Ethiopia: Social affects of deforestation in Southwest

From the outset, I beg that it should not be construed as a sectarian
or political motivation. My intention is to inform readers to pray
intelligently, donors to give responsibly and the government to engage
actively. It short, it is a call for environmental justice. Let it be
clear that I am presenting these brute but humble thoughts as a
concerned moral agent, simple-minded thinker and an international
development professional as well as an environmental advocate.

Get full text; support writer, producer of the words:

Southwestern Ethiopia used to boast of its green vegetation. Just over
a century ago, 40% of the land was covered by forest. When Emperor
Haile Sellasie reigned in 1930, the forest had dwindled to 10%. By the
time he was deposed in 1974, it had reduced to 4%. With advent of
Dirgue’s public ownership policy of the rural land, the peasants
recklessly abused state forests.

In 1978, the estimated amount of the forested land mass was only 3%. The current estimate is only 2%. With desertification effect of the Sahara Desert, commonly called the Sahel and other major factors such as deforestation, Ethiopia’s climate has changed to more arid and hotter, only varied by the higher altitudes and the Danakil depression served by the monsoon wind and precipitation.

The eco-system has been adversely affected due to continuous neglect and abuse of forest conservation, development and management. Apart from the recent millennium tree-panting effort, apparently there have not been any major forestry development projects in the last two decades in the region. Contrarily, hundreds of acres have been arbitrarily cleared for farming in Gamo and Kaffa. Wild fires in Bale and Arsi Zones had irreplaceably damaged sizeable natural forests in recent years.

There are also other factors that contribute to un-productivity of the farmland including over-population, over-grazing, soil degradation due to erosion and over-utilization, wild wind, improper application of commercial fertilizers, lack of land use policy such as propagating and maintaining traditional peasantry as a way of life for the rural population, in lieu of modern and mechanized farming, urbanization and industrialization.

Get full text; support writer, producer of the words:

Leave a comment

Your comment