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[PANEL] 0306 VULNERABILITY AND NEW SOLIDARITIES AMONG ETHIOPIAN PASTORALISTS: RENEGOTIATING POWER AND IDENTITIES IN ETHIOPIA’S PASTORAL BORDERLANDS
Francesco STARO, Université Paris 8 Vincennes Saint Denis, France
SAMUEL Tefera Alemu, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
MOHAMMED Yimer; YETEBAREK Hizekeal Zekareas; Randi HAUGLAND; Saverio KRATLI; ANNILEY E. Tessema;
YOHANNES GebreMichael; MELESE Worku; SAMAL Sahela
The main idea that we would like to develop in this panel looks at the pastoral areas in Ethiopia as an entry point to study the fabric of new power relations between state authorities, pastoral communities and international aid actors.
Nowadays, the representation of pastoralists’ livelihoods and modes of production as a simple adaptation to unpredictable rainfall and “scarce” resources are still strong in national economic policy as well as in scientific research. These representations fail to acknowledge that access to natural re-sources - mainly water and pastures - as well as mobility patterns among pastoralists results from the interplay of local, national and international actors. From this point of view, it is possible to recognize the different issues at stake in pastoral borderlands which are related to natural resources management and gaps in policy, the role of livestock marketing in regional economic networks as well as national security at the borders of the state.
We welcome contributions of scholars and researchers working in different fields (anthropology, geography, political sciences, and development studies). We will discuss the complex relationships between pastoral societies and their environment focusing the attention on three major topics:
- From sedentarization and resettlement of pastoral communities to “participatory development”. How power relations between the Ethiopian State and pastoral communities are re-negotiated and what is the role of development and humanitarian actors in this process?
- Natural resource grabbing, policy and institutional change. Pastoral regions are more and more concerned with the privatization of natural resources and large scale investments in the agricultural sector. How local institutions regulating access to land and water among pastoralists are changing to tackle these processes?
- Shifting identities and power relations along resource borders: International aid and development projects may be considered as new “resources” that contribute to the reconfiguration of local networks of solidarity, social protection, and competition among local communities. What are the impacts on pastoralists’ livelihood and resilience?
ADEQUATE CONSULTATION AND DIALOGUE WITH LOCAL COMMUNITY; UNLOCKING THE UNTAPPED POTENTIAL FOR PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT; EVIDENCE FROM SOUTH OMO ZONE [Abstract ID: 0306-01]
This paper argues that adequate consultation and public dialogue at a grass-roots level are two potential entry points in times of development interventions, fostering peace among geographically close people and a subsequent foundation for development. The study was undertaken to examine whether the agro-pastoral communities of South Omo zone were jeopardized as a result of the Omo Kuraz Sugar development project or not. Adopting an Ethnographic design, the study combines primary data collected through participant observation, focus group discussion and key informant interviews, surmising that there were attempts to consult the indigenous people, though these attempts were not adequate. It also indicates that despite the absence of compensation for the local displaced people due to their mobile life, the people were not endangered as a result of the project. This project, as a development project that is established at the communal land of the agro-pastoralists, is providing training for the nearby people to hire them in its various offices. Far from the claims of various overseas institutions which purported that agro-pastoral communities would miserably suffer from such a project, the people considered it as if it was their own project. Generally, the study implies that South Omo zone is a counterexample of how local level consultation and a wide range of dialogue are indispensable preconditions to foster peace and development in many pastoral and agro-pastoral areas of the country.
ASSET OR DETRIMENT?: INFORMAL CROSS-BORDER SOCIO-ECONOMIC RELATIONS IN ETHIOPIA-KENYA BORDER AND IMPLICATIONS FOR LOCAL DEVELOPMENT [Abstract ID: 0306-02]
The Ethiopia-Kenya borderland is home to historically marginalized pastoral communities. Before the 1990s, these communities were ignored in the discourse of national development. Pastoralism was regarded as an ‘archaic’, and ‘backward’ way of life and pastoralists were seen as ‘needy’ populations. Post-1990s policy developments in both Ethiopia and Kenya led to a change of perspective in which pastoral frontiers started to be seen as areas with huge potential for national development. However, the strategies implemented to achieve local development still raise questions. From the state perspective, mobile social structures, which are indispensable to pastoral production, are regarded as a challenge to local development, and need to be sedentarised. Moreover, informal economic relations are treated in government documents as lost public revenue that has to be policed. Conversely, the local communities see informal socio-economic relations as the backbone of their existence. This research seeks to investigate the connection between informal cross-border socio-economic relations and local development. Moreover, it proposes policy orientations and models for the practice of social work at the margins of the state. The findings of this research reflect the perspective of the local communities. Accordingly, we argue that if facilitated and supported by harmonised policies, mobile ways of life and cross-border economies can drive development from below. Instead of blaming the state development paradigm, this project derives lessons from the contexts of West Africa and the Arctic North, and calls on policy makers and social work practitioners to work towards promoting informal cross-border socio-economic relations.
DEVELOPMENT AND PASTORALISM: [Abstract ID: 0306-05]
Pivotal to the challenge of defining axes of activity in pastoral development in Ethiopia is the decision on whether pastoralism is to be considered a problem or an asset; and therefore whether development should be about making pastoralists stronger (development of pastoralism), or rather to help them find means of subsistence other than pastoralism. This paper argues that a people-led-development perspective (building on existing resources and locally driven processes) allows only for a straightforward answer: Pastoral development means supporting people in their livelihood strategies as pastoralists. Especially, it means supporting their efforts to embed flexible/variable interfaces between production and environment. Even beside the people-led-development framework, the approach that sees pastoral development as development out of pastoralism is at odds with history. The assumption that pastoral systems in Ethiopia are inherently unproductive and unsustainable (therefore no development can stem from them) has too often been taken as self-evident. The available evidence, albeit fragmentary, points in the opposite direction. An assessment of productivity (output over input) depends on what is taken into consideration when considering input and output. The performance of individual animals in pastoral systems is low when measured by standard parameters, which are designed assuming optimal uniformity and stability in the environment. When productivity is assessed at a scale higher than the individual animal, and in ways that allow to account for the highly variable pastoral environment, the result changes. Available records indicate long-term stability, or even increase, in the aggregated livestock holdings in Ethiopian pastoral systems (despite the periodical fluctuations). Livestock exports, almost entirely supplied by pastoral systems, are also believed to have increased substantially over the years. In light of the historical underinvestment in pastoral systems, and indeed the sustained and severe reduction in rangeland suffered by these systems over the last forty years, the recorded stability or possibly increase in production — i.e. stability or increase in output from reduced input — would suggest that overall the productivity of pastoral systems in Ethiopia has indeed increased quite substantially, and is increasing. Therefore the assumption that productivity cannot increase within pastoralism is incorrect.
TRADITIONAL LEADERS OF AFAR AND THE DYNAMICS OF PASTORALIST STATE INTERACTION EVIDENCE FROM LOWER AWASH VALLEY OF AFAR REGIONAL STATE [Abstract ID: 0306-07]
The arrival of European colonists and the expansion of the Ethiopian state caused the Afar to be divided and administered under three Horn of Africa countries, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Eritrea. In the Horn of Africa, the Afar had been led for centuries by traditional leaders from four different areas called Tajoura, Rahaito, Girrifo and Aussa. During the Imperial period, the traditional leaders were incorporated into the Imperial state structure and awarded new Imperial titles. At this period, the traditional leaders served as a bridge between the state and ordinary pastoral society. In the same vein, the role of traditional leaders as intermediaries continued after the Derg came to power. Again when the EPRDF came to power, traditional leaders played a pivotal role in times of political instability, serving as an instrument to maintain the power of both the federal and regional state. In general, across the three regimes, even though there were social, political and economic changes in the country, there was no significant change in the role of traditional leaders in the interaction between the state and pastoralists. This paper will explore the interaction of the pastoralist Afar with the state through the role played by traditional leaders and how the state maintained its power in the Lower Awash Valley, using data obtained by qualitative research methods.
UNDERSTANDING THE DYNAMISM IN PASTORAL AREAS AS POINT OF DEPARTURE FOR APPROPRIATE PLANNING: EXPERIENCES FROM SOMALI REGION,ETHIOPIA [Abstract ID: 0306-06]
It is believed that the cumulative effect of knowledge gaps and top-down approaches to pastoralism have contributed to the introduction of inappropriate policies, triggering resource-based conflicts, land degradation and food insecurity. Accordingly, the overall aim of this study is to document rational and invisible pastoral activities which are usually simplified and underestimated by outsiders based on one of the districts of the Somali Region of Ethiopia. As a methodology, Shinile district is selected due to its diversified livelihoods, interfaces of the rural and urban, and the presence of both conflict and peace. Moreover, both a household survey and group discussion were held with pastorals and agro-pastorals of different wealth ranks. A total of 160 people were consulted in the household survey and group discussions.
The study revealed that pastoralism as a system is subject to dynamic changes in the environment, livelihood, land use and land cover and demographic features. However, these complex and diverse dynamics are less understood by the decision makers, which attribute them to a defective policy formulation in pastoral areas instead. Moreover, pastoralists have a wide range of invisible activities, amongst them their ecological and socio-economic setting acting as opportunities to develop their livelihoods. Finally, the study concludes that some of the invisible pastoral activities are rational pathways to adapt to environmental and policy changes. Supporting the local initiates and recognition of community competence to experiment and innovate appear essential to assure sustainable livelihoods in the pastoral areas.
VULNERABILITY AND ADAPTATION STRATEGIES OF RURAL LIVELIHOOD TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN CASE OF LIBO KEMKEM DISTRICT, SOUTH GONDER ZONES, ETHIOPIA [Abstract ID: 0306-03]
Background: Climate change at the present time is one of the biggest worldwide agendas; this issues challenges for developing countries, especially in agro-pastora livelihood. Vulnerability is the degree to which environmental systems are likely to experience harmful climate change. Adaptive is the ability of a system to adjust to climate change.
Objective: To evaluate vulnerability and adaptation strategies of agro-pastora livelihood to climate change. Study was conducted on Libo District 2016/17.
Methods: Primary and secondary data were collected through semi-structured questionnaires, field observation, interview, focus group discussion and key informant interviews and national meteorological data. District was selected based on being more vulnerable to climate changes when compared to other district. Three kebela were selected based on stratification agro ecological zone. The sampling size of 120 farmers was randomly selected. Data analyzed by using STATA, SPSS and Microsoft Excel.
Result: The annual and maximum average annual rainfall is decreasing at the rate of 21.21 and 7.499 mm per 25 year. The rainfall is decreasing trend the linear equation (Y=21.21X-41) with R2=0.64 at 5% level of significance. The annual temperature and average annual temperature increase rate 1.53oc and 0.128oc per year respectively. This climate variably seriously affects agro-pastora livelihood, especially in depletion of water resources, animal health, expansion of drought, reduced grass grow and ecological instability. Result showed that 27.8% agro-pastora livelihood more vulnerable Climate change, high magnitude of impact and lower adaptive capacity etc... The result of Multinomial logiest Model farmers adaptation different strategies against climate change soil conservation practice, to plant improved grass species like bane grass, green gold, elephant grass, crop diversification with livestock forage alfalfa and cowpea, using improved crops varieties and irrigation were 37.5%,22.5%,16.67%,13.33% and 10% respectively. Result reveals (42.8%) agro-pastora livelihood more vulnerable climate-change due to higher magnitude impact, low adaptive capacity, lack education, weak livelihood strategy and being exposed to extreme climate shock and climate sensitive resources. Result indicated main constrain adaptation strategies lack of information about long-term climate change, lack of appropriate adaptations strategy, lack of access to timely weather forecast, lack of irrigation schemes 29%,17%,11.67%,12.5%,37.5% respectively. Multinomial logestic Model results of marginal effect (dy/dx or mfx) confirm that access climate information, social capital, access technology, economic wealth, extinction services and farmer to farmer extinction services have statistically significant impact on climate adaptation strategies.
Conclusion: The farmer should develop appropriate livestock and farming intervention and pay specific attention to fodder production for livestock. The government should be developing different climate adaptation strategic practices and raising awareness of the local population for sustainable development of agro-pastora livelihood. Researcher recommends that climate vulnerability should be supported and intervention by government, policy and decision maker is advised to improve existing policies for sustainable development of agro-pastora livelihood.