Film screening and workshop: “Our Lives Depend on the River”

Film screening and workshop:

 “Our Lives Depend on the River

Hydropower development and its impact on environment, poverty and conflict dynamics in the Lower Omo, Ethiopia

Monday 3rd June 9am – 3pm

King’s College London,

Bush House (South East Wing), 1.01, London

Communities in Nyangatom, in the Lower Omo region of Ethiopia, have experienced a range of environmental shocks since 2015 including drought, changes in the Omo River flood-regime due to dam developments, and crop pest infestations, which have curtailed crop harvests. These changes are contributing to increased environmental degradation and poverty, reduced food security and increased dependence on government food aid.

During the workshop we will consider how communities can be supported to adapt their livelihoods to cope with changing environmental conditions and to mitigate the impact of lost flood-retreat cultivation livelihoods.

Our findings come from an ERSC-DFID funded study ‘Shifting in/equality dynamics in Ethiopia: from Research to Application (SIDERA)’, an interdisciplinary research project which examined the links between poverty, conflict and environmental degradation in the Omo Valley, and the role of inequality at the core of this nexus.

Register to attend the event at:

Film: “Our Lives Depend on the River”

This film illustrates challenges faced by communities in the Nyangatom district, Ethiopia, including changes to the Omo River, crop pest infestations and invasive plant species.

The film was produced as part of the knowledge exchange component of the SIDERA project, which aims to:

  1. exchange knowledge among diverse stakeholders and different disciplines and fields, e.g. integrating knowledge regarding environmental changes and their implications for poverty, peace, and security
  2. stimulate new thinking/conversations about prevailing and alternative models of development, social inclusion, and profit sharing

During the workshop, we will describe how we set about co-producing, translating and transferring crucial knowledge from local environments, where largely non-literate communities hold vast unused expertise, to the national and international spheres, and vice versa. We will also feed-back on discussions from a series of dissemination workshops carried out in Ethiopia at national, regional and local levels. Finally, we will discuss potential solutions, future directions and policy recommendations.

Film screening and workshop: “Our Lives Depend on the River

Monday 3rd June 9am – 3pm

King’s College London, Bush House (South East Wing), 1.01, London


09:15 – Coffee

09:30 – Introductions:

  • The SIDERA project
  • Challenges facing communities in Nyangatom

09:45 – Key Findings:

  • Environmental Change: How have recent developments affected the spatial and temporal availability of and access to natural resources in the region?
  • Wealth/poverty: How are environmental changes influencing relations of material in/equality?
  • Peace/conflict: How are changing resources affecting conflict dynamics in the region?

11:00 – Coffee

11:30  – Film Screening: Our Lives Depend on the River

12:00 – Breakout Discussion

12:30 – Lunch

13:30 – From Research to Application:

  • Policy recommendations
  • Our approach to translating research into application
  • Ongoing work

14:30 – Reflections

15:00 – End