Among the notable customs and values of Sidama nation, one can mention the rule of truth (Halaale), the government of the elders, dialogical and consensus based method of problem solving, and the fear of God (Magano). Apart from being liable to burden of excise tax and forced labor, Sidama people were obliged to abandon the long standing social, and political authority systems, which include woma, mote, and the luwa systems.
The people through its leaders resisted the inhuman actions and maltreatments of previous governments. During the Era of Menelik II and thereafter Sidama Compatriots fought against the regimes , in time and space, in an unorganized and organized manners.
As an organized resistance, Sidama Liberation Movement (SLM) waged an armed struggle, against the military regime for more than 10 years between 1978 -1990 and fully liberated 3 high land districts of Arbegona, Bensa and Aroressa in the South Eastern Sidama land from the then the ruthless Dergue administration. In this struggle, over 10,000 Sidama people lost their lives while fighting for justice and freedom. The name Sidama Liberation Movement was given under the leadership of Woldeamanuel Dubale who led the movement's activities and made tremendous contribution to the weakening and the final down fall of the military regime.
Sidama is one of the most populace and naturally gifted zones, in Southern Ethiopia, which is bordered in the South by the Oromia Region except for a short stretch in the middle where it shares a border with Gedeo, on the West by the Bilate River which separates it from Wolayita, and on the north and east by the Oromia Region. According to the recent census (CSA, 2007), the total population of the zone was 2,954,136, of which 1,491,248 are men and 1,462,888 are women.
Most people of Sidama are ‘sub-subsistence farmers’ who have been forced to diversify into off-farm incomes to bridge their annual consumption gap, while some are effectively landless and depend entirely on non-agricultural sources of food and income including food aid. Continued cultivation, overgrazing, deforestation, fast population growth, and socio-cultural and forces have exerted enormous pressure on the ecosystem and hence on the overall agricultural resources. Environmental degradation coupled with a fast growing population have exacerbated the problem of environmental management and created food crisis at grass root levels.
In addition to agriculture and food security problems, the disadvantaged communities do not have better access to adequate educational and health facilities. Likewise, access to potable water supply and sanitation/hygiene is limited and exacerbating the morbidity and mortality rate among vulnerable groups especially children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
In order to tackle the above multi-directional problems of disadvantaged communities and build their self-reliance, efforts are underway, by government and other development actors, through rural-centered development strategies and policies. WaDF strives towards strengthening the on-going progress through Integrated Development interventions.
Lets join hands to avert the deep rooted socio-economic problems and vicious circle of poverty from Sidama and other disadvantaged communities through out Ethiopia.
<a href="http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/empower-disadvantaged-women-and-girls-in-ethiopia/%22%3EEmpower Disadvantaged Women and Girls in Ethiopia</a>