It was my understanding that Rastas in Shashemene do have a pretty tough life. It is not supported well by the current Ethiopian government, and that crime is a big problem. As elsewhere, Rastas are targetted by other locals for oppression... sad but true... I think other Ethiopians are more likely to rob and commit other offenses against Rastas in Shashemene because they see them as outsiders.
Here are some articles I found on the web:
There seems much mis-information and contradiction here... Articles from around year 2000 are estimating Rasta numbers as low as 40 and as high as 1000... what to believe?
I have studied a system called Permaculture (Permanent Agriculture) developed by fellow Australian Bill Mollison. It is a vast body of work covering all types of organic, sustainable agriculture and self-sufficiency methods for many climates, from cold climates to deserts.
I really believe this knowledge would be invaluable to all Rastas and anyone else attempting to live a gardening/farming lifestyle away from Babylon. It would be great to get this information to people in Shashemene, but also to anyone else interested. Even Jamaican hills farmers could, I think, benefit from Bill's work.
Try searching for "permaculture" on the net. However, the best information on this is still a book called "Permaculture: A Designer's Manual" which is over 500 pages of high density information - including many pictures, diagrams, photos, tables, etc.
If anyone would like more information on this, please email me directly. I will discuss what I know and how this information could be made available, although I have few resources of my own beyond time at the moment.
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