Environmental health and ecology
In Ethiopia, there are a lot of problems associated with poor environmental management and poorly planned provision of water and sanitation services to the community. Natural resources are constantly degrading resulting in deforestation and desertification. The main cause is human induced environmental degradation through livestock grazing and overexploitation for fuel and construction wood. The water resources of the country are facing a threat on an unprecedented scale due to industrial and domestic pollution of types and quantities which are not clearly identified and quantified. This situation has resulted in an ecological imbalance in most of the water resources including lakes and ponds. Many rivers are no longer productive and some lakes and ponds are dying. Solid wastes are also disposed of in an indiscriminate manner resulting in water, air and soil pollution and creating an unhealthy environment.
The School of Environmental Health along with other departments (Biology, Geography, Chemistry and Natural Resource Management) is collaborating in this project to improve the aquatic and forest ecosystem and to develop environmental health measures for the benefit of Jimma Town and its surroundings, comprising the Gilgel Gibe area. Research is undertaken in four complementary areas: (i) environmental health and sanitation, (ii) terrestrial ecology and plant-animal interaction, (iii) aquatic ecology and (iv) spatial analysis and modelling of land use dynamics.