The Compass Edge

about is a web project maintained by Brian Jones to log his and others' experiences while traveling to and working in regions off the standard travel map.

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  • Green famine

    Posted by Brian Jones

    1 December 2003 – Greenfamine (67k image)

    It's strange to look at the landscape here in Bolosso Sorie woreda, Wolayta, Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples region, Southern Ethiopia, in all its greeness and know that there is a real problem of food insecurity that undoubtedly led to the death of and further impoverishment of the inhabitants of the area this year. When you look at the environment and see green hills and fields with maize, sweet potato or teff (ethiopian grain used to make injera, the uniquely Ethiopian fermented bread), it's difficult to imagine that people could go hungry. However, Bolosso Sorie has one of the highest population densities in Ethiopia and the average land holding is less than 1/4 of a hectare with almost 1/3rd of people not having any land at all. So, depite the apparent greeness of the place people find it incredibly difficult to produce even a fraction of the food they need to sustain themselves and their families...........which means that they must purchase their food, which means you need cash income, and the opportunities for cash income are few and far between........

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