Following Capacity Building from U.S. Forest Service, Addis Ababa Fire Fighters Share Experience and Expertise with Hawassa Industrial Park

Since 2011, the U.S. Forest Service, in support of USAID/Ethiopia, has been working with the Addis Ababa Fire and Emergency Prevention and Rescue Authority (FEPRA) to help fire fighters and emergency responders build capacity in urban emergency management and response. The Forest Service collaborated with FEPRA to enhance its training academy program, a residential multi-week training facility that targets elite urban fire fighters in Addis Ababa, through intensive training programs, curriculum development, and standard operating procedures. Since that time, FEPRA’s leadership has envisioned the role of the training center as a hub to service emergency responders from other cities across Ethiopia, sharing its expertise broadly across Ethiopia.

Recently, Ato Wondwosen Teka, Management Director of Ethiopia’s Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC) turned to the leadership at FEPRA for assistance in developing the skills of fire fighters at three industrial parks.  Industrial Parks development is a huge national endeavor and protecting its assets is critical for Ethiopia’s economy. “Our partnership with FEPRA is making our industrial parks a safer workplace and ensures we comply with requirements from our investors and buyers,” said Ato Wondwosen. In the summer of 2018, 74 fire fighters from IPDC graduated from a three-month intensive program at FEPRA and were assigned to their respective industrial parks, a $100,000 investment.

The IPDC – FEPRA collaboration has already shown results. Since the training, fire fighters at the Hawassa Industrial Park have successfully controlled six incidents. The team has also been called upon by the city of Hawassa to assist with other emergencies, outside of the Industrial Park. “The strengthened technical capacity of FEPRA is allowing IPDC to establish fire departments with well-trained firefighters in its industrial parks,” noted Ato Wondwosen.

The U.S. Forest Service has also provided unique assistance directly to IPDC. In support of USAID/Ethiopia, the Agency provides long-term technical assistance on clean energy to help IPDC operate using a low emissions and environmentally sustainable pathways. Since 2016, the Forest Service has supported a full-time resident advisor to provide technical support to IPDC leadership, along with targeted capacity building opportunities for IPDC personnel on energy management, corporate social responsibility, industrial wastewater management and green manufacturing.

The U.S. Forest Service is committed to helping governments obtain the most up-to-date skills and tools to ensure that they can make informed decisions about a variety of issues including emergency management and implementing clean energy programs. Along with these programs, the U.S. Forest Service has supported partners in Ethiopia since 2005 to improve rangeland management and national-level disaster management to build capacity and increase community resiliency.

USAID’s portfolio in Ethiopia is one of the largest and most complex in Africa. To further the country’s progress, the Ethiopian Government has committed itself to sustainably increasing rural incomes and national food security. U.S. assistance capitalizes on a partnership with the Government to deliver basic public services and combat poverty. As an interagency partner, the U.S. Forest Service is committed to working with partners in Ethiopia to offer specialized programs, tools and approaches that help reach food security and resiliency goals.