Akirma magazine is published since 1998 every quarter focusing on environment and developmental issues. It is known that access to environmental information is critical in Ethiopia. Without adequate information on different aspects of the environment it remains difficult to properly address environmental problems prevailing in the country. Akirma is published with the main objective of filling the gap in environmental information. It is mainly written in Amharic and designed to discuss environmental issues, report on ways local people cope with their environment and disseminate information on environmental activities undertaken at different levels. In 2015, FfE in collaboration with Ministry of Environment and Forest started broadcasting Akirma on ebs TV.
Akirm is the name of a strong grass found throughout Ethiopia. Its scientific name is Eleusine floccicolia. It grows well on many soil types and it is quite resistant to drought
Women use the flowering stalks of Akirma for basketry to make various household utensils. Akirma is also used to make different kinds of hats, including the “guessa”, a hat worn by shepherds during the rainy season. The grass is spread on the ground to make the place comfortable for elders during their social gatherings. The plant gives a healthy and pleasent scent to the surroundings.
The roots of Akirma entwine together and foram a mesh that holds the soil together and protects it against erosion. The soil that is washed down from stapes is captured and furnishes all the nutrients the grass requires.
The entwining aspect of the roots is taken as a sign of unity. “By evergreen like the Akirma” is a blessing given to newly weds by the elders in some cultures. Akirma is also a symbol used to express good wishes to friends and family at New Year.