Finally..a good news!

May 30, 2008 at 6:32 am 5 comments

I am aware I have been doing a bit of complaining against the government lately, abesheet loves her neck, so I’m proud to be the bearer of good tidings for a change. As it is written, “How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness..” etcetra on Isaiah 52:7. Ok, I’m so happy I’ve started tripping. So……..herebelow is an evidence to the truth in our Premier’s reply to one of those Pre-Ginbot 20 “hiZbawi” questions that are being aired on ETV and Radio.

The question was: do you feel you have achieved your promise to have Ethiopians eat three times a day of about 10 years ago?. The premier has answered how, although much progress has been made towards achieving the goal, the result hasn’t exactly been 100%. How the country has shown a constant 5% economic growth in the last so & so years and the farming sector (which comprises about 85% of the population) has been it’s leading beneficiary. And how, with the exeption of some areas that keep being hit by draught & a couple of “Arbto Ader” akababiwoch, the farmer has not only started eating 3 times a day, but has created opportunities for others to eat three times a day!

Now, I’m not sure how precisly true this statement is. Statistically, at least! It’s all about statistics, folks!! That’s what you discover about politics and death-tolls. But WorQe, a family member with roots in the countryside, has confirmed there has indeed been a change to the lives of the farmers in her old neighborhood. They are earning, she said, thousands of birr a month these days. And not just from the sale of their plots of land to investors! No! They have learned how to take their goods to the market, how to deal without the needs of middle men, and how to keep their goods home until such time they could get more for less. They are buying mobile phones, building houses and/or “maTering” their “gibi” with expensive ornaments (sometimes to the neighbour’s ridicule). The real change, however, is with where these farmers are spending their days and evenings. “AreQe bet!”, she said bitterly, “getting drunk”!! But not with Areqe, mind you, but with Beer & sometimes even whisky!!

Yep!! Their kids may not have gotten the kind of education they need. Their wives may not see a new dress, or have a straw of their burden lifted, until they fled to their parent’s and an “amalaj” (or “Jarssa”) is sent to entreat them back. But get drunk they do, these farmers, more than three times a day! She’s gone so far as joking farmers have become the new teachers. To whom “Areke bets” belonged in time past.

Now, I don’t know if that’s the reality for all the 14 regions of the country and 85% of the population. But such seems to be the case in WorQe’s old neighbourhood atleast. More work needs to be done, ofcourse, in the way of extending these priviledges to the “Arbto Ader” Kebeles and the few areas that are usually hit by draught. Still… leWt aynaQim. Aydel? 😉

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Motherhood, the truth (or my truth)? Still high on SATC

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Winta  |  May 30, 2008 at 9:03 am

    If you ask me ,the guy is in denial.

  • 2. Mamitu  |  May 30, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    I don’t know who is more in denial you or the PM. The last time I went to Ethiopia, even those people whom I know have been eating three meals a day for decades have gone down to 1 and sometimes 2.

  • 3. abyssinia  |  May 30, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    I have to agree with Winta and Mamitu on this one.

    Endih aynet leWt minim aytayegnem! Ok, may be it’s a huge change for the farmers ke’Tela ena Tej telaqew Beer and Whisky lemetetat sileAbeqachew.

    Ayeee, geber arso kesebeseb: beqen soste mebilat mechalu maninim ayasideniqim!!! Silezih he shouldn’t use the farmers to layout his numbers. Wende kehone beken ande enquan migib afford yemayaderguten/madreg yaqatachewin yeTiqes.

    It’s obvious that our country is facing a widespread drought as a result of poor rainy seasons, limited food supply and soaring prices of food, fuel, etc. BeAlem yemta gude!

    Ene yemilew, BBC and CNN ke’semay newwww weyis ke’chereqa the prospect of famine in Ethiopia yemigenezibut? Oooffa, bemin joroye new tadia yehen yesmahut…”UNICEF estimates that 6 million Ethiopian children under the age of 5 are at risk and that more than 120,000 have only about a month to live.” Iqo!

    Joro daba libes yalu yemeslal, the PM!

    abesheet, keep on complaining about this government ebakish! We have to bring awareness among our community and the rest of the world. Tiru tiru-wen bicha biyaweru aybegim-ena!

  • 4. d  |  May 31, 2008 at 3:16 am

    As always urban Ethiopians are totally unaware of what is going on in rural Ethiopia, some 17 years ago a tempest in a far away region finally came into Addis with a gusto, since then we had to contend with rural issues like the need to change for the better the livelihood of 85% of Ethiopians. The Premier’s concern regarding the plight of rural Ethiopia has been genuine, despite his other mistakes; his government has started to become successful in making the Ethiopian Farmer understand that the land he/she stands on is a valuable tool that can change his/her life. I have been traveling to rural Ethiopia for many years and the past four years you can feel a change. The long dormant industries sprit of the Ethiopian farmer is finally alive. The consequence has been high commodity prices for urbanites, I hope this can be tackled with increased production and I hope the government also gives incentives to the urban business people to look at farming as the next big business opportunity in Ethiopia. We still have to contend with droughts that are like a curse for Ethiopia, I know some of you think that irrigation is an easy solution for drought, however most who believe that irrigation to be a cure-all for Ethiopia’s woes have never set foot in rural Ethiopia which is compromised of highlands that are notoriously difficult to irrigate, hence we will have to make the lowlands more habitable for highlanders to farm.

  • 5. abesheet  |  June 1, 2008 at 6:23 am

    *abesheet wonders how the bitter and sarcastic tone of the above post escaped Mamitu* :s

    d:
    Thank you for the explanation. I know the government is trying to do it’s best, although it’s best never seems enough and usually comes from it’s mistakes it refuses to “hai” mebal from. I also know we can’t hold it responsible when every farmer neglected his family, his & their future and turned to drinking when he got comparatively rich–er (if that, indeed, is what is happening all over the country). I sometimes ask myself, and a colleague who shares most of my passions in politics, if “ndew ‘ayMeribachu’ tebilen tefetren yihon!” I mean, take the press freedom in the 14 years before Mircha ’97. We just don’t seem to know how to use a good thing when we see it. We misuse & abuse it. And so finally we lose custody of it. I know it’s all a process and we are .. “Ha” bilo jemarie, and there is such a thing as a “slave mentality” etc. I just wish things were different. Now!

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