Challenges in Utilization of Precious Opal in Ethiopia: A Case Study from the Delanta Area, South Wollo, Ethiopia

Authors

  • Assamen Ayalew Ejigu * Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Kombolcha Institute of Technology, Kombolcha, Ethiopia
  • Desalegn Gezahegn Ketemu Department of Geology, College of Natural Science , Wollo University, Dessie, Ethiopia
  • Sisay Awoke Endalew Department of Chemistry, College of Natural Science , Wollo University, Dessie, Ethiopia
  • Wudu Yimer Assen Department of Mechanical Engineering, Kombolcha Institute of Technology, Kombolcha, Ethiopia.
* Corresponding author: eaa@kioe.edu.et

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.20372/ajst.2020.5.2.112

Abstract

Even if, the Delanta precious opal is promising natural resources for economic development and expansion of gemstone industry, there are serious problems faced in utilization of the resource. This study aimed to assess the major problems affecting the utilization of opal resources in Delanta district, Ethiopia, and to recommend possible solutions to the main actors of the sector. In this study, statistical methods and fishbone diagrams were employed and the data for the study was collected using interviews, focus group discussions, and physical observation. The results of the study revealed that there are problems which can be categorized into four main categories: mining technique related problems (opal cracking problem due to traditional mining tools, inappropriate handling, and land sliding accidents), market-related problems (such as poor national and international market attachment, meager promotion, unfair market price, corrupted and illegal marketing practices), problems related to value addition (shortage of modern lapidary machines, lack of domestic skills for jewelry production, poor monitoring mechanisms for value addition, low local market price of value-added products and lack of access to sell value-added opal products to the international market and skill gaps of opal cutters) and problems related to lack of environmental impact assessment (deforestation, land degradation and pH change of land soil due to waste disposal). In general, the results of this study indicates that, even though the study area has a promising opal potential, problems related to marketing system, mining, and value addition practices are serious challenges hindered the surrounding community and the country as a whole not to utilize the resource properly.

Keywords:

Delanta, Lapidaries, Opal Utilization, Precious Opal, Value addition

Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Downloads

Published

2020-12-31

How to Cite

Ejigu *, A. A. ., Ketemu, . D. G. ., Endalew, S. A. ., & Assen, W. Y. . (2020). Challenges in Utilization of Precious Opal in Ethiopia: A Case Study from the Delanta Area, South Wollo, Ethiopia. Abyssinia Journal of Science and Technology, 5(2), 14–21. https://doi.org/10.20372/ajst.2020.5.2.112

info

Issue

Section

Original Research Articles

License

Copyright (c) 2020 Abyssinia Journal of Science and Technology

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.