Advertisement

The European Journal of Development Research

, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 660–677 | Cite as

Pathways and Dead Ends of Pastoral Development among the Afar and Karrayu in Ethiopia

  • Detlef Müller-Mahn
  • Simone Rettberg
  • Girum Getachew
Original Article

Abstract

The article highlights heterogeneous patterns of pastoral development in Ethiopia. The key question is to what extent current changes may be interpreted as ‘sustainable development pathways’ in which resilience of livelihoods and natural resource bases are maintained under conditions of stress, or rather as unsustainable ‘dead ends’, characterised by the inability of pastoral groups to cope with and adapt to externally induced changes. The article argues that the answer depends largely on the state's commitment to pastoral development. Empirical evidence from two case studies among Afar and Karrayu clans in the eastern lowlands of Ethiopia suggests that in the past, external interventions by government agencies and large-scale irrigation schemes have been detrimental to pastoral livelihoods. It is concluded that the future of pastoralism in Ethiopia will be determined by divergent but partly complimentary development pathways, and by attempts to give pastoralists a voice in decision-making over their own development.

Cet article met en lumière l’hétérogénéité des modes de développement pastoral en Éthiopie. La question clé est de déterminer si les évolutions actuelles peuvent être interprétées comme des ‘voies vers un développement durable’ dans lesquelles les moyens de subsistance et les ressources naturelles peuvent être maintenus malgré la pression subie, ou plutôt comme des ‘impasses’ insoutenables caractérisées par une incapacité des communautés pastorales à faire face et à s’adapter aux changements exogènes. L’article montre que la réponse à cette question dépend largement du niveau d’engagement de l’État dans le développement pastoral. Deux études de cas sur les populations Afar et Karrayu des basses terres orientales de l’Éthiopie montrent empiriquement que, dans le passé, les interventions externes des agences gouvernementales ainsi que les programmes d’irrigation à grande échelle ont eu des effets préjudiciables sur les moyens de subsistance pastoraux. En conclusion, l’avenir du pastoralisme en Éthiopie sera déterminé par des voies de développement divergentes mais en partie complémentaires et dépendra d’une volonté de donner aux communautés pastorales une voix dans les prises de décisions concernant leur propre développement.

Keywords

development livelihoods pastoralism pathways uncertainty vulnerability 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) for the financial support of the empirical field work and two anonymous referees for their detailed and helpful comments, and also Tobias Hagmann, Doris Schmied and Florian Weisser for their feedback on the work in progress.

References

  1. Abdo Adou, A. (1993) Afar – A Nation on Trial. Stockholm, Sweden: A.A. Adou.Google Scholar
  2. Abdulahi, M. (2007) The legal status of the communal land holding system in Ethiopia: The case of pastoral communities. International Journal on Minority and Group Rights 14 (1): 85–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ayalew, G. (2001) Pastoralism under Pressure, Land Alienation and Pastoral Transformation among the Karrayu of Eastern Ethiopia. Maastricht, the Netherlands: Shaker Publishing.Google Scholar
  4. Berhe, T. and Adaye, Y. (2007) Afar: The Impact of Local Conflict on Regional Stability. Pretoria: Institute for Security Studies.Google Scholar
  5. Beshah, T. and Harbeson, J. (1978) Afar pastoralists in transition and the Ethiopian revolution. Journal of African Studies 5 (3): 249–267.Google Scholar
  6. Bondestam, L. (1974) People and capitalism in the north-eastern lowlands of Ethiopia. Journal of Modern African Studies 12 (3): 423–439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brons, J., Zaal, F., Kersbergen, L. and Ruben, R. (2004) Livelihood strategies and development pathways at household and village level. In: A. J. Dietz, R. Ruben and A. Verhagen (eds.) The Impact of Climate Change on Drylands. With a Focus on West-Africa. Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 267–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cannon, T. and Müller-Mahn, D. (2010) Vulnerability, resilience and development discourses in context of climate change. Natural Hazards, DOI: 10.1007/s11069-010-9499-4.Google Scholar
  9. Central Statistical Authority. (2008) Report of the 2007 Population and Housing Census. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Population Census Commission.Google Scholar
  10. Chambers, R. and Conway, G. (1992) Sustainable Rural Livelihoods: Practical Concepts for the 21st Century. Brighton: Institute of Development Studies. IDS Discussion Paper 296.Google Scholar
  11. Cossins, N.J. (1972) No Way to Live: A Study of the Afar Clans of the Northeast Rangelands of Ethiopia. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Ethiopian Government Meat and Livestock Board.Google Scholar
  12. Davies, S. (1996) Adaptable Livelihoods. Coping with Food Insecurity in the Malian Sahel. London: Macmillan Press.Google Scholar
  13. Davies, J. and Bennett, R. (2007) Livelihood adaptations to risk: Constraints and opportunities for pastoral development in Ethiopia's Afar region. Journal of Development Studies 43 (3): 490–511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. De Bruijn, M. and van Dijk, H. (2005a) Introduction: Climate and society in Central and South Mali. In: M. de Bruijn, H. van Dijk, M. Kaag and K. van Til (eds.) Sahelian Pathways. Climate and Society in Central and South Mali, Research Report 78. Leiden, the Netherlands: African Studies Centre, pp. 1–15.Google Scholar
  15. De Bruijn, M. and van Dijk, H. (2005b) Moving people: Pathways of Fulbe pastoralists in the Hayre-Seeno area, Central Mali. In: M. de Bruijn, H. van Dijk, M. Kaag and K. van Til (eds.) Sahelian Pathways. Climate and Society in Central and South Mali, Research Report 78. Leiden, the Netherlands: African Studies Centre, pp. 247–279.Google Scholar
  16. De Haan, L. and Zoomers, A. (2005) Exploring the frontier of livelihoods research. Development and Change 36 (1): 27–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Devereux, S. (2006) Vulnerable Livelihoods in Somali Region. Brighton: Institute of Development Studies. IDS Research Report 57.Google Scholar
  18. Devereux, S. (forthcoming) Better marginalised than incorporated? Pastoralist livelihoods in Somali Region, Ethiopia. European Journal of Development Research 22 (5), (in press).Google Scholar
  19. Devereux, S. and Scoones, I. (2006) The Crisis of Pastoralism? Future Agricultures Consortium Debate, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies, http://www.future-agricultures.org/pdf%20files/The_crisis_of_pastoralism.pdf.
  20. Dilleyta, A.M. (1989) Les Afars: Le fin du nomadisme. Politique Africaine 34 (6): 51–62.Google Scholar
  21. Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE). (1995) Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia No. 1/1995. Addis Abeba, Ethiopia: Federal Negarit Gazeta.Google Scholar
  22. Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE). (2002) Food Security Strategy. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Ministry of Federal Affairs.Google Scholar
  23. Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE). (2006) Ethiopia: Building on Progress: A Plan for Accelerated and Sustainable Development to End Poverty. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.Google Scholar
  24. Flood, G. (1975) Nomadism and its future: The Afar. The Royal Anthropology Institute News 6: 5–9.Google Scholar
  25. Fratkin, E.M. (1997) Pastoralism: Governance and development issues. Annual Review of Anthropology 26: 235–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Galvin, K.A. (2009) Transitions: Pastoralists living with change. Annual Review of Anthropology 39: 185–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gamaledin, M. (1987) State policy and famine in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia: The lessons for conservation. In: D. Anderson and R. Grove (eds.) Conservation in Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 327–344.Google Scholar
  28. Gamaledin, M. (1993) The decline of Afar pastoralism. In: J. Markakis (ed.) Conflict and the Decline of Pastoralism in the Horn of Africa. London: Macmillan Press, pp. 45–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gebre-Mariam, A. (1994) The alienation of land rights among the Afar in Ethiopia. Nomadic Peoples 34 (35): 137–146.Google Scholar
  30. Getachew, G., Tolossa, D. and Gebru, G. (2008) Risk perception and coping strategies among the Karrayu pastoralists of upper Awash Valley, Central Ethiopia. Nomadic Peoples 12 (1): 93–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hagmann, T. and Mulugeta, A. (2008) Pastoral conflicts and state-building in the Ethiopian lowlands. Afrika Spectrum 43 (1): 19–37.Google Scholar
  32. Harbeson, J.W. (1978) Territorial and development politics in the Horn of Africa: The Afar of the Awash Valley. African Affairs 77 (309): 479–498.Google Scholar
  33. Helland, J. (1980) Five essays on the study of pastoralists and the development of pastoralism. African Savannah Studies, Occasional Paper no. 20. Bergen, Norway: University of Bergen.Google Scholar
  34. Helland, J. (1997) Development interventions and pastoral dynamics in southern Ethiopia. In: R. Hogg (ed.) Pastoralists, Ethnicity and the State in Ethiopia. London: Haan Publishing, pp. 55–81.Google Scholar
  35. Helland, J. (2002) Land alienation in Borana: Some land tenure issues in a pastoral context in Ethiopia. In: M. Babiker (ed.) Resource Alienation, Militarisation and Development. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: OSSREA, pp. 47–65.Google Scholar
  36. Helland, J. (2006) Land tenure in the pastoral areas of Ethiopia. Paper presented at an International Conference held by Haramaya University, University of Bayreuth and Humboldt University; 30–31 October, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.Google Scholar
  37. Hogg, R. (ed.) (1997) Pastoralists, Ethnicity and State in Ethiopia. London: Haan Publishing.Google Scholar
  38. Kassa, G. (2001a) Resource conflicts among the Afar of North-East Ethiopia. In: M. Salih, T. Dietz and G.M. Ahmed (eds.) African Pastoralism: Conflict, Institutions and Government. London: Pluto Press, pp. 145–171.Google Scholar
  39. Kassa, G. (2001b) Among the Pastoral Afar in Ethiopia: Tradition, Continuity and Socio-economic Change. Utrecht, the Netherlands: International Book.Google Scholar
  40. Kloos, H. (1982) Development, drought, and famine in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia. African Studies Review 15 (4): 21–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Leach, M., Scoones, I. and Stirling, A. (2007) Pathways to Sustainability: An Overview of the STEPS Centre Approach. Brighton: STEPS Centre. STEPS Approach Paper.Google Scholar
  42. Markakis, J. (ed.) (1993) Conflict and the Decline of Pastoralism in the Horn of Africa. London: Macmillan Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Markakis, J. (2003) Anatomy of a conflict: Afar & Ise Ethiopia. Review of African Political Economy 96: 445–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Markakis, J. (2004) Pastoralism on the Margin. London: Minority Rights Group International.Google Scholar
  45. Moritz, M. (2008) Competing paradigms in pastoral development? A perspective from the far North of Cameroon. World Development 36 (11): 2243–2254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Mortimore, M. (2003) Long-term change in African drylands: Can recent history point towards development pathways? Oxford Development Studies 31 (4): 503–518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Mortimore, M. (2005) Social Resilience in African dryland livelihoods: Deriving lessons for policy. In: M. Gausset, M.A. Whyte and T. Birch-Thomsen (eds.) Beyond Territory and Scarcity-exploring Conflicts over Natural Resource Management. Stockholm, Sweden: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, pp. 46–69.Google Scholar
  48. Mortimore, M. (2009) Dryland Opportunities: A New Paradigm for People, Ecosystems and Development. Gland, Switzerland; London; Nairobi, Kenya: IUCN; IIED; UNDP/DDC.Google Scholar
  49. Müller-Mahn, D. (1991) Entwicklungsprojekte mit Nomaden in Nordafrika. In: F. Scholz (ed.) Nomaden, mobile Tierhaltung: zur gegenwärtigen Lage von Nomaden und zu den Problemen und Chancen mobiler Tierhaltung. Berlin, Germany: Reimer, pp. 371–398.Google Scholar
  50. Müller-Mahn, D. and Rettberg, S. (2007) Weizen oder Waffen? Umgang mit Risiken bei den Afar-Nomaden in Äthiopien. Geographische Rundschau 59 (10): 40–47.Google Scholar
  51. Mulugeta, A. and Hagmann, T. (2008) Governing violence in the pastoralist space: Karrayu and state notions of cattle raiding in the Ethiopian Awash valley. Afrika Focus 21 (2): 71–87.Google Scholar
  52. Pender, J. (2004) Development pathways for hillsides and highlands: Some lessons from Central America and East Africa. Food Policy 29 (4): 339–367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Rettberg, S. (2009) Das Risiko der Afar – Existenzsicherung äthiopischer Nomaden im Kontext von Hungerkrisen, Konflikten und Entwicklungsinterventionen. Saarbrücken, Germany: Verlag für Entwicklungspolitik.Google Scholar
  54. Rettberg, S. (forthcoming) Contested narratives of pastoral vulnerability and risk in Ethiopia's Afar Region. Pastoralism-Research, Policy and Practice 1 (2): 249–274 (in press).Google Scholar
  55. Romanciewicz, C. (2007) Ökologische Veränderungen und Wandel der Lebenshaltungs systeme bei den Afar-Nomaden in Äthiopien. MSc thesis, Lehrstuhl für Bevölkerungs- und Sozialgeographie, Universität Bayreuth.Google Scholar
  56. Said, A. (1997) Resource use conflict in the middle Awash Valley of Ethiopia: The crisis of Afar pastoralism. In: R. Hogg (ed.) Pastoralists, Ethnicity and the State in Ethiopia. London: Haan Publishing, pp. 123–141.Google Scholar
  57. Said, A. (1998) Afar ethnicity in Ethiopian politics. In: M.A. Salih and J. Markakis (eds.) Ethnicity and the State in Eastern Africa. Uppsala, Sweden: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, pp. 108–115.Google Scholar
  58. Sandford, S. (2006) Too many people, too few livestock: The crisis affecting pastoralists in the Horn of Africa. Future Agricultures Consortium Debate. Brighton: Institute of Development Studies, http://www.future-agricultures.org/pdf%20files/Sandford_thesis.pdf.
  59. Scholz, F. (1991) Nomadic pasture area – Potential for the future? Applied Geography and Development 37: 78–90.Google Scholar
  60. Scholz, F. (2008) Nomadism. A Socioecological Mode of Culture. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: International Institute for the Study of Nomadic Civilizations.Google Scholar
  61. Scoones, I. (ed.) (1995) Living with Uncertainty: New Directions in Pastoral Development in Africa. London: Intermediate Technology Publications.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Scoones, I. (2009) Livelihood perspectives and rural development. Journal of Peasant Studies 36 (1): 171–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Scoones, I. and Wolmer, W. (eds.) (2002) Pathways of Change in Africa: Crops, Livestock and Livelihoods in Mali, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. Oxford: James Currey.Google Scholar
  64. Scoones, I., Leach, M., Smith, A., Stagl, S., Stirling, A. and Thompson, J. (2007) Dynamic Systems and the Challenge of Sustainability. Brighton: STEPS Centre. STEPS Working Paper 1.Google Scholar
  65. Thompson, J. et al (2007) Agri-food System Dynamics: Pathways to Sustainability in an Era of Uncertainty. Brighton: STEPS Centre. STEPS Working Paper 4.Google Scholar
  66. UN OCHA. (2007) The Future of Pastoralism in Ethiopia. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: UN OCHA Pastoralist Communication Initative.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Detlef Müller-Mahn
    • 1
  • Simone Rettberg
    • 1
  • Girum Getachew
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BayreuthGermany

Personalised recommendations