Transport in the Simien Mountains
On of the major projects at Simien Lodge has been to provide transport to the local community. A 25 seater bus was purchased, partly from donation income, and handed over to the local village committee. IOt goes to market and hospital on Wednesdays and Fridays and travels to Gonder the rest of the week. It provided useful income for the village and well as needy transport.
Simien Walia 10k race.
Organised by Simien Lodge, this annual event on the last day of November each year is now a gixed calendar date. We organise it for the weenend after the Great Ethiopian Run so that tourists can stay over in Ethiopia and run a second race if they wish. However it is principally designed as a community event. In 2015 there will be 3000 runners and the number is restricted according to the number of medals and tee shirts that are sponsored.
Providing clay ovens
It may seem an obvious thing, but so many people still coook on open fires. To reduce the wood consumption and eliminate the smoke in the houses, a Mirte stove was designed several years ago. Working with concerned clients and in particular with Pastest UK, Simien Lodge have fabricated hundreds of these stoves which have been given to local people.
Simien Wolf or Red Fox
Walia numbers are increasing. They were once a threatened species but protection and reduction in predators has meant that their numbers are increasing. They are easily recognised by their long curved serated horns and it is possible now to get withing 100 meters of these beautiful animals. Chennuk is the best place to see them.For more information http://www.ethiopianwolf.org is the website of the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme
The management put great emphasis on creating awareness of the birdlife in the Simiens as well as the animals. A lot of study goes into the endemic animals but not a lot into the changing habitats of the birds, especially the large raptors. Consequently the stands that Simien Lodge take at WTM and the Bridfair in Rutland are important for communicating with the various wildlife societies.
Cataract surgery support
One of the principal medical problems in the Simiens is cataracts because of the intense UV light in the mountains. Eyes need protection from the intense sunlight but often that is not available. Nor is proper cataract surgery with many of the opthalmologists prefering to live in the capital of Addis Ababa. In conjunction with a french Rotary Club, Simien lodge supplied a cataract microscope. Initially this microscope was given to Debark hospital but it has now found a much better utilisation in the new eye hospital in Gonder.
Simien Lodge have on several occasions hosted Vision Aid Overseas, a charity focused on providing glasses to those in need. Optical correction is the biggest cause of blindness in Ethiopia and VAO do much work to ensure that children can see at school and that people can see into old age.
Nigist Towers, 2nd floor, Kazanchis Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Addis Office: +251 11 5524758
Lodge: +251 582 310741
La Clarine, 38840 St Lattier France
Phone: +33 476643078