Being in one of the drought stricken areas of Ethiopia I heard of the enormeous succes of the Dutch public appeal for countries in conflict facing famine like situations. This is the real proof that there still is a solidarity economy in the Netherlands.
Over 30 million has been raised already! And still the action is not over. I am also glad to know and having seen even this week that assistance is provided at places where it is needed most. I visited a catte feeding centre in a drought stricken region in Ethiopia.
It is obvious that this cannot continue forever. However, not every disaster that happens can be blamed on conflict or climate change. There are also issues of mismanagement of natural resources or a mis-match between formal and customary institutions. This has now also been acknowledged by the Ethiopian government who have last month agreed to seek integration of customary and formal institutions for rangeland management in Borana region. How the two will come together is still not yet worked out, but a promising start has been made.
Drops of rain this week conveyed the positive feeling that change is actually possible. According to a the local forecaster the rain should be good this time. Let us hope and pray that rain will indeed be sufficient for men and remaining livestock to recover.
My name is Reinier van Hoffen.
Click here for a summary.
Also find the text of a lecture Dr. Achterhuis held at the 2012 Bilderberg conference.