Publication
Title
Persistence and changes in the peripheral Beles basin of Ethiopia
Author
Abstract
We have investigated the relevance of the notion of "peripheralism" in the Beles basin. In this lowland border area of Ethiopia, important investments require an evaluation of their socio-economic and ecological impacts in the light of Ethiopia's Climate-Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) strategy. We contrasted literature of different periods with field observations. In the middle and lower parts of the basin, the Gumuz people traditionally practised shifting cultivation. Resettlement of highlanders is particularly linked to water and land resources. A large irrigation project was initiated in the 1980s, but vegetables and fruits face post-harvest losses. Large water transfers from Lake Tana since 2010 affect the movement of people, the hydrogeomorphology, and ecology of the river. In several parts of the basin, the settlers' economy now dominates. Many Gumuz became sedentary but maintained their agricultural system, particularly in the south of the lower basin. Land titling allowed allocation of "vacant" areas to transnational or domestic investors. As a result, the semi-natural vegetation is frequently replaced by open cropland, leading to decreased carbon storage and increased soil erosion. This and water abstraction for irrigation jeopardise hydropower production, in contradiction with the CRGE objectives. Despite the recent developments, the contrasts in economic activity make the core-periphery dichotomy to remain actual in the Beles basin. The resettlements and permanent cropping tend to make the upper basin part of the core. However, the installation of a transit road and commercial farms in the lower basin do not allow to consider that a non-peripheral integration has taken place.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Regional environmental change. - Heidelberg
Publication
Heidelberg : 2018
ISSN
1436-3798
Volume/pages
18:7(2018), p. 2089-2104
ISI
000445234600017
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 19.10.2018
Last edited 26.07.2021
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