The Anglo-Ethiopian Society

Film and workshop - Our Lives Depend on the River

Emma Tebbs

Monday 3rd June 2019

9:15 - 15:00, Bush House (South East Wing), Room 1.01, King’s College London, 300 Strand, London WC2B 4PJ

"Our Lives Depend on the River" - Hydropower development and its impact on environment, poverty and conflict dynamics in the Lower Omo, Ethiopia.

Communities in Nyangatom, in the Lower Omo region of Ethiopia, have experienced a range of environmental shocks since 2015 including drought, changes in the Omo River flood-regime due to dam developments, and crop pest infestations, which have curtailed crop harvests. These changes are contributing to increased environmental degradation and poverty, reduced food security and increased dependence on government food aid.

During the workshop the organisers will consider how communities can be supported to adapt their livelihoods to cope with changing environmental conditions and to mitigate the impact of lost flood-retreat cultivation livelihoods.

Their findings come from an ERSC-DFID funded study 'Shifting inequality dynamics in Ethiopia: from Research to Application (SIDERA)', an interdisciplinary research project which examined the links between poverty, conflict and environmental degradation in the Omo Valley, and the role of inequality at the core of this nexus.

Film: Our Lives Depend on the River

This film illustrates challenges faced by communities in the Nyangatom district, Ethiopia, including changes to the Omo River, crop pest infestations and invasive plant species.

The film was produced as part of the knowledge exchange component of the SIDERA project, which aims to:

- exchange knowledge among diverse stakeholders and different disciplines and fields, e.g. integrating knowledge regarding environmental changes and their implications for poverty, peace, and security
- stimulate new thinking/conversations about prevailing and alternative models of development, social inclusion, and profit sharing

During the workshop, the organisers will describe how they set about co-producing, translating and transferring crucial knowledge from local environments, where largely non-literate communities hold vast unused expertise, to the national and international spheres, and vice versa. They will also feed-back on discussions from a series of dissemination workshops carried out in Ethiopia at national, regional and local levels. Finally, they will discuss potential solutions, future directions and policy recommendations.


09:15 - Coffee
09:30 - Introductions:
The SIDERA project
Challenges facing communities in Nyangatom
09:45 - Key Findings:
Environmental Change: How have recent developments affected the spatial and temporal availability of and access to natural resources in the region?
Wealth/poverty: How are environmental changes influencing relations of material in/equality?
Peace/conflict: How are changing resources affecting conflict dynamics in the region?
11:00 - Coffee
11:30 - Film Screening: Our Lives Depend on the River
12:00 - Breakout Discussion
12:30 - Lunch
13:30 - From Research to Application:
Policy recommendations
Our approach to translating research into application
Ongoing work
14:30 - Reflections
15:00 - End

The event is free but tickets should be booked via Eventbrite:

Eventbrite Tickets - Tickets for Film and workshop - Our Lives Depend on the River

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