The Human Aspect

While we were discussing the various factors involving water and its shortage in the village of Longido, someone brought up the question, why don't the people move 30 km South to the fertile lands? Why do they continue to live with the hardships where they are? And in answer to this question I came across a quote in the book, Drink the Bitter Root, that contains a great opinion on this subject. I've left an excerpt below:

"He had analyzed a relocation project, widely referred to as "villagization," in which 82,000 people were shifted to a more fertile region in the south [of Ethiopia]. After a few years, only 26,000 of the original group remained there, though they had been well provided with the basic human needs of food, shelter, and clothing. What, Wolde wanted to know, had made them return to the highlands? He began to understand the role of place in culture, the importance of something as simple as wanting to be where you were born, where you knew every inch of the terrain like the back of your hand, where your social position in the network or hierarchy of responsibility was fully understood. He rejected the assumption, he said, that humans are primarily profit-making machines rather than complicated moral beings whose antennae are attuned as much to climate, weather and patterns of migration as to social, political, and economic variables."

Why I Posted This

It was honestly something I hadn't considered and now I understand why they are where they are; Home. It's because we are all human and long for what we know and our places of comfort - no matter what the circumstances are we will persevere and make it work because this is home.

Geddes, Gary. Drink the Bitter Root: A Search for Justice and Healing in Africa. Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint, 2012. Print.

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