Upper and Lower Omo River Basins
Alison returns this September to continue her documentation of African watersheds. She will spend several days before and after being in the Omo watershed interviewing scientists, conservationists and development NGO representatives in Addis Ababa. As access to the Gibe River hydrodams in the Upper Omo River Basin is forbidden by the government, documentation of the Upper Omo’s terrain and dams will be done from the air in chartered planes. The Lower Omo River documentation will cover lifestyles and water issues facing the indigenous cultures on the banks of the Omo River.
THE LOWER OMO RIVER BASIN
Sunday, Sept 9: Addis Ababa
Conduct interviews with Meseret Kifle with Save the Children; Mark Chapman with Chairman of TEFSLA, a community-based tourism business; and Abdulla Bagersh who is owner of Ethiopia’s largest coffee export company.
Monday, Sept 10: Addis Ababa
Observed preparations for Ethiopia’s new millenium, as their calendar is 7 years behind the Gregorian calendar (the internationally accepted civil calendar).
Tuesday, Sept 11: Adadi Mariam – Melka Kunture – Tiya
Happy New Year and New Millenium, again! Visit cave churches, stellae and archeological sites dating back to over 1.5 million years ago near Awash River Gorge, believed to be home of the Neolithic man.
Wednesday, Sept 12 to Thursday, Sept 20: The Lower Omo River Valley
Fly from Addis to Jinka and drive through Mago National Park to the Omo River Valley. Here we will photograph tribal cultures living on remote Omo River and Delta villages. Halewijn Scheuerman will guide us downriver explaining local cultures, river patterns, weather impacts and the complexity of life on the Omo River. Visits will be made to the villages of the Karo, Nyangatom, Mursi, Hamar Koke, Dassanech and others. Vegetation ranging from the riverine Cape Mahogany trees to irrigated maize will be studied. Birdlife and fishing practices will be observed, especially in the protein-rich shallow Delta Waters.
Thursday, Sept 20:
Conduct interview with Halewijn Scheuerman, explorer, anthropologist and owner of Jade Sea Journeys on Lower Omo Valley indigenous cultures and pending impacts of upstream hydrodam projects.
Friday, Sept 21: Depart Omorate
The charted flight from the Omo will allow aerial documentation of the contrasts between the Lower Omo’s arid desert and the Upper Omo’s green highlands. The trip will continue on to northern Ethiopia, the Water Tower of the Horn of Africa – a source of 12 major rivers. For the next week, No Water No Life will investigate and document the Upper Blue Nile River Basin before returning to Addis Ababa, to continue interviews there on both case study watersheds.
Sept. 21–29: in BLUE NILE watershed.
Saturday, Sept 29: Addis Ababa
Drive up to Mount Entoto (3200 meters) in morning. Visit Ethnographic Museum and Archeological Museum (which contains 3.4 million year old Lucy) in afternoon.
Tuesday, Oct. 2: Addis Ababa
Conduct interviews with Dr. Richard Pankhurst, historian and author of 22 books on Ethiopia; and Thomas Mattanovich, owner of Travel Ethiopia and explorer of Ethiopia for 50 years.
Wednesday, Oct. 3: Addis Ababa
Conduct interviews with two steward/stakeholders: Tschome Lemma, Program Manager at CARE and currently seconded to the Millenium Water Program and Dr. Tadesse, member of the Water Task Force.