There is no one happier today in Ethiopia than the people of Gambella who have all welcome the Prime Minster, Haile Mariam Desalegn, with open heart in their National Regional State. The Prime Minster’s visit means a lot for the people of Gambella not only for the unity among the indigenous tribes but also it will foster a better relation with the central government not to mention the developmental issues the Prime Minister has seen firsthand which he said he will make happen.
Some of these include the upgrading of the Gambella College to Gambella National Regional State University which will enroll students from around Ethiopia.
Another is the health sector particularly the Gambella National Regional State Hospital. The hospital lacks modern medical facilities particularly the orthopedic department as well as the department of mental health.
If Prime Minster could address those critical aspects which he said he will, then it would be a relief for many poor people of Gambella who are forced to travel outside the region in search of medical treatment and better education under difficult circumstances such as the financial hardships.
However, those were not the factors which engender happiness from the locals. Seeing the Prime Minster was enough by itself to take all the five ethnic groups of Gambella and their highlander brothers and sisters who have adopted Gambella and calls it home , to the streets and dance.
One resident said to her friend who lives in Australia, “if you get a chance to see me right now, you would have thought that I have never had a shower for two years because my body is full of dust and sweat. We are dancing we are welcoming the Prime Minster to Gambella. Sorry I will talk to you later I am going to dancing” she said
In fact there is no shortage of dancing from all ethnic groups of Gambella; Nuer, Anyuak, Mejeng, Oppo as well as inhabitants from Highland Ethiopia. The atmosphere was very good. “The Prime Minister is a nice man” one local resident chanted.
Asked about what she likes about the Prime Minsiter?” Nyaluak said “I like that he is here with us”. He is just together with people seeing all the beautiful Gambella Culture, different types of cultural foods from all ethnic groups that make up the region”.
“We have never seen any head of government in Gambella. The last time our fathers saw a head of government was, with Mengistu Haile Mariam, 23 years ago. Some of the people here in the crowd were not even born. But you cannot compare EPDRF with Derg. EPDRF have opened schools for us but Derg did not do anything for our parents. You can see the different yourself. We can read and write but they can’t.”
More to follow