Ethiopia Sustainability Issues

The critical environmental and sustainability issues of Ethiopia:

1. Health

In 2014, more than 7 lakh people were living with HIV/AIDS and there were 20,000 deaths recorded in 2016 due to this disease. Not only HIV/AIDS but also deadly diseases like Hepatitis A, dengue, protozoal diarrhea and malaria continue to threaten lives today also. Life Expectancy at birth(m/f) was recorded 64 out of 67 in 2016.    


2. Water Crisis

Only 24% of the population has access to drinking water, in spite of the large number of water resources available in the country, particularly in the subsoil, and only 13% have basic sanitation services. The average amount of time spent looking for water from unprotected sources varies between 20 minutes and one hour per journey, and average water consumption in the majority of kebeles (villages) is some five litres per person per day, which amounts to 25% of the minimum recommended amount.


3. Endangered Species

The Ethiopian wolf is the rarest and most endangered canid in the world — with only about 450 individuals remaining. Ethiopia is also a sanctuary to 20 bird species unique to the country such as the near threatened Lammergeyer, also known as the bearded vulture; and 36 endemic mammals such as the Walia ibex and the Gelada baboon. About 90 percent of its elephant population has been lost since 1980. Currently, a small estimated population of about 1,500 to 2,000 individuals remain. Surveys have also found that about 63 percent of the grassland in the Simien Mountains National Park has been intensively grazed by livestock. 


4. Gender Inequality

A 2010 study in the Amhara region shows that 52% of girls were married by age 15 and 80% of girls were married by age 18. A 2010 survey shows 74% of rural Ethiopian women have undergone female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). Ethiopia has the second highest prevalence of FGM/C in Africa. Approximately 80% of women and girls in rural areas use homemade alternatives as a primary or secondary method to manage their periods. 


5. Poverty leading to hunger

Ethiopia is dependent primarily on one thing: the weather. People are dependent on livestock and agriculture. It is largely affected due to famines, droughts etc. Today, the United Nations reports nearly 8 million people do not have the food they need, including 4.2 million children. The new drought conditions alone are expected to leave 3.8 million people in need of immediate life-saving support.