Government urged to foster sugar development endeavor

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Addis Ababa, 8 July 2014 (WIC) - Native residents of the Omo-Kuraz Sugar Development Project surrounding areas requested the government to foster the sugar development effort so that they can significantly benefit from the development.

In the discussion held at Jinka town of South Omo Zonal Administration between clan leaders, elders, women and the youth of the project surrounding areas comprised of Boddi, Murssi and Mieinnit nationalities and the leaderships of Sugar Corporation as well as the SNNP regional government, the resident participants requested the government to foster the sugar development activities in order to maximize their social and economic benefits.
Some of the participants of the discussion represented from South Omo Zone disclosed that they are eagerly waiting to see the sugar factories under construction in their area commence sugar production like that of Wonji Shoa Sugar Factory which they have paid a visit to earlier.
According to the Bodi community just from the outset of the development process they have got access to infrastructures and social services. Moreover, the project has enabled them introduce themselves with farming so that they have started enjoying their own harvest.
On the other hand, the Murssi nationalities from South Omo Zone and the Mieinnit nationalities of Keffa and Bench-Maji zones who came from areas where the project activities have not reached yet asked the government to accelerate the sugar development activities which will enable them improve their living condition like those residents of other areas where the project’s activities are already underway.
Disclosing their firm commitment to overcome whatever challenges they might face in the process of realizing the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s development vision which he shared them while he had visited the area, they declared their readiness to contribute their part for the realization of the sugar development effort.
Moreover, the participants noted that the development endeavor has brought all nationalities which were used to view one another as enemies rather than friends stand together in fostering the development effort.
The sugar development work has, therefore, brought about a strong social link to them, they also mentioned.
Director General of Sugar Corporation at the level of Minister, Sheferaw Jarsso, while presiding over the discussion forum, on his part, said that the points raised in the meeting showed the encouraging results achieved in the sugar development activities.
In addition to creating access to canal schemes, the government’s effort to ensure infrastructures and social services accessibility to all areas irrespective of the command areas clearly demonstrates the government’s firm commitment in benefiting the local community, he further added.
He at last called up on the native residents to play their part in facilitating the sugar development endeavor.
On the other hand, Tagesse Chaffo, Vice President of the SNNP Regional Administration, reminding the government’s effort in making the natives the first beneficiaries when diverting the Omo River, disclosed that both the federal and regional governments execute any development activity at any area giving priority to the benefit of the natives.
Moloka Webneh, Head Chief of South Omo Zone, on his part, said that the reflections of the participants during the discussion showed the evasion of suspicions and fears which were used to be noticed earlier on similar discussion forums. The villagization program under execution has native residents to access various infrastructures and social services.
The Omo-Kuraz Sugar Development Project is found at South Omo, Keffa and Bench-Maji zones of SNNP Regional State in which five sugar factories in total will be constructed with 175 thousand hectares of sugarcane plantation field.