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AG announces more measures to curb pandemic

The Office of the Attorney General has announced additional measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The move came following an increase in the rates of cases. The total number of confirmed cases has now reached to 731 confirmed cases, with six deaths so far.

The Attorney General approved a directive instructing the public to wear face masks outside their homes, starting from May 27, 2020.

It also announced the lifting of a rationing scheme introduced in Addis Ababa last month banning private vehicles with odd or even plate numbers from roads on alternate days.

Public service working hours have also been changed in the capital Addis Ababa to reduce overcrowding in public transport services.

Accordingly, entrance time is changed to 7:30 AM from 8:30 AM and exit time to 3:30 PM from 5:30 PM.

Similarly, the tariffs for 45-seater and more buses increased by 75 percent from the initial price, while the tariffs for buses with carrying capacity of up to 45 people have doubled. (FBC)

Authority rehabilitating, reforesting over 1.7 mln ha in Nile Basin

The Basins Development Authority said reforestation and rehabilitation on 1.786 million hectares of land has been carried in Ethiopia in order to protect the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam from sediments and increase the quantity and quality of the water sustainably. 

According to the authority, out of this 479,460 hectares of lands were already rehabilitated and covered with forest while reforestation and rehabilitation are being carried out on 786,541 hectares.

Similarly, nine new projects that cover one million hectares of land will be launched this upcoming Ethiopian year, it was disclosed.

The new projects are Beleche, Tana buffer zone, GERD buffer zone, Beshilo, Jemma, Choke, Guder, Muger and Anger.

In addition to the national basin development initiative, Ethiopia, Sudan, South-Sudan and Egypt have agreed to develop integrated watershed project for Eastern Nile, according to Basins Development Authority Director General Adanech Yared.

“Implementation of the project will start soon and carried out by each country. So this watershed project is regional plus national watershed project,” she added. (ENA)

Gov’t taking measures to curb COVID-19 impacts on manufacturers

Industrial Parks Development Corporation of Ethiopia has introduced measures that minimize the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on manufacturers in industrial parks.

Over the years the country has been expanding industrial parks in order to accelerate its economic transformation and ensure job opportunities as well as foreign currency earnings.

Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC) Director-General Lelise Neme said market slowdown of industrial products has been following the outbreak of COVID-19.

Subsequently, the government has been taking measures aimed to support the manufacturers fill the market gap

According to Lelise, allowing them to sell their products in the restricted domestic market for two months and transportation discount are among the measures taken.

“Transportation cost from Hawassa Industrial Park to Mojo is now only operation cost and Ethiopian Airlines has offered a six-month cargo discount for import-export. These incentives will help the manufacturers,” Lelise elaborated.

Manufacturers in industrial parks that have not yet finished orders are still exporting goods, while textile and apparel producers have now shifted to producing masks.

Political parties pledge solidarity on dam

Political parties in Ethiopia have expressed their commitment to the ongoing construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and the negotiations.

Ethiopian Parties Joint Council, in collaboration with the Office of National Council for the Coordination of Public Participation, on Wednesday held a high-level conference aimed at creating national consensus on GERD.

Musa Adem, Chairman, said on the occasion that the dam will cement the political and social integration of the country beyond generating power.

GERD is one of the key issues about which political actors take a common stand and would not disagree, he noted.

He stressed that political parties in Ethiopia are at a crucial juncture when they need to come together and defend the country’s sovereignty. “GERD has been a symbol of unity and sovereignty. It is high on our list of priority.”

Foreign Minister Gedu Andargachew and Water, Irrigation and Energy Minister Sileshi Bekele briefed the leaders of the political parties on the negotiations as well as the construction of the dam. (ENA)