Adanech Yared Jillo is a respected scientist and analyst in her field, but she is also particularly proud to be a woman professional in water resource management. She became a Borlaug LEAP Fellow in the Spring of 2014, and used that opportunity to increase her skills as a researcher in order to pass on her knowledge and experiences on to other women who are interested in becoming part of Ethiopia’s science and technology sector.
Her CGIAR mentor, Dr. Alemseged Tamiru, specializes in watershed management and irrigation and he assisted her in creating models and impact assessments of water infrastructure developments. She benefited from hands-on training in simple programming languages, statistical modeling, and software packages on hydrological methods while at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She also worked under the under the supervision of Dr. Murugesu Sivapalan, a professor in both the Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Geography and Geographic Information Departments.
Ms. Jillo wishes to unravel the hydrological variability of the Omo-Gibe River Basin, and study the impacts of water infrastructure development and climate change on the eco-hydrology of the basin, and is incredibly grateful for the support that the Borlaug Leap fellowship gave her. The Omo-Gibe River Basin is Ethiopia’s second largest river system, and accounts for 14% of Ethiopia’s annual runoff, second only to the Blue Nile River. The Omo-Gibe is one of the most significant water resources in Ethiopia and, as a result, reliable runoff information is hugely important for sustainable management of Ethiopia’s water resources. Unfortunately, current runoff information is limited, but Ms. Jillo is focusing her attention on increasing the data available through her research. Her objective is to investigate and determine hydrological variability of the basin, as well as the impacts of water infrastructure development and climate changes on the hydrologic and eco-hydrologic systems of the Omo-Gibe Basin. The vision she has for her country is one where Ethiopia is the breadbasket of Africa, and capable of feeding its citizens as well as others who may be struggling to obtain food security. She intends to complete her PhD in Water Resources Engineering and Management in 2016.