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WORRYING SIGNS IN MY Bole Bulbula, Addis Ababa
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I live in the southeastern part of Addis Ababa, which is hosting a number of national and international organizations including the African Union. Addis Ababa used to be an organic city, which means natural and hospitable to its dwellers and visitors. That means this old city was friendly to all living things including humans and nature itself. But now it seems that this natural system is not working anymore.
In my neighborhood area called Bole Bulbula, I normally jog in the morning and visit and enjoy the less spoiled natural areas around my home. This is no more there; the construction boom has very much defaced and destroyed the relatively healthy nature of the area. My recent Sunday [30 October 2012] run took me by surprise. The time and weather of Bole Bulbula was very pleasant to go out for those who wanted to do outdoor activities. Everyone was busy in this regard including me. But one thing was missing from the list of animals seen when you do your jogging. The butterflies were not there!
September is known for the many butterflies, which come out in huge numbers and make the landscape colorful with their many fold types, colors and sizes. Unfortunately my afternoon was disappointing and it was scary not to see these beautiful creatures. It was scary for me because this is a worrying signal for my neighborhood if not for the whole of Addis or the country. For me, this is telling me that the environment, which we are breathing, eating, sleeping, drinking, working in, enjoying, where we are taking our kids to school, and chatting with colleagues, etc is not doing well. It seems nature is struggling to survive, let alone to host us anymore. I fear that someday, it will stop providing all the necessary and healthy free services. These free services, which are very crucial to our survival, are very difficult to value in monetary terms. But, if these free services are ailing it is a signal that doomsday is around the corner for all of us. It seems that in our ignorance we are destroying the very foundations of our life on this planet earth.
For me, my neighborhood [Bole Bulbula, Addis Ababa…] is seriously sick and needs the support from its entire people. Therefore, on behalf of my neighborhood, I would like to appeal to all concerned that my neighborhood needs urgent attention from everyone who is listening to the plight of Mother Nature. Mother Nature, wherever one finds it; whether in my neighborhood or else, doesn’t have any replacement. It can sustain and take care of us, only if we can stop abusing it! Please look around in your place and look for those beautiful butterflies, which I don’t see in my place anymore, and look also for other creatures like birds. Those species that I just mentioned are indicators for the health of our environment. In the foreseeable future, we may not see our Yemeskel Wof [a collective Amharic name given to all the bishop, widow, indigo and whydah birds who are changing color for the sake of mating during this time of the year], which are always heralding the beginning of our new year.
By Lakew Berhanu