Mobility and conflict: persistent challenges in expanding access to education among pastoralists of South Omo, Ethiopia

  • Alemayehu Debebe


This study explores into mobility patterns and prevalence of conflict as determinants of access to and retention in education. The assessment has been carried out in two educationally underprivileged pastoralist districts of south Omo. Ethnographic visits, key informants interview and focus group discussion were the major tools of data collection. Findings suggest that the area is characterized by regular seasonal mobility, frequent conflicts and conflict induced displacement. For communities in Dasenech and Nyangatom the situation of no war does not necessarily mean that there is peace. Drought and harsh weather are the driving forces of mobility. Competition over water sources and pastureland coupled with internal border dispute and cattle raid were identified as the long standing causes of armed conflict. Inability of schools to continue their regular functions without disruptions in the area under study is recognized as an adverse effect of both mobility and conflict. Encroachment of rangelands due to large scale agricultural investment and mineral exploration found to be the other frontiers of conflict of interest.

Keywords: Cattle raid, conflict, education, investment, mobility, pastoralists


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 1998-8907