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Flensburg University (2000)

Natural Resource Degradation and Famine in Ethiopia Assessment of Students’ Awareness and Views

Aklilu Dalelo

Titre : Natural Resource Degradation and Famine in Ethiopia Assessment of Students’ Awareness and Views

Auteur : Aklilu Dalelo

Université de soutenance : Flensburg University,

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (Dr. phil) 2000

Résumé partiel
Natural resource (particularly land) degradation and famine are two of the most serious environmental problems wrecking havoc on the life of millions in Ethiopia. One aim of this study was to examine the extent of these problems and the way in which they have been addressed in the Ethiopian school curriculum. The second and major aim of the study was to investigate students’ awareness of and views about natural resource degradation and famine. Documents were gathered and analysed to secure information on natural resource degradation and famine (extent, causes, consequences and solutions). The geography curriculum was examined to see the extent to and ways in which these issues have been addressed in schools. An awareness test and attitude scale were developed and administered to students. More than 1100 students took part from junior and senior secondary schools of Kembata-Alaba-Tembaro zone, southern Ethiopia ; and Awassa Teacher Training Institute. The country is in a critical state of resource degradation and depletion. Forestland shrank to 2.4%. Annually, 150,000–200,000 hectares of forestland have been cleared mainly to secure farming land. Four fifths of the highlands have already been rendered fragile so much so that their future use depends on application of conservation methods of one sort or another. This resulted in effects that are quantifiable and non-quantifiable. Among the latter are depletion of surface and subsurface water resources ; unemployment and out migration ; fragmentation of farmland and long walking distances ; shortage of food and malnutrition ; and lack of fuel wood and building materials. Attempts were made to express the effects of natural resource degradation and depletion in economic terms. About 17% of the potential agricultural GDP is known to have been lost owing to physical and biological soil degradation. An annual decrease of 1.1 million tropical livestock units (TLUs) (due to the degradation of pasture land) has been registered. Cost of deforestation was estimated to reach 6-9% of the GDP. Famine is a problem now widely considered a symbol of the country. During the last two or three decades, Ethiopia has suffered more than any other country. Climatic vagary is one accountable factor, with drought playing the prominent role. Among the socioeconomic factors are the constant fall in food production in the face of the ever growing population ; the traditional system of production ; deterioration of household resources ; shortage of alternative employment opportunities ; taxes and payments ; the market ; and war and political instability. Assessment of the place of issues related to the use and management of natural resources in the geography curriculum for Ethiopian schools shows that there are ample opportunities in the existing curriculum to address such issues. The way the issues were actually addressed is far from being acceptable. In the few instances where these issues were raised, discussions were politically motivated, figures outdated and concepts disintegrated with little or no logical flow. Investigation of students’ awareness about such issues revealed a remarkable deficiency. Only one fourth of the participants were able to give three correct responses about the causes, consequences and solutions of land degradation. Student’s awareness of some key issues like the impact of population growth was also found to be too low to be rated sufficient. Insufficient was also the students’ awareness of the natural resource base of the country

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Page publiée le 11 janvier 2019