Positive Actions Taken To Protect Washa-Mik’ael

October 10, 2011

1) the beginnings of a trench has been dug to relieve the flooding, 2) shrubs have been cut back and 3) a fence has been raised. These measures indicate a positive conscientiousness, but implementation may not be wholly adequate. Last year it was stressed that removal of penetrating roots was the most urgent matter. Nevertheless only the outgrowth has been attended to thus far. This pruning appears only to have strengthened the invading roots – effectively driving wedges deeper into the structure’s cracks. Eucalyptus roots from the adjoining plantation also remain unencumbered from damaging the south wall. Current attempt at unblocking the pedestrian tunnel involves a laying of pipe within the tunnel, but this serves questionable purpose as the tunnel is itself effectively a drainpipe by original design. Moreover the new pipe interferes with the site’s integrity. Externally (several meters to the west) a separate trench has been commenced. This measure, which also involves the laying of pipe, is positive and will likely prove beneficial when complete.

Update and photo by Bruce Strachan – October 2011


2 Responses to “Positive Actions Taken To Protect Washa-Mik’ael”

  1. Sidonius said

    The entrance fee was increased recently to 100 birr, camera 150 birr, there is no guide speaking English, no printed guide, nothing. Do Ethiopians really think that foreigners just come to be robbed?

    • Sorry I can’t offer an official comment on admission fees Sidonius. But unofficially I can say that these sites are in desperate need of funds for maintenance and security. And it seems that the burden falls disproportionally on foreigners (Fee only applies to foreigners). I can tell you that I’ve hiked to the tops of mountains to visit churches, but when I got there was unable to meet the exorbitant foreigner admission fees and was therefore not allowed to enter. This is frustrating because I do all my work on behalf of conservation and it is all non-profit. I was also once forced to pay a ‘foreigner’ admission fee once at a church in Addis when attending an Ethiopian friend’s funeral. I told the zabania (guard) that I was a friend and mourner of the deceased, but this didn’t seem to matter much to him.

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