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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

የዘመቻውን መጀመር በተመለከተ የደቡብ ቲቪ የተዘጋጀ ፕሮግራም

"Amour" is a French word, which means love in English. Many people call French a language of romance that is apt enough to express love and passion. That is why the writer of this piece preferred the French word "Amour" to the English world "love" to vent the strong emotion of love the city of Hawassa is associated with.
The writer of this article had recently been to the city of Hawassa, one of the most glamorous cities in Ethiopia, which exhibits rich cultural diversity and heritage, well preserved scenery, flavorful city delicacies and magnificent people from different ethnic communities of the country.
Hawassa is a city located on the shores of Lake Hawassa in the Great Rift Valley. It is situated some 270_km south of Addis Ababa via Bishoftu in the Sidama Zone, Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' State. It is 130_km east of Sodo, 75_km north of Dilla and 1,125_km north of Nairobi. The city lies on the Trans-African Highway 4 Cairo-Cape Town with an elevation of 1,708 metres.
When we examine the historical background of the City, according to available information, the main cause for the foundation of Hawassa town is the natural beauty of Lake Hawassa located in the surrounding area. Hawassa city got both its name and beauty from Lake Hawassa. In earlier times, this place was said to be not inhabited by many people. It was a place where mainly pastoralists used to conflict to control the land for grazing.
In 1949 E.C, when Ras Mengesha Seyoum was the governor of Sidamo Tekelaigizat (governorate) Emperor Haile-Silassie permitted and ordered the preparation of suitable master plan for the foundation of a town for tourist attraction on the land along the shores of Lake Hawassa, previously called Awassa. Besides, there was a strong interest to make Awassa centre of industry. Especially, agro- processing industries were largely expected to be established. Accordingly, seven experts have started the planning work in coordination with Italian engineers. Awassa was the only former town of Ethiopia founded on the basis of a plan. The plan was found to be very necessary to partition the place for different uses and to construct roads.
In 1960 E.C Emperor Haile-Silassie laid the cornerstone for the establishment of Awassa as the capital of Sidamo Governorate at the present Meskel square. Various logics of arguments were made over why Awassa was promoted as a governorate seat of Sidamo. The period when Awassa emerged as an urban centre was the time capitalism started to flourish in rural Ethiopia. Royal families and other government officials of the feudal regime had launched mechanized farms in Awassa and its environs and occupied wide areas within the town. According to historical recordings, this was one of the reasons to promote Awassa to the capital level of the governorate of Sidamo.
In addition, Lake Awassa and its surroundings' natural beauty greatly attracted the attention of those officials and royal families as resort and recreational site. Ras Mengesha Seyoum, General Isayas G/Silassie and others are believed to have convinced the king about transferring the seat from Yirgalem to Awassa for surely they liked Awassa. The response to this action had a dual nature. While it was supported by the people of Awassa, it faced protest from Yirgalem people. The representatives of Yirgalem population went to the emperor to appeal but they returned with no satisfactory response except Yirgalem was permitted to resume as the capital of Awraja (district). Immediately after Hawassa was promoted to capital of Sidamo Governorate, main government offices, police station, the jail, treasury and other governmental departments were brought to Awassa. Using Awassa as a political and administrative centre became a continuous process in the coming governments even after the imperial period.
Now, Hawassa is the capital of Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' State. It is positioned at the edge of Lake Hawassa. It is an attractive town in a beautiful setting. The city is a pleasant place to break the north- south journey and is well equipped with places for recreations including Lake Hawassa as well as different standard hotels and lodges established along the shore of the lake and within the town. Visitors enjoy with boat trip on the lake in the morning and late afternoon to see the different bird's species, hippo herds as well as the beautiful early afternoon sunset.
As stated above, Lake Hawassa is one of the beauty and tourist attraction sites of the City. The lake is 16 km long and 9 km wide, with a surface area of 129 square kilometres. It has a maximum depth of 10 meters and is located at an elevation of 1,708 metres. Because it is relatively accessible to scientists, Lake Awassa is the most studied of the Rift Valley lakes in Ethiopia.
Lake Awassa with its mountainous background is one of Ethiopia's most attractive lakes and is home to_a huge population of birds, and walking along the shores one can also see hippo._Colobus and Vervet monkeys and baboons are also common to see in the surrounding areas of the Lake. Boats can be hired on the lake, and it is a great way to spend an afternoon among the fishermen watching the kingfisher and other water birds._The lake is known for its high edible fish production (tilapia, catfish, barbus) and also harbor very good bird life. Egyptian goose, kingfishers, herons, strokes, crakes, darters, and plovers are among the easily seen types of birds on the water.
Many tourists and lovers from all corners of Ethiopia especially from Addis Ababa go to Hawassa to spend their leisure time. The writer also heard that the City of Hawassa is one of the most preferred honeymoon sites in the country. The city, known for its dazzling tourist attractions like breath taking Lake Hawassa, 'Amora Gedel', Tabor hill and magnificent international standard cutting-edge luxury hotels and accommodations, offers plenty of refreshment with vibrant nightlife, varied architecture and exquisite restaurants to its visiting lovers.
In comparison to other big cities, the cost of living in Hawassa is not that much expensive. One can get decent meals in big hotels and small restaurants at relatively fair price. Thanks to the tens and thousands of blue Tagarow Bajajes (three wheel drives) buzzing along the streets of Hawassa, transportation fare is pretty cheap. The maximum fare that you could be requested to pay by polite... smiley... young Bajaj drivers is only 3 Ethiopian birr.
The weather of the city is caressing. A little bit warm during day times, cool and breezy at nights. If you want to have fresh fish for breakfast, you can simply go to a place called 'Amora Gedel' on the shores of Lake Hawassa and enjoy a fish just from the frying pan. 'Amora Gedel' is so named due to the numerous vultures hovering on the sky ready to dive down anytime to pick up fish beneath the Lake. Here, there are several fish vending quarters, where you can watch swiftly breathing and recently passed away fish being traded at dirty cheap price. The fish are not sold in kilograms or pounds, but in numbers. For only ten Ethiopian Birr you can buy three big fish flipping their fins just on the way to die. Various types of fish (tilapia, catfish, barbus...) are butchered here and there by muscular young men wielding large and sharp knives and wearing blood tainted dresses. At 'Amora Gedel' you can also find large number of gurezas (colobus monkey family) swinging from one tree branches to another shrilling. They are so tamed that you can get your pictures taken with them while they are feeding right from your palms. Still amazing, there are dancing kids, who can dance Sidamigna, Wolayitigna and at times modern European dances charging.
Hawassa can also be said to be a melting pot of various religions, co-existing side-by-side peacefully and harmoniously. The writer witnessed a big sermon (conference) of a protestant denomination at the Meskel square (at the heart of the city) being conducted just 200 meters away from St. Gabriel Church (a magnificent Orthodox church building) without any disturbance. What is surprising is huge and loud Montarbos (amplifiers) were used at the two sermons, which were happening simultaneously._____
_ All the above facts coupled together make Hawassa to be the city of love. With the rapid expansion of development infrastructure such as villa and condominium houses, modern cobble stoned alleys, public parks, five-star hotels and restaurants Hawassa will continue to maintain and further enhance its long-held place of being the city of "Amour"- as the French call it.