IDRMFSS Director

Message from the Director


It is my distinct pleasure to welcome you to the website of the Institutes of Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Institutes (IDRMFSS) Bahir Dar University, one of the biggest public researches University in Ethiopia.

Disasters are becoming an issue of growing concern worldwide.According torecent data (EM-DAT)disasters take about 100,000 lives; uproot at least 25 million people; and affect more than 200 million people each year. These days, over 50% of displacement results from climate change induced disasters such as flooding and drought. Climate is changing and exacerbating the adverse impacts of these disasters; over the past decades 90% of disasters were fundamentally tied to climate change. Taking only the year 2015, it has been one of the worst years in disaster that mankind has witnessed in history, to mention some of them; a heat wave killed 2, 500 and 1,229 people in India and Pakistan, respectively. In the same year flooding in Malawi claimed 276 lives and nearly a quarter million people were found affected in the whole country. Flooding in Chile killed 178 people and Tropical Cyclone Komen has taken 493 lives. Though different measures are underway in every corner of the world, our current status signifies the need to multiply our efforts in dealing with risks, if we are meant to save lives and livelihoods.

As one of the vulnerable countries, Ethiopia, based on the country’s deep-rooted history of disasters and the past disaster management experience, the government has ratified the National Policy on Disaster Prevention and Management (NPDPM) in 1993. The sector led the shift in thinking from relief and response to development that provides an opportunity for the integration of disaster risk management and sustainable development initiatives in higher education and research institutions. As a response to the identified policy gap in human capacity skill and research, Bahir Dar University has established the Department of Disaster Risk Management and Sustainable Development (DDRMSD) in 2005, and offered the BSc DRMSD in the same year and the MSc in Disaster Risk Science and Sustainable Development program in 2007. Since then, the programs have turned out 250 graduates for the B.S. and 72 graduates in the MSc level.

 As part of the University’s five year strategic plan, which includes the already established undergraduate and postgraduate programs, Bahir Dar University has recently upgraded the Department into an Institute for Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Studies. It is now offering academic programs, conduct research and provide community - based Disaster Risk Reduction services. The Institute is envisioned to be the center of excellence and source of information for disaster risk management endeavors in Africa.

The institute has strong partnership with international, regional and national institutions through which access to financial and professional expertise is secured in order to provide its services in a sustainable manner. We are collaboratively working with PeriPeri U (Partners Enhancing Resilience for People Exposed to Risk), University Of Arizona (USA),UJI (Spain), ADPC, Stellenbosch University (South Africa). Moreover, through the university, the Institute is working in collaboration with Federal DRMFSS and Other Regional offices, NGOs and UN agencies like, UNDP, FAO, and ISDR. Moreover, we have strong collaboration with NGOs such as, USAID, USFS, ACCRA, Plan international, Red Cross societies, CARE Ethiopia, OXFAM, Save the Children, CORDAID and Helpage international.

Despite a growing number of climate change adaptation and mitigation measures, the country still remains to be most vulnerable to the adverse impacts of the existing climate change; whereby the notable example is the current drought occurring in the country which is caused by the effect of ELINO.

As one of the oldest Universities in Ethiopia, our legacy as a pioneer in disaster risk management academic and research University is to build capacity all over the country to address hazards and reduce their impacts. And this high level stakeholder’s consultative workshop is part of the University job to particularly contribute to the Science- policy- practice interface and gain perspectives in the field of disaster risk management to bring the dream 2025 a reality.

To conclude, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is now regarded as a key element of global development agenda through integration with climate change and sustainable development. Likewise, BDU’s DRR Vision 2025 should be regarded as an important part of concerted and coordinated efforts at national and international levels.

Ethiopia is highly vulnerable to different kinds of natural hazards particularly related to climate change. As a result, the country has been affected byfrequent drought and flood, and they are causing a lot of damages to thepeople and national economy. Therefore, it needsstrong commitmentand interventions through education, research and training to reduce the risk of disaster.

In line with this, the institute of DRMFSS is established with goals/missionof: offering quality education and trainings; conductingpolicy-oriented researches;building the capacity of practitioners, policy and decision makers across the country.Furthermore, the institute has a vision to be a centre of excellence in Disaster Risk Management, Food Security and Climate change Adaptation education, research, training and information in Africa.

 Meanwhile, to achieve these goals we have had collaboration and partnerships with different stake holders. It is also day today news that, currently, Ethiopia has been widely affected by drought, and thus the people and Government are working hard to minimizeitsdamageand losses. Therefore the contribution of IDRMFSS is so immense in this aspect particularly in producing skilled human power that can work to curbing the impact of the disaster.

Dr Adane Tesfaye

Director of Institutes of Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Institutes (IDRMFSS)