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Title: THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES OF DEPENDENT DEVELOPMENT IN THE UPPER AWASH VALLEY AND THE PREDICAMENTS OF THE KEREYU
Authors: EMMANUEL, MALIFU
Advisors: Dr. Fisseha Itanna
Dr. Tesfaye Tafesse
Copyright: 2007
Date Added: 13-Nov-2007
Publisher: Addis Ababa University
Abstract: Traditional Ethiopian thought, which, on the main, was either limited to religious themes or confined to materials befitting chronicles, started to cede ground to thinking in modern lines with the coming onto the scene of the writing of Aleka Zeneb Etiopia. Subsequent developments, among others, ushered in a body of development thought that attained its apogee in the works of Negadras GebreHywot Baykedagn in the first quarter of the last century. In his two works, Atse Menelik-na Ithiopia (1912) and Mengst-na Ye-hzb Astedader (1924), GebreHywot, grappled with the trio: development, environment and international trade, concerns which are not only of universal in appeal and, consequently, relevant to this date, but to a certain extent unsurpassed. This study takes its cue as well as draws its inspirations from these works of GebreHywot to investigate the type of development path subscribed to in this country and the environmental, social and economic consequences thereof with focus on the Awash Valley and, in particular, with a close-up look in the fate of a local community there, the Kereyu. Such phrases as ‘sustainable development’, ‘the rights to development’, ‘community rights’, ‘selfdetermination’ or ‘benefit sharing’ appear, on the one hand, as though they are domesticated household items, while, on the other, they are rarely understood for what they are and instead tend to be either baffling or rarely properly appreciated, leave alone, inform or mother a worthwhile body of action for anyone to change the world or assert one’s rights in any meaningful way. The main objective of this study is to assess the environmental consequences of the development that the country came to subscribe to or to discern the impacts ensuing from integration in the world market with the following four specific objectives: capture the thought development and, in particular, the development thought as well as trace the development measures that transpired in the country and weight their present-day plausibility and significance; bring out the environmental, social and economic transformations and the various fortunes and misfortunes pastoralist communities inhabiting the Upper Awash Valley are undergoing; compare and contrast the various policy measures, institutional developments, legislative achievements, etc. garnered all along with the precepts of sustainable development, and indicate all possible areas of intervention that may foment positive environmental improvement in the study area. The study was preponderantly designed to portray the environmental history of the study area; it was so designed as to rely on records and other documentations available as well as generate primary data involving measurements of relevant physico-chemical environmental parameters analyzed in accredited laboratories. The first of these measurements pertains to the environmental quality of the Awash River based on sample sites extending from Addis Ababa to the Awash Station. The second physico-chemical measurement regards soil analysis to possibly characterize the degree of range transformation in the study area. In addition, unstructured interviews have been utilized to generate other relevant primary data. The results of the sudy have indicated that the development that transpired in the valley over the years severed the Kereyu from the resources, which constituted their sole lifeline. Actually, it ended up with untoward impacts, which, inter alia, confined the Kereyu within less and less space in mostly marginal land characterized with less and less carrying capacity, perpetrating, in turn, a situation of where the land remaining to the Kereyu is alarmingly devegetated and the soil compacted and the Awash River polluted. The environmental disruption had both distant and proximate causes. The former is attributed to the global climate change fawning desertification while the latter owes itself to the various development activities that came into the valley or impinged upon it. The Awash River and its affluents suffered in terms of pollution. The level of some cations and anions in this river are well above standard either seasonally or throughout the year vis-à-vis various environmental standards, owing to either natural or anthropogenic causes. Fluoride is a good example of the first type and its level was above 4 mg/L (more than 2.5 mg/L above standard) in the dry season. The level of land degradation, in terms of devegetation manifested itself in a variety of range conditions, consisting of either bare ground cover, grass or non-grass species. The difference in range condition evident was neither due to variation in soil nutrients nor due to change in such physical parameters as soil bulk density, but owes itself to overgrazing and other forms of devegetation. The major policy implications of the study constitute: putting a stop to any further alienation of natural resources pastoralist communities are entitled to and the restoration of what was lost to them in the past in accordance to the Constitution of the land. The latter can best be accomplished, among others, by instituting benefit-sharing mechanisms with developments projects already in full swing in the area.
Description: A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES OF ADDIS ABABA UNIVERSITY In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree Master of Science in Environmental Science
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/226
Appears in:Thesis - Environmental Sciences

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