Ethiopia: Tikur Abay and the Wretched Woman of Mt. Entoto

The woman of Mt. Entoto, just in the outskirts of northern Addis Ababa, rises before dawn to fetch water and firewood for preparing breakfast for her family. It is time that the hyenas and other wild animals settle in their caves after scavenging the whole night along the mountainous slopes. The woman knows well how to react to these wild scavengers as she goes home carrying her burden.

It does not take a wise man to figure out why the breadwinner of a family suffers from hard life. She lives in a mud hut with her family. The hut does not have pipe water nor does it have an electric bulb. The water from the rivulets has to be boiled with dried wood sticks and tree leaves. Bread is baked on a round brick of mud. The bread is made from dough of millet, sorghum or wheat or Teff. These grains have to be ground at home or in a mill located somewhere downtown. The burden of beast or the woman carries the flour back home in time to bake it. She has to prepare some kind of yeast in the dark for baking the Injera.

The lack of electric power in some villages in and around Mt. Entoto, in the capital city of Ethiopia and Africa, is just amazing, astounding, incredible and startling. What is more surprising is the lack of attention by dwellers of Addis who reside just below the mountain, in downtown area, including the vicinity of Bole AirPort. What is worse for her are the bureaucrats who force her to pay tax from her meager income! With her low income, insufficient to support her children, she is forced to work as maidservant to earn more. All these miseries may not be terminated unless the woman sees electric light at the end of the tunnel. That will be the day when the Tikur Abay is generating power for easing her life!

The lives of the Ethiopian poor may be alleviated if and only if they are able to exploit the natural resources of their country, including water. They never have claimed the resources, possessions and properties of others. As the wretched of the earth, they are not capable of claiming what does not belong to them. As religious people, they only look for support from others, including Ethiopians. They had been inculcated with the writ of “foreign papal” officials who had instructed them to suffer while living on Earth in return for future heavenly lives after death. The poor Ethiopians suffered from both ends, before and after death. They should at least be allowed to use their natural water resources, rivers, rivulets, lakes, and ponds freely without fear in collaboration with their neighbors. After all, a natural and continuous free flow of a river is not and should not be a bone of contention as the water is available before and after use for electric power generation. Let us not hesitate to assist the poor people of Africa, including Ethiopia, with the development of the available natural resources.

The people of the Horn live in permanent tensions due to political skirmishes and low-intensity conflicts among the major riparian countries of Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt. These countries have been exogenously instigated and prompted to go to conflicts. These drivers of conflicts have become restless at the dawning of peace in the Horn. Peace, cooperation, collaboration and mutual assistance among Africans is a threat to the supremacy of the white man in the continent. This man likes to block the expansion of modernization in the different regions of Africa, in particular the Horn. He provides food aid in place of technology for agricultural, industrial and services development that would improve the living standards of the poor Africans, including Ethiopians.

An African network of mutual and inter-sectorial technological links is unthinkable for the so-called developed donor countries. So, a permanent disruption of cooperative joint ventures by Africans is in the blacklist of donors. Venturing on turnkey economic development programs and projects is crucially screened by lenders, donors, and foreign direct investment groups. All have nothing but an objective of keeping countries of the Horn in permanent vicious circle of poverty. Ethiopians, Sudanese and Egyptians know this economic intrigue too well, but wait for the appropriate time to act together. In each of these countries are hidden disruptive forces that create havoc to arrest economic development. Economic failure leads to hunger, famine, deprivation, malnutrition and national desperation. The economic disruption is definitely accompanied by political and social anarchy. This creates the paradise at the Horn for the white man’s touristic entertainment at the expense of hunger-stricken and helpless people.

The main targets of foreign disruptions are the countries of the Horn. These countries are also known as the Nile basin countries that have made some attempts to establish basin-wide cooperative institutions. This process of engagement and collaboration is presently under severe stress due to superpower intervention. They complicated the situation by means of global climate change, which is anticipated to result in long-term changes in the technical use and application of water basins. With donor funds, international banks, and bilateral assistance, the countries of the Horn have embarked on economic development. But, these projects are severely scrutinized both openly and secretly for damage control. They should fail!

In the case of Ethiopia, the deliberate absence, and in some cases refusal, of donor funding for the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) forced the government and the people to finance it from their meager resources. The wretched woman of Mt. Entoto has also contributed to the construction of the dam just to have access to electricity in the future. She knows that the objective of the dam is to raise the living standards of poor people like herself. GERD is driven by the will power of people like the Ethiopian woman who is condemned to bear the burden of despair, desolation, depression and sadness she never deserved as a human being.

The donors’ refusal to finance the construction of the dam is unprecedented. The only reason for rejecting to finance the dam by the international financial institutions is the neocolonial mentality of depressing the poor people of the developing countries. They want them to permanently depend on their frugal donations that do not keep Ethiopians satisfied. They have to be kept in a state of dualism, neither happy nor unhappy. Keep the donors at bay if they do not want to uplift the poor people of Ethiopia out of misery.

Ethiopia has been a target of all banditry and chaos designed by European colonialists. They have always complained that this African country would be an emblem of independence. Therefore, all its developmental efforts have to be derailed to make it a “failed nation.” In the last century, it had been subjected to several wars with the colonial powers and their subjects. The purpose of the colonial powers was to disfigure Ethiopia’s picture from the minds of the colonized people of Africa. They wanted it to be impoverished despite its rich resources above and below ground. Its rivers, including the Tikur Abay, are numerous, big and flow into the neighboring countries without any use value. This is done with the objective of keeping the Ethiopian people hunger stricken and unable to defend themselves from external incursions.

Ethiopians, though poor, are great at defending their freedom, as they did in the past three thousand years. They have become the beacon of freedom for the rest of Africans that had suffered under the yolk of colonialism. They have always despised the white colonialists who had no human feelings for the black race wherever it settled, be it in Africa or America. The defense of their “liberty and equality” with other nations of the world is the ultimate goal of Ethiopians everywhere. The woman, for example, lacks some of these basic rights as a weaker partner and she spearheads the fight in the defense of human rights, which are the basic freedoms that belong to every person in the world. These rights include the right to life, liberty, freedom, pursuit of happiness, and the right to freedom from discrimination, and the right to control what happens to one’s body and make medical decisions accordingly.

The wretched Ethiopian woman seeks her freedom not only from the economic masters, but also from other types of exploiters. She stands primarily for the freedom of her country, Ethiopia. She stood in the fore front during the past foreign occupations of her country. In the current fight against the local junta, the woman proved to be invincible, disarming the male counterparts that came to dismember her country. In time of crisis, the woman is the defender of the nation as well as the family at home. She labors day and night to feed, clothe, clean, and send them to school every morning. She also takes care of their health. The poor woman of Mt. Entoto still works as house maid to keep her family intact. She is waiting for that day when Tikur Abay is tamed and contained in a dam to generate badly needed electric power.

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