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|" If I had a son who is more than 18 years old and I cannot give him a piece of land because I don't have enough myself, then he looks for a household with an unmarried woman and by being a very nice person try to win a marriage. If that fails he looks for older people with land and makes some kind of rental arrangement. If that fails, he looks for a job at one of those food for work projects, but he needs a lot of luck. If that fails, he goes to urban areas for wage labour although this is not a good idea. If that fails, he goes to school provided he has got a good mind. If all the above fail, he helps me on the land and that will not be my choice since it will not do good for either of us. As far as I can see none of the above works." (Aklilu Kidanu and Tadesse Alemnu, 1994:50)|
During the Ethiopian "autumn" (May - July 1996) we learned a lot about this "13 months of sunshine" country and especially its farmers for whom we came to Addis Ababa. By interviewing some 45 farmers, their wives and children we tried to get insight in their living conditions, land-use and land-rights and their ideas about the future development of the Peasant Associations. We needed this information in order to propose a way of transforming the agricultural land into urban land - with an emphasis on compensating the farmers - as this farming land seems a possible extension area of the overcrowded city.
As a result of the strong population growth the built up environment of Addis Ababa will increase in the coming years. Estimates of the present number of inhabitants vary between 3,2 and 4,4 million with an annual population growth of 6 percent. Because of the already overcrowded Kebeles it is impossible to house this additional number of people within the existing boundaries of the city. Horizontal expansion is therefore inevitable.
Recently a Masterplan has been prepared in guiding the explosive growth of Addis Ababa in the coming years. According to this plan the extension areas are situated east and south of the city, within the boundaries of Region 14. The land in these areas is mainly used for agriculture and is estimated at a total surface of about 11,500 hectares. Approximately approximately 6,000 farmers in 21 Peasant Associations (PA) occupy the land.
In the nearby future their land is needed for the inevitable expansion of the urban territory. This means the farmers will lose (a great part of) their land. For a farmer it is very hard to lose land because all his income is generated on it. This is drawing the attention towards the interests of the farmers in a situation in which they will indeed lose land. Just because they are the present-day users of the land it is important to take the interests of the farmers well into account.
This research is a part of the Urban Field Development in Ethiopia program (UFDE) which aims at the transformation of agricultural land into urban land as written above. This research was carried out in the period between May to July 1996.
Before the ideas concerning the transformation into urban land can be presented, it is important to get insight into the present land-use, land-rights and the change in land-use in the last few years as a result of the pressure of a rapid increasing urban population. This insight possibly indicates the actual need, from the farmers point of view (farming will be impossible eventually), of transforming this land into urban land. It also shows how the informal (and illegal) extension of the city takes place. This insight in land-issues is also needed for ideas on how to compensate the farmers for the loss of land, because compensation will be linked to the land that the farmer legally occupies.
The research not only focuses on the land-use and land-rights. As farmers are the present day users of the land a clear overview is needed to know who they are and what are the actual living conditions in these areas. This not only indicates how the future development of the area can take place, but it also shows how the transformation can help the farmers and their families solving today's problems. In describing the living conditions of the farmers and their families the topics of interest are: social and cultural background; main activities and source(s) of income; water; health-facilities; transport; migration and production.
These are a lot of topics. As this is one of the first researches in the UFDE Program this research is meant to give an as broad as possible insight in the social-economic circumstances.
To take the interests of the farmers well into account it is also important to know their opinions on the future development of the area. Not only is their opinion important for a proposition of compensating the farmers, but it will also show the feasibility of the idea to compensate the farmers with access to a plot for horticulture. This research however is not aimed at producing the compensation-proposal, it presents the viewpoints of the farmers.
The main objective of the research is the transformation of agricultural into urban land, in which insight is needed in the actual land-use in the territory of the Peasant Associations Hannah Mariam and Lebu and the living conditions of the farmers, which can form the basis for presenting a way in which the transformation can take place.
1. What is the actual use of the land and how are the actual land-use rights divided?
2. What are the main activities, the living conditions and income sources of the members of each household?
3. What are the opinions of the farmers about the possible future developments of the area?
|The Environment of the
Addis Ababa is a relatively new city compared to older religious, administrative and commercial centres like Axum, Yeha and Gondar. Addis Ababa was founded in 1881, after Emperor Menelik II had left several sites in search of food, wood and water (Egziabher, 1993:2).
Addis Ababa is located in the centre of highland Ethiopia and covers some 22,200 hectares. It is a plateau region of volcanic origin where the altitude ranges from 2200 to 2900 metres (average 2438 metres) above sea level. Because of the altitude, the area has a temperate wet and dry climate with two important climatic regions: the "Degga" area, which is a cool zone and "Woina Degga" which is mild and relatively constant in temperature (Egziabher, 1993:2).
Hills, volcanic cones and forest encircle Addis Ababa. A number of rivers and creeks cross the urban area, although only two are permanent (and these have a strongly seasonal regime). There are two rainy seasons annually, with the main rains (mid-June to mid-September) giving some 750mm of the annual average of 1250mm. The other "small" rainy season (February to April) accounts for 500mm (Egziabher, 1993:2).
Soils are of two principle types: the heavy-textured black cotton soils (vertisols) and the light-textured, red volcanic soils (mitosols). Both types have high clay content. Soil erosion is severe, especially on steep hilly slopes which have lost their vegetation cover (Egziabher, 1993:2).
Forests are in the fringes of the city. These are important sources of fuel and energy for the population; they prevent soil erosion, supply construction materials and are also important for recreational purposes. These forests, together with urban agricultural activities, make Addis Ababa the "green city" it is often called (Egziabher, 1993:2).
The 1984 National Population and Housing Census indicated that Addis Ababa had a population of about 1,5 million (Egziabher, 1993:3). According to the Ethiopian Herald of June 12, 1996, referring to the 1994 population and housing census, Addis Ababa has a population of 2,3 million. The actual population of Region 14 is estimated at between 3,2 and 4,4 million inhabitants. This urban explosion is not difficult to understand. A high birth rate surplus, an important migration from rural areas and secondary cities to the capital, the political change in 1991 and the consequences of this change for the ex-soldiers etc. are all important aspects of an explanation for this urban explosion (Beeker, 1996:2).
More than 60 percent of the families in Region 14 are living under the international accepted poverty line. Most of these families are living in the overcrowded Kebeles, renting one room for two to five Birr per month. The expenses needed for food, water and energy take more then 70 percent of their daily income (Beeker, 1996:2).
|Management Structure of
Every urban dweller is organised in his/her Kebele or Neighbourhood Unit, which is the smallest government unit and constitutes of about 500-1000 households. The population in Addis Ababa is organised into 284 Kebeles. Higher associations or Woredas were also established; Addis Ababa now has 25 Woredas. A Central Association (the Municipality) was formed composed of delegates from the Woredas and Kebeles (Egziabher, 1996:4-5).
Following customary usage, Ethiopian authors are listed by first name.
Aklilu Kidanu, Tadesse Alemnu (1994), `Rapid population growth and acces to farmland: coping strategies in two peasant associations in North Shoa', In: Dessalegn Rahmato (ed.), Land tenure and land policy in Ethiopia after the Derg, proceedings of the Second Workshop of the Land Tenure Project, Working papers on Ethiopian Development, University of Trondheim, Centre for Environment and Development, Unit - SMU, Institute of Development Research, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Beeker, Coen (1996), Research proposal: Analysis land use in urban fields, Addis Ababa and Debre Zeit, working document.
Blok, Hans (1995), Transforming Agricultural into Urban Land, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Dessalegn Rahmato (1994), `Land policy in Ethiopia at the crossroads', In: Dessalegn Rahmato (ed.), Land tenure and land policy in Ethiopia after the Derg, proceedings of the Second Workshop of the Land Tenure Project, Working papers on Ethiopian Development, University of Trondheim, Centre for Environment and Development, Unit - SMU, Institute of Development Research, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Dessalegn Rahmato (1995), `Editor's Preface', In: Ethiopian Journal of Development Research, special issue on land rights and acces to land in post-DERG Ethiopia, vol. 17, no. 1, April 1995, p. I-III, Institute of Development Research, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Ege, Svein (1994), `Land tenancy in Northern Showa', In: Dessalegn Rahmato (ed.), Land tenure and land policy in Ethiopia after the Derg, proceedings of the Second Workshop of the Land Tenure Project, Working papers on Ethiopian Development, University of Trondheim, Centre for Environment and Development, Unit - SMU, Institute of Development Research, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Egziabher, Axumite G. (1993), Urban irrigation and cooperative organisations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Overseas Development Institute, London, United Kingdom (Network Paper 25)
Hurley, Donnacadh, with Steve Duke, Rebecca Francis and Brian Pratt (1990), Income generation schemes for the urban poor, Oxfam, Oxford, United Kingdom (Development guidelines No.4)
MWUD/MFA (1994), Urban Field Development in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Sutcliffe, J.P. (1995), `Soil conservation and land tenure in highland Ethiopia', In: Ethiopian Journal of Development Research, special issue on land rights and acces to land in post-DERG Ethiopia, vol. 17, no. 1, April 1995, p. 63-88, Institute of Development Research, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Yared Amara (1995), `Land redistribution and its implications for peasants differentiation in Wogda, Northern Shewa', In: Ethiopian Journal of Development Research, special issue on land rights and acces to land in post-DERG Ethiopia, vol. 17, no. 1, April 1995, p. 1-22, Institute of Development Research, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
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