Over 80 per cent of Ethiopia’s 50 million people live above 1,500 metres and the majority of the agriculturally viable land is concentrated there. Indeed, the mountains of Ethiopia have historically been viewed as the heartland of the country, and its cultural and political centre.
However, the environment is rapidly becoming more marginal as a result of both drought and population growth. With such a high percentage of the population dependent on mountain farming, the implications of land degradation are extremely serious.
The oral testimonies in this collection were gathered in Meket Woreda, an administrative district of North Wollo in the northern highlands of Ethiopia. The tone of the testimonies is often anxious and people are concerned for the future, if also proud of their heritage and identity.