Relief: consists mainly of Desert and Mountains. Many valleys and
plateau's also can be found in the country. Due to these landform types the
percentage of farm land is approximately 5.7% of the total amount of land in
Ethiopia. The amount of arable land is 10% of the 5.7% total. Ethiopia has an
area of 1 221 900 sq. km. Ethiopia does not receive any problems such as
volcanism, tidal waves, etc., but it does receive great winds and monsoons. It
is located in Eastern Africa neighboured by Sudan (NW), Kenya(S), and
Somalia(SE). Elevations can be seen on figure 1, and the physical features of
Ethiopia on figure 2.
Climate: The Climate in Ethiopia is of three different climatic zones. These
being the cool or dega zone, consisting of the central parts of the western and
eastern sections of the high plateaus and the area around Harar, with terrains
roughly above 7 900 ft. in elevation. The second zone is the temperate, or
weina dega zone, comprising portions of the high plateau between 4 900 and 7 900
ft.. The final area being the hot or kolla zone, encompassing an area with an
altitude less than 5 000 ft. The cool zones temperatures and precipitation can
be seen on figure 3. The temperate zones temperatures range from 15.6C to 29.4C.
The temperature in the hot zone of the lowlands can reach temperatures as high
There are two distinct seasons in Ethiopia the rainy season, or kremt, lasting
from mid-June to mid-semptember. the other is the Dry season, or bega,
lasting from mid-September to mid-June. In April and May there is slight
transition period. The greatest amount of precipitation is found in the
southwest areas, near gore. They receive approx. 104 in. a year. The littlest
amount of precipitation is found in the Great Rift Valley receiving less than 4
inches per year. the average annual precipitation in the central plateau at 48
The prevailing winds that strike Ethiopia are the Southwesterly monsoon in the
rainy season and the northeasterly wind from the Arabian Desert in the dry
Ethiopia's climatic conditions suffer severe drought jeopardizing millions with
starvation. These extreme weather changes create horrible growing seasons,
making yields quite unsuccessful.
Vegetation: The percentage of forest land is minimal in Ethiopia, most of the
area is grazed dry farmland, and some generally arable land. Near areas where
beef cattle are being raised tsete flies can be found in great numbers. They
spread a sleeping disease, that in turn wear down farmers, and create less
productivity, and more disease than needed. Another insect that causes severe
problems are locusts. They are considered the plague of Ethiopia, eating,
therefore ruining crops. Due to lack of money Ethiopia does not have sufficient
preservation facilities, and much of there food rots and goes to waste. Rodents
also get into crops and eat whatever is at hand.
Soils: Almost all of Ethiopia's soils are made up of infertile red and yellow
laterite. Humus and other nutrients are washed out of the soils and into the
rivers. Much land is lost from erosion and desertification, from constant over
grazing and loss of trees.
Wildlife: I couldn't find any information on Ethiopia's wildlife, but I would
suspect it is minimal. Small amounts of cattle and ox.
Race: Ethiopia is quite unique for the number of races throughout the country.
These races are shown on figure 4.
Languages: In Ethiopia there are over 70 languages and 200 dialects spoken, but
only eight of the languages are commonly used. Amharic is the official language
of Ethiopia. Tigrinya and Arabic are the official languages of Eritrea. These
are the only three languages with a written script. Due to the number of
languages, many Ethiopians are bilingual and even trilingual. See figure 4.
Religions: Due to all these different religions many problems arise, such as
which religion should be the inferior religion? Around 1931 Emperor Haile
Selassie ruled. When the emperor was overthrown the Ethiopian Orthodox Church
lost its favoured position, along with its lands and most of its property.
Other religions, particularly Western Protestant evangelical organizations, have
found their activities sharply curtailed by the government. this has been
displayed through closure of churches, seizure and nationalization of property
and facilities, and harassment and surveillance. Some religions have assembled
"secret areas" for worship and other practices of there religion. See figure 4.
Population: The population in Ethiopia is extremely high, with a vastly
increasing birthrate. Forms of family planning are not used steadily, if at all.
The population can be seen in figure 5 and past and future estimations of
Ethiopia's population can be seen in figure 6.
Housing and Clothing: Homes outside of the city are primarily made of a
mud/straw mixture. These homes obviously contain no electricity, or insulation.
All forms of heating would be done by man made fires, or some form of wood stove.
Due to the poor nature of the country nothing else is affordable. Clothing
consists of a loin cloth for men, and for women some form of cloth is wrapped
around the body. In the city houses are typically made of cement with a tin
roof. Here you may find small amounts of electricity for heating and cooking,
but nothing much more. Some wealthy families may have a television etc. In
the city most people wear Western clothing.
Diet: If the area is not getting foreign aid of any sort the meals, if any,
consist of a food called injera. This is a pancake like sour bread of
spongelike texture made chiefly with teff, a cereal grain. Other foods include
wat, a beef or chicken sauce or stew made with hot spices. The universal drink
is talla, a beer fermented from barley, and the leaves of the gesho plant. Taj,
a fermented honey beverage, is consumed by the wealthier classes. Raw mature
meat is relished, but fish is not popular. Locusts are eaten by some cultures.
Many of the Ethiopian people are suffering from mass starvation. reasons for
the lack of food in Ethiopia are: Over Population, caused by lack of use of
family planning. 2.Poor Soils, most of the U.D.C.'s have infertile red and
yellow laterite. 3.Variable Climates 4.Poor Distribution, 5.Food Destruction,
6.Tools and Technology: lack of proper farming equipment, to obtain successful
yields., 8. Ignorance, 9.Food Taboos, 10.Poor Seeds. These are only a few of
the problems involved with lack of food in Ethiopia. Unfortunately most of the
quality food in Ethiopia is grown by latifundia, and is exported to other
Jobs: Jobs are very sparse, and if found, involve intense backbreaking work, at
a minimal cost. Due to the amount of unemployed people, practically any form of
work thrown at them will be ...