The Somali region of Ethiopia continues to evolve and establish some developmental projects here and there,but the extent of the evolution and developmental projects vary thourgh the eyes of the region’s ordinary citizens. The Somali region of Ethiopia has steadily developed and disparaged its past conditions. The region had been in a lamentable state before it became an autonomous Somali State of the Ethiopian federation.
But at no time has Ethiopia ever done anything that would equate the region’s population with other peoples of the country; thus, the region’s people have always been inferior to other Ethiopians, but the inferiority has evolved and gone through different stages. At some times, especially during Amharic dynasties, the Somali people in Ethiopia were seen to be semi-savages, who would never ever adapt to an urban life or can lead a civil life. They were dehumanized, despised and deprived of all basic human rights they were entitled to get.
But now, one ought to applaud all circumstances that have brought about the region’s current situation and how it got where it is today; however, there are those who get goosebumps at the mention of any developmental projects carried out in the region! Despite being underserved, the region’s population are of the opinion that their conditions and over all situations are much better than they were during the Amharic dynasties. For instance, although their quality and effectiveness are questionable, there are tons of educational centers in every zone of the region’s numerous zones.
The Somali region of Ethiopia has not only seen remarkable growth of intermediate and secondary schools, but it has also founded its first university, which is expected to graduate many generations to come. Jigjiga Univeristy is already in full swing and is teaching and training hundreds upon hundreds of Somali students from all over the region, so one have got to brag about this tremendous achievement attained by the region and its administration.
Conversely, the Somali region of Ethiopia suffers from inadequate services and pervasive corruption. While there are many projects geared toward improving the residents’ living standards, the region’s people do not get adequate services that can give them a sense of belonging or equate them with other Ethiopian regions. In truth, the inadequate services and invasive corruption that exist in the region is to blame for irksome instability faced by the region’s administrators.
The region’s administrators, particularly those at zonal and district levels, do not last long. Many administrators have already come and gone, and every one of them was accused of pilfering public funds and benefiting themselves at the expense of the general public. However, it appears that the very hand that denounces and wags finger at corruption condones it at the same time. For instance, most administrators’ monthly salaries do not even cover their basic necessities, such as shelter, food, clothing and medicine; however, many of the administrators spend lavishly and lead a prosperous lifestyle. Where do their lavish expenditures and prosperous lifestyles come from? Well, they misappropriate public funds entrusted in them and meant to use for the betterment of the general public. Consequently thousands of needy residents languish in poverty and increase in frustration.
What grinds one’s heart is the way in which the region’s huge annual budget is misappropriated. Enormous amounts of funds that are not spent properly can help alleviate the suffering of many hunger and disease stricken families if the funds have been spent properly and in their rightful, intended places. Instead of spending the public funds on their intended beneficiaries, the funds are pocketed by individual people. Therefore, and in the public mind, the region’s administrators are a bunch of people who are out there in order to amass wealth and fatten themselves and their families at the expense of starving women and children throughout the region. The region’s administrators are very big and strong on their rights, but very weak on their responsibilities with respect to serving their communities.
The Somali region of Ethiopia is continually plagued by debilitating droughts that recur and ravage thousands of the region’s residents every year. In each year, humanitarian crisis looms in the Somali region of Ethiopia and thousands of people stand on the edge of extinction. Imagine how life has been for a population whose entire livelihood is dependent upon seasonal rains. There are three seasonal rains, one of which is the most vital one, the Gu season, that greatly affect the population’s living standard and their well being.
If the Gu season fails and doesn’t bring adequate precipitation and moisture, countless numbers of the region’s population might starve to death. In fact, it is the Gu season that determines the living standard of the region’s people in any particular year, so if the Gu season rains well, the residents will have a good life during that year; nevertheless, if the Gu fails to rain adequately, then many people might succumb to death caused by starvation.Therefore, sadness and desperation are engraved in the hearts of the region’s residents whenever the Gu seasonfails. In such events, droughts lash at the residents so hard that they dessert their habitations and flee in everydirection in search of provisions.
The Somali region has been hit by devastating droughts for the past two years. Since 2007, the region has not seen any heavy rains that could bring the residents’ conditions back to normalcy. Rightly, the current year has entailed unbearable droughts that have claimed the lives of both human beings and their livestock. Oddly, over the course of these catastrophic times, the region’s administration prevented food aid organizations from reaching some parts of the region, claiming that the aid organizations had been siding with peace opposing elements. Here, the region’s administration has terribly erred in reaching a decision in which the inept administration expelled a number of humanitarian organizations that lent helping hands to thousands of starving women and children at a time when the region’s administration was unable to avail the region’s starving population. Similarly, opposition groups have done their people a disastrous service by destabilizing humanitarian aid services that could reach the neediest parts of the region.
The inescapable conclusion is the fact that the Somali region of Ethiopia has relatively developed, but the development is seen differently by many people, who observe the region’s day-to-day affairs and developments. It is true that many educational institutions have been established and a good number of roads have been built and maintained; but the region’s troubles are destined to continue due to instability facing its administrators and due to pervasive corruption and laxity emanating from its administrators. However, one may urge everyone to back the region’s administration and work for the good of the region’s whole population, for there is no any other alternative that can replace the region’s incapable, corrupt administration, lest the administration vacates the scene.