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Terrain and Weather
Ethiopia is located on a high plateau on the Horn of Africa. It contains small reserves of gold, platinum, copper, potash, and natural gas. It has a warm climate, usually remaining within 60-85 degrees Fahrenheit and 2 rainy seasons, a shorter one from February to April and a longer one, called kremt, from June to September. Ethiopia has frequently succumbed to droughts, which wreak havoc on the agriculture. This occurs whenever the longer rainy season, kremt, is not substantial enough. Ethiopia is divided into several climate zones. The lowlands, in the northeast and southeast of the country, receive very little rain per year (less than 20 inches) and are the most susceptible to drought.
The Affects of Terrain and Weather on the Population:
89% of the Ethiopian population is rural and the staple of the country’s economy is agriculture. Half of the nation’s gross domestic product is agricultural product and agriculture accounts for 90% of the nation’s exports. Coffee is Ethiopia’s main export, and it is estimated that a quarter of the population derives their income from coffee.
Agriculture is Ethiopia’s biggest, most prosperous economic resource and it supports the country’s economy. However, the economy is already made fragile by the difficulty of transporting goods. Ethiopia is landlocked and mountainous, making overseas transportation and shipping difficult. The government has a very difficult time balancing the economy and cannot afford expensive proceedings (including disaster relief and military expenditures).
As can be seen, the Ethiopian economy is very fragile, and it relies on agriculture. When there is a drought, the damage to the economy is disastrous. It prevents farmers from producing food for the
population and it also halts the economy. The government in turn is not able to provide necessary relief to the population, and mass starvation ensues.
Ethiopian Coffee Land