When drought hits hard: a photo essay from Ethiopia

18 Apr 2016 - 14:00

Text and photos by Jennifer Leavy, UEA

In early 2016 some of ASSAR’s East Africa team visited the Middle Awash River Basin in Ethiopia, a semi-arid area home to the pastoralist and agro-pastoralist people who are the focus of our research. We were there to kick off our data collection, visiting the communities we will be working with throughout the project.

Driving into one of the pastoralist settlements I noticed a cattle skull almost artfully perched at the side of the game fence and planned to go back and get a photo. As we talked to people they told us about the incredible toll the recent drought has been having on their lives and livelihoods, and how depressing it has been.

One of the community members was very insistent on taking me on a tour of the village with my camera. As we went round it was horribly apparent that the one skull I had seen was just the tip of the iceberg. This photo-essay captures some aspects of the pastoralists’ lives and some of the landmarks on my tour around the settlement.

View this album and others on ASSAR's flickr page

To read more about the recent livestock deaths, see Roger Few’s recent article exploring the interplay between behaviour change, development, environmental factors and governance in enabling people to cope.