INBAR East Africa Regional Office celebrates World Bamboo Day 2022
INBAR celebrates World Bamboo Day, 2022, with colorful events in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.
INBAR’s East Africa Regional Office (EARO) has recently celebrated this year’s World Bamboo Day with colorful events held in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. The events brought together bamboo stakeholders — artisans, farmers, academics, government officials and NGOs — to observe the day and raise awareness about bamboo and its various uses and applications.
In Ethiopia, EARO, in collaboration with Addis Ababa Science and Technology University, organized a bamboo plantation event themed “Bamboo for Restoration and Technology Transfer,” in which 400 local and introduced seedlings were planted on the premises of the university. The collaboration between INBAR and the university envisages a long-term objective to make bamboo one of the commodities identified for research and development, technology adoption and knowledge transfer. Dr. Sisay Demeku, the Dean of the Architecture and Civil Engineering College, stated that the university will collaborate with industrial and academic key partners across the country and beyond, including INBAR, to work on quality research investigating the structural properties, industrial applications and innovative uses of bamboo as well as its social, environmental and cultural potential. Participants were drawn from the university community, bamboo enterprises, the Ethiopian bamboo association, government offices and media.
In Kenya, the event organized was aimed at raising awareness, highlighting achievements realized in the bamboo development sector of the country, and examining existing gaps and challenges for sustainable growth. It was organized in collaboration with the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), under the national theme “Bamboo for Landscape Restoration and Protection.” At least 200 members of the general public from various sectors joined the event, which featured at least ten bamboo exhibitors from various counties who have been supported by the Dutch-Sino-East Africa Bamboo Development Program – Phase II. The products on display included bamboo furniture; bamboo woven products such as shopping baskets, waste paper baskets, and trays; bamboo handicrafts; engineered bamboo products such as frames and flooring boards; bamboo shoots; and bamboo seedlings. Participants and local communities were able to learn from various stakeholders through bamboo planting and product exhibitions. The chief guest, Mr. Jeckly Bitok, a representative from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, recognized the role of the INBAR in supporting and promoting the development of the bamboo sector in Kenya, as well as bamboo stakeholders across the country. He reiterated the fact that there have been tremendous developments in the bamboo sector as a result of INBAR projects, but the country still has a lot to achieve ahead. As such, he noted, a new approach of coordinated and extended national bamboo programs, focused on public-private partnerships and grassroots models, is needed to further enhance the development of the sector.
In Uganda, to celebrate World Bamboo Day, bamboo was planted in the towns of Kisoro and Kabale in collaboration with local bamboo enterprises Green Cane Innovations and Liz Quick Crafts Centre. In Kisoro, bamboo planting was led by the new Kisoro Municipality town clerk Mr. Haruna Kamba along with technical specialists from Kisoro Municipal Divisions and a representative from Uganda Wildlife Authority. The event was covered on the local radio program “Voice of Muhabura.” Kisoro town is the home to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, which has endemic and endangered mountain gorillas and endemic golden monkeys, whose diet consists of the highland bamboo species Yushania alpina.
World Bamboo Day is observed each year to raise awareness about the conservation of bamboo globally. Conceptualized by international bamboo stakeholders, this day also promotes the bamboo industry by highlighting its concerns. Where bamboo grows naturally, bamboo has been a daily element, but its utilization has not always been sustainable due to exploitation. INBAR aims to bring the potential of bamboo to a more elevated exposure by protecting natural resources and the environment, ensuring sustainable utilization, promoting new cultivation of bamboo for new industries in regions around the world, and promoting traditional uses for communities’ economic development.
Learn more about the Dutch-Sino-East Africa Bamboo Development Program – Phase-II