Land and Ethopia

March 1, 2012 at 6:22 pm Leave a comment

I just received an email from Cultural Survival and thought it would be interesting to share with you all. One of the things I hear from friends and family over and over is: “I just don’t see how what I buy makes a difference.”

There’s some truth in that.

There’s also a lot of lie in that.

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As somebody wise (though i’m not sure who) once said, “I may not be able to help everyone, but I can help just one.” And that, friends, is the same truth that prevails when it comes to what we buy. We can’t do everything. We can’t help everybody. But if every person shopped a little more consciously, imagine all the change we could bring about.

Ok, back to Ethiopia. The article makes note of the Anuak people who are being forced off of their land for agriculture. And, if this doesn’t sound familiar, I encourage you to think about the past posts on food, the GMO movement, and such. It sounds like this could have some serious, serious implications not just for these indigenous peoples but for the country. And those implications don’t sound good to me.

In the words of the email: “Ethiopian soldiers are forcibly removing Anuak and other Indigenous minorities from their homelands in the Gambella region, relocating them in state-built villages, and leasing their farmlands to foreign investors. Forests, wetlands, river valleys, and grazing lands are being bulldozed to plant agrofuels and food crops, mostly for export. This land grabbing is destroying ecosystems and devastating Gambella’s Indigenous communities.

“[The] government brought the Anuak people here to die. They brought us no food, they gave away our land to the foreigners so we can’t even move back.” — Anuak elder forcibly moved to a state village (from the Human Rights Watch report, “Waiting Here for Death.”) “

So, I encourage you to check out this video to learn a little more. The article mentions ways to get involved. One of the best things you can do is share and use what you know.

Watch about Ethiopia’s Land Rush.

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Cheers! ~Liz

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