In 2005, the escarpment rising above the Ethiopian regions known as Udo Watate and Mekibasa were largely devoid of plant and animal life. Following decades of radical deforestation, these two regions served as classic examples of desertification, and the area looked like a moonscape.
But the “moonscape” description was then, and today is a much better day. Today, everything at Udo Watate has been wonderfully transformed following the planting of nearly seven million trees. The Udo Watate region is now covered with a healthy forest canopy, lush understory growth, and there is a prolific multiplication of species occurring as a result of natural regeneration. With evidence in hand, we are now able to report the completion of the Udo Watate reforestation effort. The area will continue to be guarded, but there is no longer a need to plant additional seedlings at this site. In the years to come, the Udo Watate reforestation site will serve as an example of what will occur at Mek- ibasa and the many other regions along the escarpment surrounding Lake Hawassa Ethiopia. This first success hasn’t resolved all of the regions environmental ills, but it has proven that these and other issues can be resolved through the wonder of reforestation.