Archive - 12 December, 2012

1
Ethiopia: one of the richest countries in water reserves, still has lots of people without drinking water access
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Cocoa, the Nicaraguan hope

Ethiopia: one of the richest countries in water reserves, still has lots of people without drinking water access

Yegobecha is situated in the North of Ethiopia, in the Southern Nation Nationalities and Peoples (SNNP) Region. This is a very poor region in a very poor country which only the 38 % of a more than 90M population has access to drinking water. This is one of the main problems in Ethiopia, although it is a country rich in water reserves (86% of the Nile River’s flow is originated in Ethiopia and there are abundant underground water basins). The problem is the lack of material, financial and human resources to construct infrastructures allowing water extraction from subsoil and, thus, making it available to the entire population.

Families in Yegobecha have an average number of 6 children and live from subsistence agriculture. Many men must migrate to other areas in search of extra work, as they don’t get enough income from work in land to buy basic goods. In this cases mothers take on the role of family chief, with 6 children in charge, besides doing household tasks, getting water and working the land. This supposes an overload of work which has different consequences, including that they are forced to take their children out of school to help with household tasks.

Also, 50% of the population lives within 10 km away from any basic services centre (health centres and schools). This means 2 hours by walking, as they do not have any other transportation facilities.

Cocoa, the Nicaraguan hope

The growth of cocoa exports from Nicaragua to EU have been experiencing a strong growth since 2007, 45%, but aren’t still enough. This shows there is a strong demand and consolidated into Nicaraguan quality cocoa, instead it must be increasing because the poverty in the region is strong.

The Republic of Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central America isthmus. It has approximately 6 million multi-ethnic population. There are conflicts between the population of ethnic diversity and the origin of many of its inhabitants (exrefugees in Costa Rica after the Civil War in Nicaragua), with a consequent territorial conflict. This, coupled with inequalities, lack of training and skills, sexism, individualism and violence, causes a lack of social cohesion that prevents the development of these regions. Added to this is extreme poverty, scarcity of resources among producers, low production and basically meant for home consumption, and the lack of capital for relevant changes. In addition, the natural environment is deteriorating due to poor farming practices that advances the agricultural frontier with the use of “slash and burn” (burning of forests for cultivation, instead of making rotational crops), and the very harmful chemical use.

Thus, the increasing in the cocoa exportations is one of the best ways to change the actual situation in Nicaragua.

Source: Trade Map

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