Personal Reflection on my Practicum:
The Akaki community is one of the highly affected communities by the pollution of the Akakai River. This is because the livelihood is highly dependent and attached with river. Now a days this effect goes to the nearby city, Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. Most of the vegetables consumed in the city of Addis Ababa directly comes from the farmer who works along the River bank of Akaki. They produce the vegetables using the highly polluted akaki river, which is affected by different chemicals and wastages which comes from the city of Addis Ababa. This result, high health problem in the customer sides as well as the farmer in the area.
As I try to mention in the page of Legal framework, there are many good laws in Ethiopia. The main problem is in the implementation of those laws. Most of the laws are adopted from other developed country this is one reason that makes the implementation difficult. This is because when designing the law, it needs to consider the real situation of the country, custom, tradition of the community into account.
Lack of good governance system and corruption is also another reason for not implementing those laws. Those who have a big industries and factories built around the river bribe most of the government officials who went for inspections in regard to their wastage management. Further some of the factories, which release their wastages to the river, has sale their share to high government officials. Which gives the factories the power to act unlawfully.
In this practicum there are many lessons and discoveries to myself and my works, which I think went well. The communities were happy to see someone who comes to share the problems and to discuss with them. They didn’t get the chance to discuss this issue and to get answer from the official. So my practicum was a good opportunity for the community as well as for me personally. The community starts organizing to work to get compensation and also to minimize further pollution in the area.
Whereas there are some works that’s not went well. The community fears the impacts that come from the higher officials, who have some interest in the factories and industries.
The biggest achievement of this practicum is that the community is planning to sue the leather industries and beer weary factories, which release high level of wastages in to the river. For this purpose the community was not able to pay for the lawyer. In this point I did two things; he first one is to produce a radio program by the title called the right to get free legal aid service in the environmental issues and the second one is communicating to the Ethiopian Lawyer association, so that they can handle this case. The radio program is done (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSOGRT3pDsc). The second job is working with the lawyer association, its started.