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Community development

Omo Valley Ethos

This project showcases some of the affects that globalization has had on some of the traditional communities in the Lower Omo Valley.

This story contains graphic content and viewers discretion is advised.

Due to large scale government projects and recent commercial developments, many of the Omo Valley’s traditional societies and their livelihoods face ominous transformation.

The recent construction of The Gilgel Gibe III Dam along the Omo River has permanently changed the river's hydrology and poses a severe threat to the livelihoods of the tribal communities that rely on recessional cultivation along the riverbanks for survival.

Damming the Omo River has led to the development of many large-scale commercial irrigation schemes within the Lower Omo Valley. These developments will make the Lower Omo, the largest irrigation complex in Ethiopia and has ultimately led to forced resettlement of the agro-pastoral population of the lower Omo region.

These new developments have also led to the construction of many new roads and telecommunication networks which has ultimately made this remote region more accessible to the outside world. Globalisation is making its mark on The Omo Valley and it is greatly affecting the traditional communities who have inhabited this region for well over a millennium. The Kara, Dassanech, Abore, Hamar, and Mursi people are the tribes that have been affected most. None of them have given their free, prior and informed consent for the dam or the plantations and many of their communities have already started to lose their livelihoods.

Eric G Hernandez

The Ethiopian government has already begun the process of forcibly resettling tribes, a tactic known as ‘villagisation’. Many local and international NGO’s have reported that the government ordered hundreds of families to sell their cattle before their resettlement. Cattle was essentially the only form of currency for most of the tribes in the Lower Omo but now, the concept of money has been introduced to these previously cashless societies. This has caused many of the resettled communities to abandon their traditional livelihoods, which has ultimately turned many individuals into wage laborers [some of them are working for the same corporations that are responsible for their forced resettlement i.e - the Ethiopian Sugar Corporation]

Globalisation is forcing many of these resettled communities to modernise but very few individuals are actually benefiting from it.

These imagines are being used by the indigenous rights organisation 'Survival International' to make the public aware of the affects globalisation can have on traditional communities and to advocate on behalf of affected populations.

Now it's your turn, keep the generosity wheel rolling

Please consider making a one-off or recurring donation to

Survival International

using the form below.

This story does not end here. Helping the

people from various ethnic groups of traditional communities whom were forcibly resettled in the Lower Omo Valley

will require your action too.

After sharing this story and helping spread awareness about their plight, you can:

-Contact your local Ethiopian embassy and write to them condemning the way people are being treated in the lower ommo valley.

-Support an indigenous rights organisation like Survival International.

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