Household Resilience to Green Famine: Dimensions, Magnitude and Ethno Culture Disparity in Belo-Jiganfoy District, Benishangul-Gumuz Region, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Up-to-date, theories of famine in Ethiopia have mainly focused on factors related to drought due to sustained moisture stresses. In contrast, theories meant to explaining and understanding the „green famine‟ situation have never been formulated and employed. The „green famine belt‟ (GFB) has been generally overlooked by the government, humanitarian agents and researchers. The overall purpose of this study was to increase insights into the vulnerability context and establish theories about the „green famine‟ and households‟ resilience to it based on cross-sectional study of households based on Belo-jiganfoy district, a case study area located in the GFB. The study revealed that the impact of „green famine‟ and hunger, amidst of flourishing green vegetation and ample rainfall, was as severe as that of the conventional famines. Cultural, institutional, socio-economic, and climate-induced shocks other than drought, biophysical and demographic factors were found to have triggered „green famine‟. Aspiration to change, social safety net, cultural bond and practices, income and food access, stability, access to basic services, asset possession, and adaptive capacity were observed locally relevant dimensions of household resilience to „green famine‟ shocks/stresses. The study also established and proposed a theory and approach that may be universally applied to explain and understand „green famine‟. The famine (severe food insecurity) that has had prevailed in most parts of Ethiopia was largely due to drought though observations show this cannot be an explanation to the „green famine‟ of the green belt. Hence, policies of intervention should take into account those factors which can minimize vulnerability and enhance resilience of households or communities to „green famine Keywords: Green famine, vulnerability, resilience, ethno-culture, shocks/stresses, livelihoods, wild foods, villagization, Ethiopia



Green Famine, Vulnerability, Ethno Culture, Wild Foods