The greatest ecological problems in Ethiopia are recurrent droughts, deforestation and soil erosion, and floods.
The main causes of deforestation in Ethiopia are the spread of agriculture and strong population growth. Large parts of the Ethiopian forest have been cleared in the last 50 years, either to create new agricultural areas or for the production of firewood. 100 years ago the wooded portion was 40%, today it is only 3% of the area. Reforestation efforts with the fast-growing eucalyptus have resulted in this tree species being the most widespread in Ethiopia today. There are some organizations that advocate community-based reforestation and participatory use of resources.
Property with a cactus fence in the south of the country
According to elaineqho, Ethiopia is a country located in Eastern Africa. Ecological problems also arise in part from the heavily subsidized and constantly expanding industrial, export-oriented agriculture. For example, there is evidence of water and pesticide pollution from the flower industry.
Garbage collection point in a residential area on the outskirts of Addis Ababa.
The construction of new large dams, such as that of Gilgil-Gibe III, is also very controversial.
Man with garbage and advertising for waste incineration plant on the outskirts of Addis Ababa
There is no systematic disposal of household, sewage or industrial waste. This is particularly noticeable in the capital. Especially in the dry season, the dry and rubbish- filled river beds in Addis Ababa, for example. T. a strong stench.
The consequences of climate change for Ethiopia are assessed as serious. With a lot of international support, the Ethiopian Environmental Protection Authority, among others, has taken on the task of examining the effects of global climate change on the country’s agriculture and supply situation and developing solutions.
The government’s plans for dealing with the challenges of climate change are summarized in national strategies for action. The Ethiopian government’s awareness of the ecological challenges of economic growth can also be seen in the Growth and Transformation Plan II, the economic development plan applicable for the period 2015-2020.
Most of the people in Ethiopia (approx. 80%) live in the countryside as settled farmers, cattle herders or (semi) nomads. In addition to the city of Addis Ababa, there are 16 large cities with more than 120,000 residents.
The urbanization process started in Ethiopia about 30 years later than in most other countries in the global south. The population growth in the cities is, at almost 5%, significantly higher than the rural one. This growth goes hand in hand with the overburdening of city administrations, poor handling of municipal finances and a weak urban infrastructure. In addition, there is high unemployment, which is exacerbated by the weakness of the modern economic sector and the ongoing high level of immigration from rural areas.
Construction boom in Addis Ababa
The capital Addis Ababa
The capital Addis Ababa, founded in 1886 by Emperor Menelik II (the name translates as “New Flower”) is the political, economic and cultural center of Ethiopia. With over three million residents (according to the 2007 census) it is also the largest city in the country.
View of Addis Abeba’s growing road and rail network
Addis Ababa is often referred to as the capital of Africa because of its history and political importance. The city is the seat of the African Union, the Economic Commission for Africa of the United Nations, the location of well over a hundred embassies and consulates, as well as numerous other organizations. It is known throughout Africa as a popular conference and meeting location due to its relatively unproblematic security situation, good international accessibility and the pleasant climate.
The industries based in Addis Ababa include textile and shoe production and the chemical industry. There are also flower farms and cement factories not far from the city.
Informal settlement in Addis Ababa
In contrast to many other African metropolises, Addis Ababa has a strong social mix within the individual city districts. This is mainly related to the early urban development of Addis Ababa. Initially people settled in the immediate vicinity of the imperial palaceat. Later, new quarters were created when generals and confidants of the emperor were assigned settlement areas in the urban area, on which more people gradually settled. Originally these settlements were located at a certain distance from one another, but over the decades the gaps were filled with the revival of the city as the political, cultural and economic center of the country and so the wealthy were soon living next to the middle and lower classes. Even today, for example, the most modern office buildings can be found in the immediate vicinity of informal settlements with very poor infrastructure.
Aerial view of the new housing estate in Addis Ababa
The advancing urbanization is particularly noticeable in Addis. The population is growing rapidly and the housing market can hardly keep up with this pace. In many places, mostly five-story new buildings are being built, on the outskirts of the city there are also ten of them lined up. The skyscrapers sprouting from the ground in the city center with their glass fronts gleaming in the sun brought Addis Ababa the prediction that it would soon become the new “Dubai of Africa”.