Rivers and tributaries in Addis Ababa are to get an overhaul as part of a 24 million Birr rehabilitation managed by the local environmental protection agency (EPA). The independent business weekly newspaper Fortune reports that the three-five year project is to involve soil and plant conservation along the Bambis, Kebena, Jelisa and Akaki rivers as well as forest rehabilitation and upkeep on the Lafto, Lebu and Dertu hills. Thereafter maintenance of the areas concerned will be transferred to private companies with priority being given to small businesses run by young people.

The project has been made necessary by the fact that local riverbeds are increasingly being used for construction purposes, quarrying, grazing livestock, rubbish disposal and growing food, with the result that they are less able to drain the city, exposing it to floods. It is not clear whether the project will involve relocating the many people who have made their home along the river banks for want of more suitable accommodation elsewhere.