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? 😉