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Wello Famine Case Study.

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WELLO FAMINE CASE STUDY The dictionary defines a famine as: an economic condition where in there is severe shortage of food which also leads to starvation. But there is much more to a famine than its dictionary meaning. True it is an economic condition, but whether this condition is caused by social or political factors or simply because of bad weather, whether this condition is the cause of problems or the effect of many other problems is an argument that has been going on since ages. Over the past few decades, the continent of Africa has come to be recognized with "famines". In the past three decades the African country to have been most severely affected by famines is Ethiopia. There have been three famines in Ethiopia in the past three decades: - * 1974-75 * 1984-85 * 1999-00 Of these the famine in 1984 was considered to be the most disastrous. The most affected area in these famines was the North Wello Zone of Amhara Region where a least 15 million people have been affected because the belg {secondary} rains failed completely in 1984 and then again in 1999. ...read more.


2. Secondly after the first two famines, the "developed countries" started dumping their highly subsidized exports in Ethiopia. As a result the local market suffered greatly. This has also discouraged Ethiopians from being self-reliant. 3. Also, in the Wello region subsistence farming was a main characteristic of the farmers. This meant that they lived from hand to mouth. As a result even a slightest fluctuation in the weather caused a great deal of damage, as they had no reserve food or money to sustain them. 4. The Ethnic rivalry between the people of "North Ethiopia" and "South Ethiopia" also caused various hindrances in bringing about social reform. 5. After the first two famines, the government tried to solve the problems by relocating people to different parts of the country, many times forcibly, and due to the bitterness that existed between the various ethnic groups the efforts of the government proved to be a disaster. 6. Also it is widely acknowledged that foreign countries have promised more but given less to the continent of Africa. 7. The third famine in particular can be called an effect of government planning failure because after having faced the severity of ...read more.


So the availability of water plays a very crucial role in the life of the Ethiopians. Large-scale irrigation projects are simply not a feasible option as Ethiopia lacks the financial power as well as the infrastructure to implement them. Thus to ensure the availability of water during droughts, micro- irrigations projects need to be implemented with individuals or farmers' groups * Efficiency of the government needs to improve by leaps and bounds. * Promised aid and not export subsidies has to come in * Equal distribution of the food is necessary. This can be done on the basis of need as distribution on the basis of ability to pay defies logic in a country where incomes of the people are rapidly falling and distribution on the basis of lottery is not a logically correct option for an essential commodity like food. * Farmers should not be encouraged to continue with subsistence farming as this can cause a repeat of the previous disasters. The study of the famines in Ethiopia in particular the Wello region reminds us that a famine is not just an economic condition. It includes various political, social, cultural factors. A complete study of any famine has to include these factors as only then can a permanent solution be found. ...read more.

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