Faith based organizations (FBOs) contributing to peace and sustainable development. The case of Christian Relief and Development Association (CRDA) Presented by Abeba Amare (Advanced MA in Development studies, Msc in Agriculture ). Outline. Outline About the paper-
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Faith based organizations (FBOs) contributing to peace and sustainable development.
The case of Christian Relief and Development Association (CRDA)
Presented by Abeba Amare (Advanced MA in
Development studies, Msc in Agriculture)
- Specific Cases from Gambella, Oromia, Afar and SNNP Regional States
Conflict is a multi-faceted phenomenon in Ethiopia,
where there are more than 80 ethnic groups. Conflicts
occur at every level of human relations, from the family
to the state. Experiences has shown that conflicts are
usually the result of incompatible interests.
Inter-group conflict in Ethiopia does not
always take the form of inter-ethnic
confrontation. There are conflicts
between the high Landers/grarians and
the low Landers/ pastoralists within the
same ethnic group in addition to the conflicts
among different ethnic groups (EIFDDA &
1.1. Major Causes of conflicts
There are various causes of conflicts For
instance, in the Southern Region only,
about 126 conflicts were registered within the
last 14 years.
However, this paper concentrates only
on the most frequent and violent forms of
The primary cause for conflict in Ethiopia is competition over declining resources, which arise from the natural resource base, population pressures, and environmental degradation. Soil erosion and improper agricultural practices have greatly damaged the land’s productivity. Food production rate is declining comparing with increasing population growth rate.
Case one – Conflicts due to shortage of grazing land
and water points
Gambella Regional State: located in South west Ethiopia
Resources (pasture and Water) are scarce due to high population growth
resulted from natural increase and immigrants from the highland areas
and refugees from Sudan. In addition, an area of land estimated to 15,000
sq. km was excluded and protected for oil exploration, which aggravated
the shortage of grazing land for the pastoralists.
Failure to win the struggle for resources control leads to violent conflict. (EIFDDA & CRDA, 2006, RCCHE, 2007)).
Case two- conflict in search of both grazing and arable land
In a recent ( December , 2008) conflict
between Derashe and Konso, the Derashe
people development Association reported that
about 15,472 people including children and women
were displaced and are in need of food, shelter and
medication as 526 corrugated iron sheet houses
and 7,632 local houses were demolished in the
four kebeles due to the conflict( Urgent Relief
Assistance Appeal, January 2009).
The competition for political power
3.1.CRDA – History & evolution
At its early stage, CRDA’s entire focus
was on coordinating relief efforts of the
NGO community in Ethiopia. CRDA’s
contribution was mainly related to the
provision of logistic supports that assists
in distribution of grain supplementary
food supplies, clothing and medicine
3.1.Peace Building Initiatives
2)Conduct conflict mediation conferences and meetings organized by EECMY at Gambella between the Agnwak and Nure
4)Conduct Research and Documentation as an early warning mechanism
5)Formation of Development and Peace initiative Committee and train them in conflict management. In addition, a series of event oriented workshops have been organized by EOC, EMRDA & EFGBCDO to address conflicts.
Ethiopia is a country, where chronic
and transitory food insecurity remains one
of the major challenges facing both rural
and urban population.
The role of FBOs in Ethiopia as a development partner
goes beyond 1950s,even before the establishment of
CRDA, where most of them were actively engaged in
supporting and encouraging the development
aspirations of local communities, particularly in the
Northern part of Ethiopia, where conflicts, famine and
drought are common phenomena.
FBOs are actively engaged in :
The interventions brought an impact on the livelihood of the
beneficiaries at grassroots level.
“Assabol Flood Water Harvesting
Scheme”, worth Eth. Birr 15,183,000
was constructed by Ethiopian Catholic
Secretariat, a founding member of CRDA
in collaboration with Caritas Switzerland
and Luxembourg and Misereor Germany. It is
one of the impossible projects serving the
process of sustainable development for the
benefit of the economically marginalized rural
It was reported that on a regular bases
the lake will retain a volume of 500,000
cubic meters of water. Over a complete
year it is quite enough to provide
sufficient irrigation with out looking for
any recharge. The lake behind the dam
has a Length of 2 km, a height of 42 meters
and a surface area of 7 hectares.
The How and the Who questions
Who can work without food, who can spend the night in the
farmers house, who can walk a long distance on foot in a remote
countryside?, who can live with poor farmers in the absence of
electricity and drinking water, who is committed to work with
poor people in the midst of Conflict? how long does it take to construct
In those harsh conditions, bringing self-reliance & improving the lives of
farmers was far from the reality.
However, on the 11th of October 2008, more than 30 invited guests and
benefactors from Switzerland, Luxembourg and Germany and many
government officials and CSOs representatives of Ethiopia went to
celebrate the inauguration ceremony of the Assabol Water Harvesting Dam
and observed the reality of the dream.
As mentioned earlier, considerable efforts have been done by FBOs
towards peace and sustainable development, however, the
interventions towards peace building are only a short time
intervention that does not allow carrying on in-depth assessment
on the trend of conflicts, the root causes of conflicts, followed by
critical analysis and dialogue for action.
Thank you and may the Lord Bless you all