and responsibilities?

Enani: Okay, We have development committee which consults the community to be more productive and effective. Reception committee is responsible to welcome and comfort our guests and visitors. Complaint committee has the duty to listen to complaints and find solutions, even if it is rare to see complaints in our community. Problem detectors, Hygiene, Security, Law Makers, Elders’ supporters, Maternity nurtures, and field work facilitators are some of the committees. How many of the Awramba community members went on to get higher education? Are they contributing something back to their community?

Enani: As you know our number is very small. Five students graduated from universities and currently eleven are studying in different fields. Some of them are assisting us and others are working on their own. Regarding facilities in your community, what do you lack the most and hence need help from outside?

Enani: We need a modern weaving machine that can function easily and is more productive. The one that we are using is very laborous and less productive. I have heard that you have seventeen hectares of land for 403 people; is it enough for you community to live and farm on?

Enani: No, it is not enough. We have approached the government to give us more land so that we can be more productive. We may even export our products abroad and improve our living in the process. Everyone in our community is eager to work on any field. We just wish to have more land and some modern machines. Finally, what advice do you wish to give to your fellow citizens? 

Enani: I believe the greatest treasure we have in this world is us human beings. Regardless of everything else, I wish we understand that we are from the same origin; we should love and respect one another.  This is my greatest wish and advice to my fellow Ethiopians. Tthank you indeed. Have a good night

 Enani: Never mind! And Good Night

Source Internet  Ezega Ethiopian News, pointing to



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Zumra Nuru, the founder and Co-Chair of Awramba Community
Zumra Nuru, the founder and Co-Chair of Awramba Community

Wonchi crater lake is located on the plateau, which is 3386 meters high above sea level.   (published in Ethiopia)

March 13, 2012 by   Comments(1)

Wonchi Crater Lake is found some 27 km south of Ambo. On the way to Wonchi lake, the panorama to the right and left side of the gravel road is breathtaking. Once you arrive at the Crater Lake you would be totally overtaken by the beauty of the surrounding landscape and the freshness of the air.

Wonchi lake is located on a plateau 3386 meters high above sea level. The Lake is 560 hectares wide. The lake’s depth ranges from 9 to 67.8 meters. It is partially surrounded by forest. On the surrounding mountains, you can find monkeys, apes and gazelles. The other attractions surrounding Wonchi lake are the natural hot springs. Southwest of the lake, one can find several lukewarm springs. These hot springs are frequented by many people, as they are believed to have healing powers.

There are two islands in the lake. In one of the islands there is an ancient church called Cherkos monastery. You can navigate to the monasteries on ferries. For 20 Birr ($70 US dollar) round-trip you can hire horses to take you down the mountain to the lake. It takes about one and half hour to reach the lake. If you feel like having soft drinks, water or rest, don’t worry, because there is Abebech Lodge on the hill, which is ready to provide you with all these comforts.

Source Internet

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Wonchi crater lake is located on the plateau, which is 3386 meters high above sea level.
Wonchi crater lake is located on the plateau, which is 3386 meters high above sea level.