contributing to peace and sustainable development by junxinglj


									Faith based organizations (FBOs)
contributing to peace and
sustainable development.

  The case of Christian Relief and Development Association

        Presented by Abeba Amare (Advanced MA in

          Development studies, Msc in Agriculture)

 About the paper-

 General overview- conflict Situation in
 Major Causes of Conflicts

- Specific Cases from Gambella, Oromia, Afar
   and SNNP Regional States
   Relationship- peace and Sustainable Development
   The Role of CRDA - What is CRDA- History and
   Scope of involvement of CRDA :
   In peace building and
    Sustainable Development -
   Conclusion and Recommendations
About the paper
   Not a well-designed Research paper
   Methodology- phone interview, information
    exchange through e-mail, literature, internet,
    site visit
   Limitation- limited only on local CRDA
    member NGOs/CSOs
   Objective – only to highlight the contribution
    of FBOs mainly CRDA members in peace
    building and sustainable development.
1. Conflict Situation in
Conflict is a multi-faceted phenomenon in Ethiopia,
where there are more than 80 ethnic groups. Conflicts
occur at every level of human relations, from the family
to the state. Experiences has shown that conflicts are
usually the result of incompatible interests.
Inter-group conflict in Ethiopia does not
always take the form of inter-ethnic
confrontation. There are conflicts
between the high Landers/grarians and
the low Landers/ pastoralists within the
same ethnic group in addition to the conflicts
among different ethnic groups (EIFDDA &
CRDA, 2006)
1.1. Major Causes of conflicts
There are various causes of conflicts For
instance, in the Southern Region only,
about 126 conflicts were registered within the
last 14 years.
However, this paper concentrates only
on the most frequent and violent forms of
Internal conflicts.
    Resources scarcity and competition
    The primary cause for conflict in Ethiopia is
    competition over declining resources, which
    arise from the natural resource base,
    population pressures, and environmental
    degradation. Soil erosion and improper
    agricultural practices have greatly damaged
    the land’s productivity. Food production rate
    is declining comparing with increasing
    population growth rate.
Specific cases:
Case one – Conflictsdue to shortage of grazing land
            and water points
 Gambella Regional State: located in South west Ethiopia
 Resources (pasture and Water) are scarce due to high population growth
resulted from natural increase and immigrants from the highland areas
and refugees from Sudan. In addition, an area of land estimated to 15,000
sq. km was excluded and protected for oil exploration, which aggravated
the shortage of grazing land for the pastoralists.
     Issa and Afar who are both pastoralists –they fight for wider grazing land and water for
     their cattle
    The Dollo pastoralists in the dry season migrate with their livestock in search of grazing
     land, which eventually leads to the usual conflict due to competition of resources

Failure to win the struggle for resources control leads to violent conflict. (EIFDDA &
    CRDA, 2006, RCCHE, 2007)).
Case two- conflict in search of both
  grazing and arable land
 The Oromo and Amhara ethnic groups
  who are agro-pastoralists migrate to
  the Awash valley in search of arable
  land, which is used as a grazing land for
  the Afar pastoralists that usually
  causes conflict among the groups.
   Guji and Burji (both are agro-
   Konso and Derashe –in control of
    resourceful territory that creates
    competition between the two ethnic
    groups to own water resources, arable
    and grazing land.
In a recent ( December , 2008) conflict
between Derashe and Konso, the Derashe
people development Association reported that
about 15,472 people including children and women
were displaced and are in need of food, shelter and
medication as 526 corrugated iron sheet houses
and 7,632 local houses were demolished in the
four kebeles due to the conflict( Urgent Relief
Assistance Appeal, January 2009).
  Ethnicity
The competition for political power
 Agnuak and Nure people in Gambella, who have been
  fighting for many years over control of resources and
  political power in the Region.
 The assessment done by EIFDDA reveals that there
  are a wide range of conflicts between the various
  ethnic groups within South Omo due to considerable
  degree of power struggle. (EIFDDA & CRDA, 2006,
  RCCHE 2007).
2. The Relationship/ Interaction
b/n Conflict and Sus.Devt.
   In most cases the basic assumption that
    conflict is normal and is an integral part of
    social interaction has drawn attention on the
    interaction between development work and
    the respective conflict dynamics in a society.
   There is also a growing concern to answer
    the question on “how development aid
    organizations deliver aid and bring
    sustainable development in conflict situations
    with out aggravating the situation ? or how
    do they intervene to bring peace?
   Peace building involves bringing parties
    together and fostering mutual respect
    by listening, recognizing need, avoiding
    discriminations and working creatively
    together to solve problems. Its creating
    conducive environment for the
    reconstruction and development efforts
Cont. interaction
   Building peace will have significant impact in bringing
    sustainable development. Unless the root causes of
    conflicts are addressed in a given community and
    people trained how to proactively solve conflicts in
    their communities and resolve differences peacefully,
    it is unlikely to bring sustainable development. Very
    often peace can be promoted most effectively by
    introducing peace building components into the more
    traditional relief and development activities and on
    the other hand, development activities create mutual
    understanding and concern among people.
3. What had CRDA contributed in peace building
& Sustainable development–

3.1.CRDA – History & evolution
 Established in 1973, by 13 founding members (FBOs) to
   coordinate their response to the disaster of the time imposed by
   drought, famine and displacement due to conflict with Eritrea.
   Its name as well as the logo of an Ethiopian Cross are a
   reminder of the Association’s early roots as an organization that
   mobilized various churches in Ethiopia to the grave
   humanitarian situation of Ethiopia.

   Established the first Christian Relief Fund in 1974
   Christian Relief Fund later on became Christian Relief and
    Development Association (CRDA).
Cont. CRDA
At its early stage, CRDA’s entire focus
was on coordinating relief efforts of the
NGO community in Ethiopia. CRDA’s
contribution was mainly related to the
provision of logistic supports that assists
in distribution of grain supplementary
food supplies, clothing and medicine
Cont. CRDA
   Through time, CRDA achieved new standards of efficiency and
    ultimately became a very large and highly professional development
    agency (a membership or an umbrella organization with active
    members of 351 National and International NGOs operational in

   It has shifted from focus on coordinating relief efforts of NGOs to
    development agenda and advocacy efforts such as:
   Building capacities of indigenous NGOs/CSOs including project funding
   Promoting information exchange and networking for advocacy and
    lobbying within CSOs and between CSOs, and other agencies, which
    are active in development areas as well as promoting an enabling
    environment for greater contribution of CSOs to development
    endeavors of Ethiopia. The major donors are faith based organization
    such as EED, Christian Aid, Cordaid, Trocare, ICCO, etc.
 3.2.   Scope of involvement of CRDA in Peace
         and sustainable Development

3.1. Peace Building Initiatives
 Faith based & secular organizations under the
  CRDA membership play very important roles
  as contributors of peace in conflict prone
  Regions of the country like Gambella, Dollo
  district & Afar areas (EIFDDA, 2006,
 Both secular and Faith Based member
  organizations received grant from CRDA to
  intervene in conflict prone areas. some of the
  interventions include:
1)Train & deploy peace educators
 Train and deploy Elders, clan leaders,
  local government, community
  representatives (PCAE)
2)Conduct conflict mediation conferences
  and meetings organized by EECMY at
  Gambella between the Agnwak and
3)Facilitate Dialogue and
discussion sessions
4)Conduct Research and Documentation
  as an early warning mechanism
5)Formation of Development and Peace
  initiative Committee and train them in
  conflict management. In addition, a
  series of event oriented workshops
  have been organized by EOC, EMRDA &
  EFGBCDO to address conflicts.
Changes being observed
   Improved public awareness on the negative
    consequences of war and conflict on the well
    being of the target community is noted to be
    very high in Gambella( RCCHE,2007)
   A break through to create common
    understanding among all stakeholders that
    peace building is vital and agreement was
    reached to strengthen the newly established
    Peace and Development Committee in
   The traditional leaders come together
    through Peace and Development
    Committee and started discussing the
    Land use and conflict, which was not a
    case before( Dollo)
   Some elders who have private land
    shown interest to share such land for
    communal use after the intervention
3.2. Engagement in
Sustainable Development
Ethiopia is a country, where chronic
and transitory food insecurity remains one
of the major challenges facing both rural
and urban population.
The role of FBOs in Ethiopia as a development partner
goes beyond 1950s,even before the establishment of
CRDA, where most of them were actively engaged in
supporting and encouraging the development
aspirations of local communities, particularly in the
Northern part of Ethiopia, where conflicts, famine and
drought are common phenomena.
FBOs are actively engaged in :
 Health service delivery,

 Environmental rehabilitation,
 Water supply and sanitation,
 Agricultural development/food security,
 Education,
 Credit and saving(income generation),
 Road construction,
  HIV/AIDS prevention and control
The interventions brought an impact on the livelihood of the
beneficiaries at grassroots level.
3.2.1. “The story of Greening a
   The story of Greening a Desert starts by
    stressing on a proverb “To dream is
    easy, but to turn a dream into a reality
    may often be beyond practical
    expectations. Nightmares, however,
    may give birth to the dreams” (Assabol,
“Assabol Flood Water Harvesting
Scheme”, worth Eth. Birr 15,183,000
was constructed by Ethiopian Catholic
Secretariat, a founding member of CRDA
in collaboration with Caritas Switzerland
and Luxembourg and Misereor Germany. It is
one of the impossible projects serving the
process of sustainable development for the
benefit of the economically marginalized rural
It was reported that on a regular bases
the lake will retain a volume of 500,000
cubic meters of water. Over a complete
year it is quite enough to provide
sufficient irrigation with out looking for
any recharge. The lake behind the dam
has a Length of 2 km, a height of 42 meters
and a surface area of 7 hectares.
   Now the valley above and below the dam is a
    green strip at the middle of the dry and rocky
    landscape of Irob.
   It opens-up new opportunities for food
    security and water supply of the poor farmers
    in Irob woreda. It has an added value in
    such a way that the raising of the standard of
    living in the rural community will halt the
    migration of young people to the nearest
    town in search of jobs.
The How and the Who questions

Who can work without food, who can spend the night in the
farmers house, who can walk a long distance on foot in a remote
countryside?, who can live with poor farmers in the absence of
electricity and drinking water, who is committed to work with
poor people in the midst of Conflict? how long does it take to construct
such scheme?

In those harsh conditions, bringing self-reliance & improving the lives of
farmers was far from the reality.
However, on the 11th of October 2008, more than 30 invited guests and
benefactors from Switzerland, Luxembourg and Germany and many
government officials and CSOs representatives of Ethiopia went to
celebrate the inauguration ceremony of the Assabol Water Harvesting Dam
and observed the reality of the dream.
   From the above reflections, it is possible to conclude that FBOs
    have a broader mandate in attending the physical, economic
    and material needs of people, suffering from conflicts and
    poverty. Conflict and war have serious consequences on the
    well being, security and survival of the population. The intra-
    ethnic and inter-ethnic conflicts in Ethiopia have led to loss of
    life and destruction of property. The interventions made by
    FBOs have to some extent minimized conflicts among different
    ethnic groups. Moreover their engagement in sustainable
    development has brought long lasting change in the livelihood of
    the poor people of Ethiopia. However, in a country like Ethiopia,
    where there are more than 80 ethnic groups and in Africa in
    general, how to accelerate the initiatives of FBOs to involve
    actively in conflict resolution and peace building for a sustained
    development is still remained unanswered.
8. Recommendations
As mentioned earlier, considerable efforts have been done by FBOs
towards peace and sustainable development, however, the
interventions towards peace building are only a short time
intervention that does not allow carrying on in-depth assessment
on the trend of conflicts, the root causes of conflicts, followed by
critical analysis and dialogue for action.
   Thus, strengthening the capacity of FBO in this respect is a
    paramount importance to accelerate the initiatives of FBOs to
    carry on a comprehensive survey about the causes of conflict
    and its prevention mechanisms.
 Even though there are various and different traditional
    mechanism to resolve conflicts, they are not well studied and
    developed strategically to address conflicts within and inter
    ethnic groups.
   Donors should be committed to work with FBOs on the issue of
    peace-building and sustainable development
Thank you and may the Lord Bless you all

To top