I will debate the concepts of land use, its belonging using the indigenous peoples thinking about the lands, their rights to occupying those lands, spaces. I will also challenge them about their rigid understanding about the public goods vs. private goods, see if I could shed lights on some of the arguments. I will make sure land developments is understood well, I will seek how to narrow down the gap of perceptions, and misperceptions. I will challenge rejectionist blind allegations, pursued against lands developments, see if I could convince my audiences about the important of land development, its impact on the community.
Notwithstanding, the current land grabbing march toward their lands, the indigenous people have been outrage about the ongoing onslaughts, encroachments into what the Anyuawa people of Gambella considered spheres of gods. So the question is did we listen on all sides of the arguments: the state Vs. indigenous peoples. From what we know so far; we have been listening to one side of the story; that was only from indigenous perspectives, not the other way round.
The Anyuak are warned when entering, the kind spheres of gods, that one is cautioned not tempers with the environment surrounding or break the laws of the gods when arriving these areas of the spirits, that with without the authorization from the men of the spirits world, who are dully responsible for okaying any actions, that might take place in those realms of gods. That one is punished the unthinkable conditions, one would otherwise have avoided by simply obeying those rules .
In a nutshell the Anyuak, other native people charged, accused our national government, “the Ethiopian government” of land grabbing, land annexation, force or authorized land marketing, selling to Multinational Corporation without consent, consultations, drive from the indigenous people who own primarily the land of Gambella.
For example, some say well land belongs to gods; that no one should claim ownership of the lands. It is a wrong thinking, in the eyes of the native people, it is utterly considered nonsense. But let assume it is true, don’t you think that gods who made man to exist, by same token made man owns lands he has created also, empowered the man with ownership, stewardship of the land?
There is one or two example I must give here; if a government want to railways from Dima to Gamnella, the railway track must come throughout one of those Anyuakland right?, inevitably is unavoidable. if I am rights than railway development is not a bad thing for our society, it is a good thing for the people of Gambella, because it eliminates transportation problems.
In the 80s I live closed or to proximity of one of the crime infested neighborhoods, on Chicago Ave, Franklin Streets, "safe haven" for prostitution, gangbanging, drag pushing, with crimes rampant, threatened the lives of the common citizen, with spillover of crimes complicating the livelihood of the business people, the peaceful citizens who want to go by with their daily living without threats or fear from outside. A
s a result of the increased crime rates many citizen left the neighborhoods, the area was left with no body, declared unlivable. But a few years later, let say in the 90s a group of wealthy investors took interest in the investment, revitalization, of the areas, building new infrastructure, repaired, rehabilitated old business enterprises centers with new ideas.
Today as one passes that area one would be very surprised looking, glancing at the new faces of the business center, of what it has become, with quite residential area, with law abiding citizens living peacefully uninterrupted with daily crimes which was unthinkable in those days. It is different place now, with a different face lift. Nothing scary.
Now the question I put to everyone is this: did everyone see now what investors can do with their money? Yes for one to do development one needs capital, technology, capital would always come from privates, public entities. Yes there're dispossessions which come within the new outlook, but it was unavoidable in the history of developments. Nevertheless the new restructured facilities brought back the broken lives of the community, restored community: integrity dignity, honor, respect, to live, to produce.
I have read many literature on multinational corporations, investors investing huge money in Gambella in the area of agriculture, food production, creating jobs security which in return gave the locals: the ability to earn money, restored, dignity, integrity, honor respect, rekindled lost hope to live again, bringing food to the tables for their love ones.
But nonetheless, these contributions by the multinational organization have been water down by some native elements, Diasporas groups working in ten dame with non-profits organizations, accused multinational corporations for land grabbing, of deletions, of environmental upsets.
The problem here was no one understood the difference, or the distinction between "Public Goods vs. Privates Goods" for that matter; let me give you few examples, Public Goods: water, minerals, sands, gold’s, diamond, oil, gas, some land, fish, wildlife are public goods can be shared.
A political science graduate, he can be reach at firstname.lastname@example.org