Rapid changes in the natural, social, and economic environment are occurring in Ethiopia's Lower Omo Valley, as part of a state-led development vision of repositioning the region as a major sugar exporter. At the same time, these changes raise risks of environmental degradation, and the emergence of new kinds of inequality and conflict.
Pastoralists are farmers who raise livestock, and move their herds in search of fresh pasture and water supplies. There are 12 million in Ethiopia and they are often in extreme poverty. Unfortunately the pastures they use are disputed and they often come into conflict with other land users. The changing climate is altering resource availability and this can make the conflicts worse. The government is trying to persuade them to diversify their farming activities and grow arable crops as well.
'Getting to Zero' extreme poverty involves ensuring that the policies, institutions and politics are right for the poorest people to escape poverty. As the reduction in the global number of people in poverty illustrates, there are widespread stories of success. We know much about how, and why, some households escape poverty and others do not.