How do you define progress?
Constructing a hydroelectric dam could bring water to millions and generate even more in revenue for poor countries. Large-scale biofuel and cash crops could feed all of East Africa and help countries become energy dependent. But there is a price to pay for development.
Pastoral, semi-nomadic tribes featured in these photos are being forcibly being removed by the Ethiopian government to make way for the multi-national corporations behind these development projects. Human rights violations are of an immediate concern, and future impact of these strategies are the destruction of natural ecosystems and culture heritage.
Development focusing solely on profit is an outdated approach. It ignores the complexity of the world we live in today. Attempting to harness the power of the earth for financial gain has long-term consequences for people and the planet. We need to balance immediate economic gain with long-term impacts on the environment and local communities.
This isn’t an issue affecting just the people of the Omo Valley. It impacts all of us. As countries around the world vie for control over natural resources, we can expect to see more environmental degradation and displacement of native and indigenous peoples.
We can make a difference. Strengthen the voice of the tribes of the Omo Valley by writing a letter to the Ethiopian government. Sign the petition to stop the construction of the Gibe dam. Donate to organizations who are working on the ground. Learn more about how development isn’t always progress.
Photos by Sergio Carbajo.
(Source: awkwardsituationist, via africaisdonesuffering)