OPEN LETTER TO DR. TEWOLDE G. IGZIABHER: INTERVIEW WITH THE VOA

Adisu Aleme

 

Dear Gashe Tewolde,

 

First of all, kind greetings and melkam Genna.

 

1.       Preamble

 

I listened to your radio interview of last Saturday with the Voice of America with great disappointment. The main question was on the causes of the historical vicious cycle of socio-economic and environmental crises and the of the current human suffering in Ethiopia. You put the main blame on pollution arising from North America and Europe. When you were asked about local causes, you mentioned that it has nothing to do with the policies of the current government. You also went a bit further and mentioned that the economic crisis in the Country is only limited to few areas. Thanks to the genuine Ethiopian Researcher, Ato Dessalegne Rahmatu, the actual causes and extent of the effects were rightly explained during the same interview. I should also say that even the government Representative who was also on the same interview rightly witnessed the wider extent of human sufferings than what you tried to cover up.

 

2.       Your Roles under the 3 Regimes

 

Gashe Tewolde,

 

During the Imperial Regime, you were one of the few most highly privileged persons: highest education, University Department Head and Dean of Science at Haile Selassie I University (now called Addis Ababa University). During the Military Regime, you were promoted further to the highest position of the President of Asmara University. During the current Regime, you were given a luxurious position of the Head of the Ethiopian Environment Agency.

 

3.       Your Contributions

 

You had great reputation in your field during the Imperial Regime, during which you made some interesting contribution to environmental science. I am not very sure about your efficiency as the President of Asmara University. Even worse, your efficiency has been under a serious question regarding your current contribution to the protection of the environment:

 

·        All trees have been removed from Addis, that is making what used to be our green City look like a desert. It is not enough to blame pollution coming from North America.

·        Ecologies in the rural areas have been severely degraded. Even the Dergue had the National Policy that for every tree felled; two should be planted as the replacement. How about during your long Regime as the Head of the Ethiopian Environment Agency? As you said, the Government has good policies on papers. You also had the opportunity to collect millions, if not billions of Dollars from International Donors for the protection of the environment and food security. What happened then?

 

4.       In Conclusion

 

It is true that the industrialised nations, especially North America, are the most pollutants, making the highest contribution to Climate Change and Global Warming, posing a great threat to humanity. Yes, those nations have to be persuaded to make their due contribution to the mitigation of those threatening effects. Equally, also, responsibilities and concerted actions have to be taken at individual, household, locality, Woreda, Zone, Regional and national levels. Please understand my frustration when you put the entire blame on externalities, completely denying the most important local causes, responsibilities and actions.

 

Those types of blind supports to the paper policies are not enough. The biggest handicap of most government advisers and decision makers is their failure to provide true and scientific advices to the Regimes, with the fear that they may be less favoured. The end result will be a collective failure, as observed especially over the last 40 years.

 

With great sadness for my Lecturer that I used to respect.

 

Hilinachnin Yimelislin. Melkam Gena.

 

Published in: on January 6, 2009 at 9:24 pm  Comments (13)  

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13 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Dear Adisu Aleme

    I strongly agree with every word written within this piece of text, Dr. Tewolde could have been a role model and an inspiration to young Ethiopians everywhere, but is now a very big let down.

    The way Ethiopia is going on now, it may end up with a great past without a promising future.

    I’m still a young Ethiopian looking at politics optimistically and the way I see this “professional” interview with VOA leaves me with great disgust.

    I can never say I’m ashamed to be Ethiopian, but i can honestly say I’m ashamed to call him Ethiopian.

    Dr. Tewolde, we all expected you to tell the truth and enlighten the government and population with ideas to leave Ethiopia with peace and prosperity at your graceful age with where you already have one foot in the grave.

    You have let us all down.

    We have already lost, lots and lots of genuine and country loving fathers.

    I pray to our almighty Lord to bring back sense to the few remaining fathers.

    Yetenagerut kemitefa yeweledut yitfa.

    Thanks Again Adisu and i wish to read more of your enlightening stories.

    Teddy

  2. Dear Adisu,

    I have read your article and I agree fully.

    When I had heard the interview, I was completely shocked and shattered by how Dr. Tewolde presented a devastating lie on public radio.

    Who does he believe he is fooling? I know I don’t believe him, and I don’t believe anybody in the world could fall for a lie as pathetic as the lies he came up with.

    He is honestly out of his mind and I believe his role in Ethiopia can be played by any one of hundreds of much more civilized, professional people.

    I have to say that the article is very strong and i thank you for writing it.

    It’s good to know somebody shares the same views as I do.

    Melkam Gena

    Selam Antene

  3. Dear Mr/Dr. Addisu,

    I realy appreciate your courage to genuinely tell the Dr. heading EPA which I knew closely.

    The Authority led by him is nothing than any regional Natural Resource Management office. There are few educated staffs and the Authority does have a national plan/policy for Environmental protection and management with many volumes. But no one implemented due to incapability and lack of interst in pracice. Officials from Ethiopia prefre to present papers in UK or USA or Sweden or japan, koyto, than planting a single tree.

    Let alone the multi-faceted environmental problems at home, they cannot mangage the environmental impact of a single small scale industry in the capital.

    Furthermore, there is no a national long term plan for aforestation or related environmental management and developemnt projects that ensure sustainablity.

    Many people appreciate the wood products they use at home including the Dr. but never care for the source degradation and immediate and longe term imapcts that we feel today and then.

    Rememebr, in the earler days, people traveling from place to place on foot, when get tired, they got rest under the shadow of a tree and drink spring water and even collect fruits from the forest, but now a days, yaye yawkewal………abo sintin tenegiro yalkal.

    He even never complain on the investment policy in some regions especially given on the virgin lands, the greedy agricultural inversters deforest trees with tracters and has sown seasam etc but no one complain especailly the Dr. as a professional in environmental science.

    If we go into the detail accouns of what is the status and the problems currently at home, they are enormous but individual intiative from the garden to the field is qiute better than waitng those who loves siting in office chais,

    Thanks,

  4. Ethiopians should not expect any thing good or reasonable from the cadres and officials of the TPLF.
    AS one of the leading and notorious cadres of the TPLF, Dr. Tewoldebrean has to defend or cover up all the crimes of his ethnic minority regime, including the environmental destruction they are causing in Ethiopia.
    What this TPLF official did in the interview was to blame others for his failures and misdeeds. It is typical of the TPLF racists who fabricate charges and imprison Ethiopians and lie to cover their crimes.

  5. Please dont forget Tewolde has been an Alternate Member of ESEPA, Mengistu’s party. He is where he is now because of his ethnicity.

    In his VOA interview he went into an area he has little knowlege of. He confused government ownership of land and traditional communal ownership and said that private ownership is a western idea. The guy has reached senility

    Fekade

  6. Dr. Tewolde Birhan

    You are polluting the Ethiopian environment and economic issues with flagrant, irresponsible and distorted comments.

    Your brother, Sibhat Gebre Igzabiher, is polluting the Ethiopian youth with the open consumption and promotion of the use of drugs, obscene languages and diminished responsibilities.

    The days are getting a bit too late for your groups.

    Nisiha Gibu. Amlak yeijachihun yistachihu

  7. Dr Tewelde is from Tigray . What do you except him to say?
    Against the Tigre government? Guys please use your mind.

  8. Dear Adis Aleme

    It is a nice anylysis of what Dr.Tewolde has described but the root cause of Environmental degradation ot pollution is the reflection of the over all National policy of the country. When is say that since the economy is intemingled with the political as well the social aspect of a country this intemingles situation needs a sound policy formulation.
    Due tp the above conditions the outcome of the regimes policy which is ill thought and harshly implemented can bring more disaster than the guns they used to rule the country.
    Environmental degradation is sometimes the manifestation of refutance to the national policy of a country because every person looses the belongingness of the country because of repression and their mentality will focus inly how to survive today than tommorow or stop to think about the comming genaration so the result will be devatstion.
    Let i give some example which encountered in my life. I was working in Bale region in 1971/72 (Ethiopian calender) where the first settlment was launched in Harewa Bale administrative region,the place was cleared for farming but the surrounding was densley forested but since the people who came there were forcifully brought they start cutting trees when ever they go to pee or sanitate and the result was total devastation.
    Why i brought this experience is that to show that one needs belongingness to the society,vicinity as well to the state of art of administration prevailing in the surrounding if not could not contribute to the protection of nature surrounding him. This leads us to the main question what to do next? We have to revisite our policy basically the Agricultural policy which is the mainstay of the population and is directly related to the environmental issues. But EPRDF and its stooges do not care about the future generation as well the environments and they try to sell (lease their words)lands to stash some money to feed their military an put in banks outside of the country.

    First and foremost they have(but have not the minds)to think over their agricultural policy (not one fits all)in collaboration to environmntal policies and launch a sound and uncontroversial soulutions to this problem.
    The second issue which we have to consider next to the policy have to be the structural organisations of the agricultural sector(this is true to all service sectors) to be a normal pyramid rather than inverted pyramid situation which is now available. For example Dr.Tewolde has three cars(one 4-WD,Tow sedan plus another car for his aid,fax,internet,radio,three or more line of telephone,two secretaries and an office girl only to bring files and coffe)just for his office which accounts minimum the salary of 6 proffessionals while the respective Development agent do not have a single bicycle to accomplish his errand(buy supplies if budgeted at all).
    Besides all these Ethiopia is one of the countries which is pporly use allegaed money from donnors for envirnmental protction since the government never scrutnize the terms in the document before signing which include a prolonged system of reinbursment and contractual procedures because the eyes of our officials+ is only thinking securing the number to tell the public we have earmarked a budget of such amount which goes from one physical year to another as AIDS not aid.

    I wish Dr.Tewolde comment on this issues because it is nice to see his reaction.

    FOR ANY suggestion you can adress me at Ethiopia at A crossroad or chillalo@gmasil.com

  9. Dear Adis Aleme

    It is a nice anylysis of what Dr.Tewolde has described but the root cause of Environmental degradation of pollution is the reflection of the over all National policy of the country. When we say that since the economy is intemingled with the political as well the social aspect of a country this intemingled situation needs a sound policy formulation.

    Due to the above conditions the outcome of the regimes policy which is ill thought and harshly implemented can bring more disaster than the guns they used to rule the country.

    Environmental degradation is sometimes the manifestation of refutance to the national policy of a country because every person looses the belongingness of the country due repression,not having forum to express ideas and their mentality will focus only how to survive today than tommorow or stop to think about the comming genaration so the result will be devatsting.

    Let i give some example which encountered in my life.

    I was working in Bale region in 1971/72 (Ethiopian calender) where the first settlment was launched in Harewa Bale administrative region,the place was cleared for farming but the surrounding was densley forested but since the people who came there were forcifully brought they start cutting trees when ever they go to pee or sanitat and the result was total devastation.

    Why i brought this experience is that to show that one needs belongingness to the society,vicinity as well to the state of art of administration prevailing in the surrounding if not could not contribute to the protection of nature surrounding him.

    This leads us to the main question what to do next? We have to revisite our policy basically the Agricultural policy which is the mainstay of the population and is directly related to the environmental issues. But EPRDF and its stooges do not care about the future generation as well the environment and they try to sell (lease their words)lands to stash some money to feed their military an put in banks outside of the country.

    First and foremost they have(but have not the minds)to think over their agricultural policy (not one fits all)in collaboration to environmntal policies and launch a sound and uncontroversial soulutions to this problem.
    The second issue which we have to consider next to the policy have to be the structural organisations of the agricultural sector(this is true to all service sectors) to be a normal pyramid rather than inverted pyramid situation which is now available. For example Dr.Tewolde has three cars(one 4-WD,Tow sedan plus another car for his aid,fax,internet,radio,three or more line of telephone,two secretaries and an office girl only to bring files and coffe) which accounts minimum the salary of 6 proffessionals while the respective Development agent do not have a single bicycle to accomplish his errand(buy supplies if budgeted at all).

    Besides as well the office have the best experts of the country with rich experiences are only just to prepare and submit papers at different forums /conferences around the world writing sometimes some fictious sceneries which have not been excercised in the country.

    Besides all these Ethiopia is one of the countries which is pporly use allegaed money from donors for envirnmental protction since the government never scrutnize the terms in the document before signing which include a prolonged system of reinbursment and contractual procedures because the eyes of our officials+ is only thinking securing the number to tell the public we have earmarked a budget of such amount which goes from one physical year to another as AIDS not aid.

    I wish Dr.Tewolde comment on this issues because it is nice to see his reaction.

    FOR ANY suggestion you can adress me at Ethiopia at A crossroad or chillalo@gmasil.com

  10. On January 8, 2009 at 12:13 pm BERHANU(corrected version) Said:

    Dear Adis Aleme

    It is a nice anylysis of what Dr.Tewolde has described but the root cause of Environmental degradation of pollution is the reflection of the over all National policy of the country. When we say that since the economy is intemingled with the political as well the social aspect of a country this intemingled situation needs a sound policy formulation.

    Due to the above conditions the outcome of the regimes policy which is ill thought and harshly implemented can bring more disaster than the guns they used to rule the country.

    Environmental degradation is sometimes the manifestation of refutance to the national policy of a country because every person looses the belongingness of the country due repression,not having forum to express ideas and their mentality will focus only how to survive today than tommorow or stop to think about the comming genaration so the result will be devatsting.

    Let i give some example which encountered in my life.

    I was working in Bale region in 1971/72 (Ethiopian calender) where the first settlment was launched in Harewa Bale administrative region,the place was cleared for farming but the surrounding was densley forested but since the people who came there were forcifully brought they start cutting trees when ever they go to pee or sanitat and the result was total devastation.

    Why i brought this experience is that to show that one needs belongingness to the society,vicinity as well to the state of art of administration prevailing in the surrounding if not could not contribute to the protection of nature surrounding him.

    This leads us to the main question what to do next? We have to revisite our policy basically the Agricultural policy which is the mainstay of the population and is directly related to the environmental issues. But EPRDF and its stooges do not care about the future generation as well the environment and they try to sell (lease their words)lands to stash some money to feed their military an put in banks outside of the country.

    First and foremost they have(but have not the minds)to think over their agricultural policy (not one fits all)in collaboration to environmntal policies and launch a sound and uncontroversial soulutions to this problem.
    The second issue which we have to consider next to the policy have to be the structural organisations of the agricultural sector(this is true to all service sectors) to be a normal pyramid rather than inverted pyramid situation which is now available. For example Dr.Tewolde has three cars(one 4-WD,Tow sedan plus another car for his aid,fax,internet,radio,three or more line of telephone,two secretaries and an office girl only to bring files and coffe) which accounts minimum the salary of 6 proffessionals while the respective Development agent do not have a single bicycle to accomplish his errand(buy supplies if budgeted at all).

    Besides as well the office have the best experts of the country with rich experiences are only just to prepare and submit papers at different forums /conferences around the world writing sometimes some fictious sceneries which have not been excercised in the country.

    Besides all these Ethiopia is one of the countries which is pporly use allegaed money from donors for envirnmental protction since the government never scrutnize the terms in the document before signing which include a prolonged system of reinbursment and contractual procedures because the eyes of our officials+ is only thinking securing the number to tell the public we have earmarked a budget of such amount which goes from one physical year to another as AIDS not aid.

    I wish Dr.Tewolde comment on this issues because it is nice to see his reaction.

    FOR ANY suggestion you can adress me at Ethiopia at A crossroad or Chillalo@gmail.com

    • What do you expect from a HODAM, and it is this quality which made him survive a monarcy, a communist and an ethnic tyrant. His relation with the British Government through his British wife and his ethnicity has made him to be a winner of an alternative noble prize.

  11. It does not matter who said what, what matters is how to save the environment. The most affected village in the empire is Tigray state; I call it a village because the universe and the world is so large and in fact the Ethiopian Empire is bigger to my imaginations to the land of the current rulers; I would not perceive why the world well known expert denies that the destruction of the environment comes from the misuse of our surroundings at any time of our social history. Whether you may claim it be the government or the individuals the net effect is that the whole Ethiopians have been trashing their environment without really understanding or foreseeing what is going to happen to their future off springs. Our older generations had committed environmental suicide or what the scientists call a very dangerous mistake as ecocide.
    Those mistakes have been committed all over the world at one time or another and the shear effects are showing up in different problems that I may not able to talk about. You seem to blame a single government or individual but I would like to disagree with you and want to put everything that had taken place against our beautiful environment from historical point of view in a very combined and integrated understandings. One generations may have done one thing but the effects of generational destructions should be seen as a cumulative totality that may end up the existence of our people as a nation and people.

    Our major problems had been that societies and individuals were not able to foreseeing the problems that are rolling down on us like boulders up from the top of the mountains. We have been readying ourselves merciless to be crashed as past societies that disappeared with the forces of nature and her smashing punches. Look at Australians who let rodents and wolves roam the fields by letting them in when they came to the continent. To their horrors the effects were dramatically destructive. See how the Americans have been enjoying the blasting of Nuclear bombs and spectacularly in the deserts of Nevada without really understanding their effects on the environments and human beings. See what had happened in Russia in 1986 Nuclear accident in Chernovel, Russia. People and scientists were ignorant about the effects of nuclear bombs and they were testing them above the ground as recently as may be twenty thirty years ago. any how what about the effects of gunpowder that had been coming to Ethiopian since October 1930 when Haile Sellasie purchased modern ammunitions with $ 400000 dollars and the succeeding governments especially the Mengistu government poured the much gun powders and other chemicals in the war fronts especially in Eritrea and Tigray. The current governments in Eritrea and Ethiopia are doing the same thing and if there going to be one in the future it will be the same. What about the effects of intensive bombings around the Middle East just across the pond affecting us. What about the nuclear wastes that had been deposited in the whole of East Africa by European countries by corrupting leaders such as Said Bare of Somalia.

    In short I would like to say that the Doctor may have made a mistake, he may have known the problem better than most of the people in the world, understand him; he is an individual scientist who may have been intimidated by local and international forces. Do not forget sometimes someone should not act like a fool and lose his life for a problem that must be addressed by all of us. I fully understand him that he had done great thing for Africa and Ethiopia and I believe he will continue doing that but sometimes you have to come out of your own out looks and see yourself and the individual from the third party perspectives. From your statements and assertions the professor is a preeminent scholar on Environment and he could not miss all the things you have written but I believe and understand he may have thought and agonized over these issues more than most of us who may not have noticed what had been taking place against local and global environment.

    From what I had read and heard he had done great things for global environment and including the Ethiopian empire and I wish him good luck so that he may come up with some kind of solutions for our local problems. I do not want to see the professor hanged for his own believes and teachings like Socrates in Athens. Sometime the masses do not understand what people of knowledge recommend. They hang them. Didn’t they.? Jesus is my witness; he carried the cross to get killed for his brilliant teachings and for countering the Romans.

    Our society has been blind for many centuries about our Environment; pray we will see and regain our eyes do a miracle with our human hands and minds on our beautiful soil. The crime against nature and environment has been internationally committed over many centuries. Can you predict and foresee what is going to happen to our environment in Ethiopian Empire? Try please. Please read on this matter a book by
    Jared Diamond from UCLA entitled Collapse.

    Sabataa Dubbii

  12. Thank you Addisu for your modest reaction to the unashamed lie by Dr. Tewolde on the VOA interview. I said unashamed lie because I assume he is a professional and elder person to spoke such a blantant white lie. This is a good indictor of how narrow ethnic bigotry destroy the sense of logic and rationality and reduce man to the level of an instinct and lair. I am totally stunned by his blind defence to the woyane oligarchy.


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