Transforming water harvesting in southern Ethiopia

Transforming labour and technology of the ancient Tula wells for watering livestock in Borana, Ethiopia

In southern Ethiopia, pastoralism has been possible due to complex ancient indigenous technology for excavating and rehabilitating the ancient tula wells. Despite centuries of operations, recent years have seen fundamental transformations in labour mobilisation and the technology for water harvesting, while hired labour is replacing clan-based labour organisation. Payments for well rehabilitation have changed from cattle to cash, while technological transformations include using plastic buckets (jerrycans) instead of leather buckets (okole), and metal tools and earth moving machines. The combined effects of such transformations will affect the sustainability of the Borana water management system, which remains uncertain.

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Published 19. September 2019 - 12:35 - Updated 19. September 2019 - 12:35