28 Nov Spontaneous resettlement after drought: An Ethiopian example
Spontaneous resettlement after drought: An Ethiopian example
Vol (No), pp
Based upon two recent periods of fieldwork among a spontaneously resettled population of cattle herders in southwestern Ethiopia, this paper is an attempt to illustrate, by a particular case, the general proposition that external aid, if it is not to be counter-productive, must meet people’s needs as they themselves define them. The people in question, the Mursi, have experienced, since 1970, their worst period of drought and hunger in living memory. They have responded to this experience with resilience and inventiveness and largely without external assistance. The paper concentrates on a recent, drought induced, migration of Mursi to higher land, outside their traditional territory, and shows how the migrants are adapting to a new way of life which brings them into direct conflict with some of their most cherished cultural traditions.