January 30, 2007

Oromo: National Pastoralist Day

Preparations to celebrate are underway, as the Oromo community hopes the planned activities will strengthen the bridge between pastoralists and the local government.

Below is an article published by The Ethiopian Herald:

The Oromia State Pastoralist Development Commission said that it has finalized preparations to observe the National Pastoralist Day in Borena Zone of the state this February.

Commissioner Habtamu Teka told WIC that various activities have been underway during the last six months to celebrate the Pastoralists Day on February two and three.

Activities are still underway to prepare a bazaar called "Let us develop Borena" that shows the development of the zone, he said.

The forum will enable pastoralists to discuss their problems, share experiences and solve their problems by themselves, and forward crucial problems to the government, he said.

A five-year integrated development strategy of pastoralists has earlier been designed in the state and is currently under implementation.

The commissioner said the integrated development works underway will be visited on the eve of the day so as to enable the other states share the experiences.

Productive and exemplary pastoralists will be awarded and awareness raising discussion that popularizes the Geda culture will be held, Habtamu said.

Representatives of Oromia and other pastoralist states, and state governments as well as a large number of pastoralists will attend the ceremony, he said.

Habtamu said pastoralists of Borena have been observing the day on their own initiative before it started being observed at a national level.

Pastoralist Day has been nationally celebrated during the past three years following the request of its celebration at national level by the Oromia State, the Commissioner said.

It will enable the government and pastoralists to further consolidate their partnership, he added.

Close to four million pastoralists reportedly live in Oromia State.