A Dutch documentary program about 40 minutes on a flower farm in Ziway, Ethiopia, owned by the Sher flower farm a multi-million company run by father and daughter from Holland, was shown on Holland TV last week. The documentary was translated by Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT) in Amharic for its Ethiopian audience. All who care about planet earth and its inhabitants need to watch it and take a clear stand !!!
Sher came to Ethiopia after 15 years in Kenya attracted among other things by the weather and abundant Fresh Water. In the1970s I used to visit my uncle there and the memory of the lake and the dried fish what we call it “Yeasa Kwanta” is still fresh in my memory.
On the documentary people on the surrounding were asked about the river and lake. An Oromo young woman watering her cattle in the nearby river told viewers that the river we saw was a river after rain and when there is no rain the river is dry. Nothing for the cattle !!!
Nearby Sher is pumping water for its farm. There is a battle between Valentine/Rose and humans/animals. Sher tried to hide its pumping stations from the camera but its negative impact on the surroundings, human beings and animals, is clear for all to see.
Those who were brave enough to be interviewed told how the lake surface area decreased in size and depth from year to year. Sher is abusing the fresh water to increase its profit. Current consumption of water is estimated on the documentary to be of 2000 Olympic size stadium at the current farm size of 1000 football stadium about 500 hectare. This has been going on since 2005. On the last decade the environmental damage to Ziway lake and its surroundings as a resul of Sher greed is tremendous. Independent group should take is as a case study !!!
Eating fish which is a common food in the area can expose you to deadly diseases no doubt. The doctor in the area has confirmed rare diseases which he is not sure of its source. If the fish died of poisoning from chemicals you will have it by eating fish cooked or raw. Animals will have it from grazing and drinking in the surrounding. The food cycle is poisoned !!!!
People and fish/animals are being poisoned by untreated water from the Sher farm. The company is free to poison the environment. It should get a “Poisoning Certificate” not a ” Fairtrade Certificate” it hangs on its wall.
The health hazard by workers in sher farm is clear from the documentary. Those who have no other job opportunity estimated 10,000 in the farm, taking such risk is not surprising. What scary is the damage done to the the lake/river and its inhabitants.
Before accepting any responsibility for the damage done for a decade Sher is on its way to expand or add 650 hectare which is1300 football stadium to produce 1.5 billion flowers per year. That means the devastation of lake Ziway and its surrounding is going to be doubled or tripled !! No one is held accountable as of now !!!
The current devastating drought and flooding in Ethiopia will get much worst by companies like Sher that cares for profit only at the expense of the environment. If the world agrees to stop Fossil Fuel we can stop also the production of Sher Deadly Roses in Ethiopia !!!! Sher is anti-Environment !!!!!