New Botanic Garden to Open in Ethiopia

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Ethiopia is to open its first botanic garden to the public in September this year. The 705 hectares garden located in north-western part of Addis Ababa, Gullele and Kolfe-keranyo, will feature collections of plants in a setting with streams, original vegetation, topographic variations. Employees are putting the finishing touches on the outdoor garden to make it ready for next month, promising it would be a place of beauty and family fun—and also a centre for education, science, and conservation.
Established by the city administration and Addis Ababa University, the botanic garden currently features a collection of 700 plant species, 7 exhibition greenhouses, cultural houses, an amphitheatre for music and plays. Among these plant species 71 are medicinal and 28 are endemic to Ethiopia. The garden also includes a herbarium where research on plants specimen would be carried out. A dam which has a capacity of 30,000 m3 is built to store water, the deputy manager of the garden, Mesfin Hailu said.
The garden has been designed by an Ethiopian firm, and two Belgian firms, one specializing in landscape and another in architecture. The government of the Netherlands has financed the design of the garden and the construction of the houses.
In December 1999, the Addis Ababa city environmental protection authority and the Addis Ababa University’s national herbarium initiated a discussion leading to subsequent meetings and creation a team. The team visited many sites and finally selected the current Gullele site as suitable for the establishment of a botanic garden. Addis residents often complain about the lack of parks and gardens in the city. Bihere Tsige, for example, remains one of the most unmanageable and neglected large park, suffering from decades of disrepair.

Gullele Botanic Garden website

Arefayné Fantahun
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