የሲዳማ ፓርቲዎች ህብረት ለነጻነት እና ፍትህ የሰሞኑ ጋዜጣዊ መግለጫ በኣንባቢያ ዘንድ ክርክር ጫረ
የተባበሩት የሲዳማ ፓርቲዎች ለነጻነት እና ፍትህ በምጻረ_ቃል (USPFJ) ሰሞኑን በኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ በኦሮሞ ዩኒቨርሲቲ ተማሪዎች ላይ በኣገሪቱ የጸጥታ ኃይሎች የተወሰደውን የኃይል እርምጃ በመቃወም ጋዜጣዊ መግለጫ ስጥቷል። በመግለጫውም ለበርካታዎች ሞት እና ኣካል ጉዳት ምክንያት የሆነውን የመንግስት እርምጃ ኮንኗል።
ይህንን የድርጅቱን መግለጫ የወራንቻ ኢፎርሜሽን ኔትዎርክ ከጋዳ ድህረ_ገጽ ላይ በማግኘት ለኣንባቢያኑ ያደረሰ ሲሆን፤ የህብረቱን ጋዜጣዊ መግለጫ ተከትሎ የተለያዩ ሰዎች ኣስተያየት በመስጠት ላይ ናቸው።
በርካታ ኣንባቢያን ለወራንቻ ኢንፎርሜሽን ኔትዎርክ በጻፏቸው መልዕክቶች እንዳመለከቱት፤ የተባበሩት የሲዳማ ፓርቲዎች ህብረት ለነጻነት እና ፍትህ፤ በበርካታ ሲዳማውያንን እና የሰብኣዊ መብት ተከራካሪ ድርጅቶች የተወገዘውን፦ የኢትዮጵያ የጸጥታ ኃይሎች በቅርቡ በሃዋሳ ከተማ የኣላሙራ እና ታቦር ከፍተኛ ደረጃ ትምህርት ቤቶች የሲዳማ ተወላጅ ተማሪዎች ላይ የወሰዱትን የኃይል ጥቃት ካለማውገዙ በላይ በጥቃቱ ልጆቻቸው ለተጎዱባቸው ቤተሰቦች ኣጋርነቱን ኣለመግለጹን እንዳዛዘናቸው ገልጸዋል።
ከኣስተያየት ስጪዎቹ መሃከል፦ ስሙን T H በማለት የጠራው እና የዩቨርሲቲ መምህር መሆኑን የገለጸው ኣስተያየት ሲጪ እንዳለው፤ ህብረቱ ምንም እንኳን እታገልለታለው ከሚለው ህዝብ ጋር የግንባር ለግንባር ግንኙነት የሌለው ብሆንም ባለፉት ኣመታት በሲዳማ ውስጥ ያለውን የፖለቲካ እና ስብኣዊ መብት ጥስቶችን በማጋለጥ ከፍተኛ ሚና መጫወቱን ኣስተውሰዋል።
ኣክለውም ህብረቱ በቅርቡ በኦሮሞ ተማሪዎች ላይ በመንግስት የተወሰደውን የኃይል እርምጃ ማውገዙ ምንም ስህተት እንደሌለው ገልጸው፤ የህብረቱ ድርጊት በባህል ከሲዳማ ህዝብ ጋር ኣንድ ለሆነው የኦሮሞ ህዝብ መብት መከበር ያለውን ድጋፍ እና ኣጋሪነት ያሳያል ብለዋል።
ኣያይዘውም የህብረቱ መግለጫ የሲዳማ ህዝብ እና የኦሮሞ ህዝብ በጋራ በተለያዩ ፖለቲካዊ እና ማህበራዊ ጉዳዮቻቸው ላይ እንድሰሩ መንገድ ይከፍታል በማለት ኣስተያየታቸውን ስጥተዋል።
ካላ ቃዋቶ ቤላሞ የተባሉት ሌላኛው ኣስተያየት ሲጪ በበኩላቸው፤ ህብረቱ በኣሮሞ ዩኒቨርሲቲ ተማሪዎች ላይ የተፈጸመውን ግፍ መቃዎሙ ትክክል ሆኖ ሳለ፤ በተመሳሳይ መልኩ በሲዳማ ተማሪዎች ላይ የተፈጸመውን ግፍ ተቃዉሞ መግለጫ ኣለመስጠቱ ኣሳዛኝ ነው ብለዋል።
እኝሁ ኣስተያየት ሲጪ እንዳሉት፦ የሃዋሳ ከተማ ኣላሙራ እና ታቦር ትምህርት ቤት ተማሪዎች ያነሷቸው የመብት ጥያቄዎች ማንኛውም ለሲዳማ ህዝብ መብት እታገላለው የምል ኣካል በሙሉ ሊያነሳው የሚገባ ኣንገብጋብ የመብት ጥያቄ በመሆኑ ህብረቱ ለተማሪዎቹ ያለውን ድጋፍ በኣደባባይ መግለጽ ይገባው ነበር በማለት ኣስተያየታቸውን ሰጥተዋል።
የካላ ቃዋቶች ኣስተያየት የተጋሩ ሌላኛው ኣስተያየት ሰጪ እንደጻፉት፦ የተባበሩት የሲዳማ ፓርቲዎች ህብረት ለነጻነት እና ፍትህ ከቅርብ ጊዜ ወዲህ በተለይ በማህበራዊ ገጾች ላይ የሚጽፋቸው ጽሁፎች በብዛት የኦሮሞ ህዝብ የተመለከቱ ናቸው ብለዋል።
ኣክለውም የራሷ እያረረባት የሰው ታማስላለች እንደምባለው በሲዳማ ፖለቲካዊ ማህበራዊ እና ኢኮኖሚያዊ ችግሮች ላይ ትኩረት ስጥቶ መስራት እያለበት በሌላ ኣጄንዳ ላይ ትኩረት መስጠቱ በሲዳማ ህዝብ ዘንድ ያለው ተቀባይነት ያሳጣዋል ብለዋል።
ክቡራን ኣንባቢያን በጉዳዩ ላይ ያላችሁን ኣስተያየት በሚከተለው ኣድራሻ ይላኩልን:
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እኛም ከሰፊው የሲዳማ ህዝብ ጋር እንጋራዋለን።
It Is Not Population Growth Alone But The Deprivation Of Opportunities And Deterioration Of Human Capital : Alarming Famine Bells In Sidama Land.
By Mulugeta Daye
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For Malthusian apologists and those incapable leaders to feed their people, Population growth is the main reason to blame for famine causation. The assumed linkage among famine, starvation, and mass mortality in both popular conceptions and technical definitions stems directly from the debate started by Malthus more than two centuries ago. Yet as more nuanced analyses have recently demonstrated, famine can occur in varying degrees of severity well before critical food shortages become evident. For example, villagers in Sudan distinguish a “famine that kills” from a range of other food crises experienced at the household level that may cause hunger and destitution but not necessarily lead to death (de Waal 2004).
This means without creating window of opportunities to human capital building through, education, health facilities, fair job opportunities, population growth may contribute to pressure on available livelihood assets and opportunities in a political system characterized by marginalization and exclusion of majority and inclusion and standing for the interests of few. This in conjunction with other factors that accelerate the deterioration of the human capital and capabilities of individuals, households and communities in a given society can make them less resilient and vulnerability to famine.
This article challenges the Malthusian approach by taking the case of the Sidama where party affiliates take all opportunities while window of opportunities are closed for majorities who remain neutral and have a tendency to oppose the regime.
One of reasoning on the negative effect of population pressure on economic growth and vulnerability to famine is associated with inequalities in income distribution at a national level. Brown for instance, writes:
Looking at the world of the early seventies, one is struck with the sobering realization that it appears to be losing its capacity to feed itself. The reasons include, on the demand side, the impact of rising influence and the rapid population growth. The annual increase for the demand for food is now immense. Yet the earth is no larger today than it was a generation ago... Currently the resources used to expand food production –land, water, energy fertilizer are all scarce. There are opportunities for expanding cultivated area, but most of the good crop land in the world is already under the plough, and much of the additional area that could be brought into use is marginal. (Brown 1975:11)
While those few people who are backed by political actors and have sufficient means ( capital, means of production) have monopolized fertile and good land, those who are not backed by political actors and without a means are pushed into marginal and less productive areas, where they fail to produce enough for their subsistence.
Malthus and his adherents have faced vigorous criticism. Among the contra-Malthusian approaches with which traditional Malthusian theory is confronted, we can mention first the ‘Boserup effect’, whereby growth in population numbers and concentration gives private and public, as well as non-governmental organization the confidence to invest in rural infrastructure such as roads and irrigation schemes, which consequently decreases vulnerability, Richards (1983: 4) writes that ‘population, resources and technology may be linked together in a progressive manner. Population pressure provides a useful economic stimulus to technical innovation ... Her [Boserup’s] claim is that population pressure is a general precondition for agricultural progress, and agricultural progress allows unprecedented levels of population concentration to be achieved’ (ibid.). (Woldemariam 1984) writes:
“The problem of famine is not necessarily and solely related to population growth. Many countries in Western Europe, Tsarist Russia, and China have histories of famine, now in the same countries, in spite of much larger populations, famine does not occur. This, certainly, is sufficient to exclude population growth as the cause of famine” (woldemariam 1984: 141).
Furthermore, contrary to Malthus’s predictions, however, famines have not limited population growth to any significant extent over history (Devereux 2001 a,b). Largely because of Malthus’s influence, “the criterion of famine became a measurable increase in the death rate of an aggregation of individuals, diagnosed by medical professionals as being due to starvation and causally related to a measurable decrease in the availability of food” (de Waal 1989: 17–18).
Both views (pro- and contra-Malthus) have a measure of validity in discussing the impact of demographic pressure in terms of retarding or enhancing economic growth. On the one hand, the level of economic development and technological advancement, as well as the fair distribution of existing livelihood assets among the population, matters more than population pressure per se. Nevertheless, there is a grain of truth in the Malthusian theory that demographic pressure has a negative impact on economic growth and increases vulnerability to famine if the human capital and capability of growing population is not built with growing needs.
1)Differential Building Human capital
Human capital is vital for the poor who earn their living from their labour. For anyone who is healthy and fit to do things. The skill and knowledge component of the human capital can be created, fostered and sustained though education. In rural context of developing countries, skills and knowledge can be created mostly by non-formal and informal education. In this context trainees’ are expected, to observe and act, attentively, repeat the action frequently to muster perfection. The trainers and educators are parents, peers, siblings and senior citizens of the society. In this processes of skill and knowledge creation, fostering and sustaining, the trainers and educators are respected and followed for their coaching, supervision, comments and leadership.
The politcal actors who are in charge of making policy of health and education play vital role in creating opportunies and constraints in enhancing human capital and capabilities. Those who are benenfited from opportunities can build their human capital, while those who are constrained in the processes of accesssing education and health facilities will be deprived.
Deprivation of quality education and health are the first steps to deterioration of human capital. Because, without required skills and knowledge on one hand, physical and mental fitness on the other, it will be very difficult to do available jobs, to be employed, self-employment to generate income to live on. Failure to generate income and consequently failure to access food, nutrition and other basics of life, will create a dark days ahead of lives and livelihoods of individuals, households, and communities unless external intervention and support organized, this paves the way for famine. There are various possible causes of human capital deteriorations. This can be divided into at least four forms.
Primarily, technical deterioration:-refers to the situation where by the workers for some reason may lose skills and capability they had before. Technical deterioration can occur as the consequence of wear of skills due to aging, or illness that may be related to working conditions, that can be adjusted by power holders.
Secondly, livelihood deterioration:- refers to the loss of the value for workers’ human capital; the waste away of skills due to insufficient use and misplacement of the skilled person, giving him lower position, mainly due to individuals’ relationship to power holders.
Thirdly, structural shift:- it entails diversification of activities for livelihood risk spreading and other motives such as profit maximization and accumulation. This can lead to job-specific obsolescence due to technological and activity change; sector-specific obsolescence due to shifts in the type of engagements. In the rural context from on- farm to off-farm livelihood; livelihood -specific skills obsolescence due to displacement and migration.
Fourthly, lack of incentives:- declining returns such us honor, prestige or income, that comes from retaining old or existing human capital in the face of new skills, knowledge and wisdom that is displacing the old and obsolete skills and knowledge leading to diversification of livelihood activities.
Extensive literature has been produced on livelihood diversification since the 1990s with the introduction of the livelihood framework. After case studies verifying the diversity of rural livelihoods strategy (Reardon, 1997), several issues have received attention; determinants of diversification ( Smith, 2001), its distributional effects ( Ellis, 2000), favourable and unfavourable factors for diversification (Hussein&Nelson, 1998) and its relationship with agricultural productivity. ( Ellis, 2000).
Constraints against and supports for diversification varies, and effects and interplay between such factors are hard to generalize. What can be observed is the local agricultural knowledege and skills tend to deteriate and disappear for luck of specialization and conservation. Overall, opinions over those issues are divided, and patterns of diversification is context-specific. Diversification can be either survival strategy or choice depending on whether it is pursued out of involuntary reasons ( disasters, conflicts) or opportunitiy ( better employment and business outside farming). (Ellis, 2000) Distributional effects of diversification also depends on whether the poor can diversify into other income activities in more favourable terms (Reardon et al., 2000), which is often a function of education and health.
While a recent analysis acknowledges that one of important factors that lead to economic progress is rural livelihood diversification, there is a growing concern for rising inequality with diversification. (Ellis, 2005) Thus, this dissertation will utilize and build on the above analysis in order to identify patterns of diversification in rural context and to search a way to promote diversification in favour of the poor if it benefits them, if not to explore the method to retain existing knowledege and to build new one on them.
Securing a variety of income sources in preparation for a failure in a certain activity is a conventional wisdom reflected in the saying, ‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.’ It is especially relavant in a rural context where unpredictable weather patterns and harvest performance make it difficult to secure a fixed amount of regular income. Risk and seasonality comprise two classic reasons for livelihood diversificaiton. In order to spread risks and secure a constant inflow of income despite different harvesting seasons, rural population has pursued various income activities with different risk profiles. (Ellis, 2005)
While livelihood diversification, as a risk stategy, reflects ever-present uncertainties and risks, it is also a relfection of wider opportunities available with economic advancement. (Losch et al., 2010) As economic growth provides more employment and business opportunities, people try to construct a composite of income activities that maximize their income. Such different activities can create a synergy effect for enhanced income. For example, income from non-farm activities can be reinvested into agriculture, improving soil quality through a fertilizer or purchaing a high-yield seed.
Rural households’ choice for further diversification reflects changes in surrounding environment and resulting opportunities and constraints. Thus, there needs to be a better understanding of principal motivations for diversification and constraints faced by rural population in their efforts. Such observation and analysis will lead to adequate policy measures to support efforts for diversification and maximize its potential for income generation.
2)Disruption of local agricultural knowledge
Given the inherent uncertain and risky nature of agriculture, livelihood diversification has long been practiced as a risky strategy. However, the recent increasing reliance on diversification can be attributed to fundamental changes in rural environment. In particular, limitations of traditional farming to generating sufficient income and increasing cash needs in cash-scarce rural areas are the important causes. Berry argues that increased off-farm activities reflect continuing agrarian crisis and economic instability. (Berry, 1989) Ellis also argues that diversification is a response to the failure of agriculture to provide sufficient liveilhoods. (Ellis, 2005)
3) Inadequcey of Agriculture
While agriculture still remains as a major source of income, the traditional farming alone increasingly fails to secure sufficient income. Growth rate in the agricultural sector as a whole was only 0.4% in 2005/06 and production of food crops increased by only 0.3%. (FAO, 2006) Sturcutral limitations of agriculture in terms of income generation come from a number of facts including (a) declining farm size, increasing rural population and customary subdivision of land at inheritance lead to ever-declining farm sizes for rural households. (b) deteriorating soil quality:- deteriorating and exhausted soil make it difficult to enhance productivity of even the small size of land available. Liberalization of agriculture has increased prices of agricultural inputs such as fertilizers beyond poor farmers’ ability to afford. (Ellis, 2000) Farming techniques for better soil management have not been widespread in rural areas with lack of extension services and training opportunities. Crop yields are generally low as little improved seed and virtually no fertilizers are used, resulting in less competitiveness in the international market. (c) climate change:- climate change makes it harder to predict weather variations and thus to plant crops accordingly. Patterns of rainy and dry seasons become unpredictable and crop failures are increasing. Extension and advisory service and early warning system have not yet reached many of rural areas. (d) unfavourable farm-gate price. (Ellis, 2000) low farm-gate price that farmers get for their crops adds to inability of farming to secure sufficient livelihoods. Farmers only receive approximately 15 – 25 % of the final retail price in cities and towns, as they are centers for markets. (FAO, 2006) The “lack of economies of scale at producer and retailer levels, marketing and transaction cost inefficiencies in transport, processing, and post-harvest handling” cause such problem. (FAO, 2006) Most of all, lack of bargaining power of farmers because of poor organization and knowledge on price enables middlemen to exploit a greater margin.
All those factors may make rural dwellers seek alternative income generation channel through livelihood diversification. This might pave the way for gradual disappearance of agricultural knowledge. Although, livelihood diversification into on-farm and non-farm activities have benifitted some rural population in general, as reflected in rising non-farm incomes and may led lessen rural vulnerability to income shock to some of rural population, close observation of its pattern raises some concerns over an unequal access to diversification opportunities. There are variations in types and profitability of diversification strategies among different wealth, ethicicty (clan) poilitcal party affliation and gender group.
4) Marginalization: when livelihood divesification is not enough
Although, livelihood diversification into on-farm and non-farm activities have benifitted some rural population in general, as reflected in rising non-farm incomes and may led lessen rural vulnerability to income shock to some of rural population, close observation of its pattern raises some concerns over an unequal access to diversification opportunities. There are variations in types and profitability of diversification strategies among different wealth, ethicicty (clan) poilitcal party affliation and gender group. A study on Pakistan by Adams and He (Adams & He, 1995) is relevant. They found that, when the non-farm activities are disaggregated into unskilled labour, self-employment and government employment, only those who access to power category decreased income inequality. Both self-employment and government employment excluded the poor because of high entry barriers. (Adams & He, 1995) Reardon et al. (Reardon et al., 1998) also argued that non-farm activities contribute to income inequality where there is a scarcity of labour-intensive activities that have low entry barriers. Ellis (Ellis 1999) adds to this that disparities widened with diversification because the better off are able to diversify in more advantageous labour markets than the poor. Barrett et al. refers to such situation as a kind of “labour market duality”. (Barrett, 2001).
Meanwhile, the average group is the most diversified, engaging in small enterprise, cottage industries, fish trading and crop&livestock sales& production. The average group engage in diverse activities in an aspiration for asset acculmulation with an aim to pursue “more singuraly profitable activity” in agriculture in the future. (Smith et al., 2001) When even the poor and the wealthy show a similar proportional degree of diversification, the absolute level of non-farm income of those who are backed by power full will be several times that of the poor. (Ellis, 2001) Also, Deininger & Okidi found that household endowment such as asset ownership is a potent factor in increasing market integration, which means more access to business opportunities. (Deninger & Okidi, 1999) Moreover, such uneven trend can be reinforced with the liberalization pursued by the some of the governments as privatized services requiring payment are more accessible to those who are favoured by politcal power hoders (Ellis et al., 2006), and politcally powerfull in deciding in the policies of accesses.
Those literature suggests that how marginalization and exclusion of the poor has potential to use their human capital, which might lead them to stress and mental struggle reflecting about their status in their own land. Mental struggle to solve contradiction whether to accept and internalise their vulnerabiility or resist and how? This is an instance for lack of incentive to participate in diversification that kills human capital of the poor and marginalised, which may leads to uncertaininty,worry and livelihood insecurity and failure or famine.
Therefore the school of thought that links overpopulation to famine may have not taken into consideration the human capital and capability inherent in every individual as a person, on condition that this person would have equal exposures and opportunities to capability building mechanisms. Secondly they have a tendency to perceive human agent as mere number devoid of human capabilities. In political system, where fair distribution of opportunities to enhance human capital and capabilities, population growth can be an asset than liabilities. In a political system where unfair distribution of opportunities in human capital building population pressure can be liabilities than asset that leads to deterioration of human capital asset, and livelihood disruption and insecurity leading to living on the edge of famine and famine.
The Sidama case
Most of the Sidamas hold the perception of modern education as liberator from the poverty and political marginalization. Therefore the households may undertake significant investment in educating their children. This investment entails, feeding, clothing, school fees, the uniforms, school supplies, to achieve the purpose intended, that is the responsibility of the household head or household member. In accessing public schools, in primary and secondary schooling there is no significant difference between those who are integrated to SPDM on one hand, Those sceptic neutrals and marginalized opposition members, sympathizers and their relatives. However in post secondary post secondary schooling for the latter two is extremely low in Sidama. While those who are affiliated to SPDM and loosely connected to their Sidama identity or Sidamaness are encouraged and sponsored to join government and non-government educational institutions particularly Civil service college without low or non academic merits with guaranteed employment opportunities after graduation. Those who are not affiliated to SPDM and strongly connect themselves with their Sidama Identity are marginalised in accessing post secondary schooling. Therefore In order to fill this gap it is the responsibility of individual households heads or members to do everything to educate and get required skills for employment.
On contrary to the inner reality, on the surface the EPRDF government seemed to have extremely strong drive to enhance access to pre secondary education, after it has defeated the military regime in 1991, as reflected in the number of people with primary school education. However educational policy is producing more job seekers than job creators.
Furthermore, the current trend is worrying. Rampant and accumulated unemployment. This has disestablising present, and uncertain future livelihood security. Primarily, disincentive of unemployment:- as increasingly as children are being withdrawn from secondary schools due to rampant unemployment, and self employment opportunities in the Sidama also discouraged children from completing basic four years of primary education. It is common to hear young children querying why they should keep on going to school given that their brothers and sisters who completed secondary and even tertiary education are unemployed . Rather than “waste” the time and the school, many decide to join exodus to nearby towns as they have no slightest means even to migrate neighbouring countries seeking jobs leaving the country for good.
Those situations reflect how marginalization and excluding eligible work force for simple reason of party membership and loyalty to the regime, may create the mentality of hating the country to which one is borne, for unseen dreams of “heaven “ in foreign land, which may have effects of bleeding dry human capital and capability in the country, and perpetuation of vulnerability to starvation and famine.
Thirdly, On other hand, those who are not in position to migrate outside their locality, envy on the SPDM cadres at the same time who hold government employments and leadership position. This may lead to implicit verbal offence to organised public protest and confrontation. This might cause local authorities to feel insecure and react irrationally. Worse is the consequences of irrationalities as the hungry people sometimes may politically “eat” their leaders.