Rehabilitation of Cheleleka Wetlands and Forests in the Wondo Genet Area, Ethiopia



Project implementor: Mendel University in Brno

Donor: Czech Development Cooperation

Implementation period: 2023-2025


The Cheleleka wetland is an important source of livelihood for the surrounding population, stabilizing the local microclimate, serving as an extensive natural water purification system, and providing a habitat for a significant number of organisms. Currently, however, it faces a high degree of degradation, and its area has been consistently decreasing in the long term due to deforestation in the vicinity, expansion of human settlements, accumulation of waste, discharge of toxic substances from factories, or intensive agriculture. The pollution of the wetland adversely affects biodiversity, as it is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, and also the livelihood of local people, for whom it is a crucial water source (irrigation, livestock watering, fishing, and recreation). The wetland is thus ceasing to function as a source of sustenance for local communities.


The goal of the project is to prevent the degradation of the Cheleleka wetland, restore its functionality, and improve the surrounding area. A significant aspect is also the establishment of waste management and efficient water use, the introduction of agroforestry into the practices of the local population, and the involvement of local communities and officials in addressing the issues.

The development objective of the project is to improve the living conditions of the population and the environment around the Cheleleka wetland and forests in the Wondo Genet area through the rehabilitation of slopes above the wetland, which will no longer be subject to further degradation. The project, therefore, focuses primarily on supporting sustainable natural resource management planning, implementing technical and biological erosion control measures, and protecting the soil.


HS will conduct training for local officials on the most requested topics in waste management, with a primary focus on waste prevention. Solid waste accumulates in the affected area, is not properly balanced, and a portion of the wetland is used as a waste dump. Residents have limited awareness of waste and techniques for handling it, as well as its impact on the health of people, animals, and biodiversity.

HS will also participate in awareness activities regarding the prevention of wetland pollution through the creation of posters.

Furthermore, HS will train primarily young enthusiasts from local communities in operations, marketing, and market research related to small entrepreneurial activities in established urban parks. Preliminary interest in these locations includes small cafes, stalls selling fruits, vegetables, spices, or honey, mobile phone charging stations, as well as table tennis or billiards.