The Plight of Rural Tigray: Coordinated Water Pump Thefts and Ongoing Devastation

Mekelle:  6 May 2024 (Tigray Herald)

By Yerga Yaecobe

Urgent action is needed to address the Corruption’s a Chronic Disease of Humanity: in Tigray.

The Plight of Rural Tigray: Coordinated Water Pump Thefts and Ongoing Devastation

In the rural villages of Tigray, a silent crisis is unfolding – the coordinated theft of water pumps, a lifeline for post-genocide devastated communities. Hand water pumps, essential for accessing clean water, are either stolen or deliberately vandalized, leaving communities without access to this basic necessity. Despite the critical role these pumps play in sustaining life, the Tigray government’s security apparatus, including the police and the Tigray Defense Forces (TDF), have failed to protect them, raising serious questions about their commitment to the well-being of the people.

The theft of water pumps is not merely a case of petty crime; it represents a continuous assault on the survival and dignity of the people of Tigray. The Tigray government must answer why its security apparatus has been ineffective in addressing these thefts and launching thorough investigations to identify the perpetrators and masterminds behind these heinous crimes. Is there a political motivation driving these thefts, or are they fueled by greed and exploitation?

Moreover, the TPLF, with its extensive security intelligence apparatus established over the past three decades, should have been able to protect the people of Tigray from such threats. The failure to do so raises serious concerns about their priorities and capabilities.

In addition to water pump thefts, other crimes such as the theft and vandalism of hospital equipment, kidnapping, human trafficking, land grabbing, and illegal gold mining further compound the challenges facing rural Tigray. There are suspicions of connections between land grabbing and mining exploitation, with greedy individuals benefiting from the devastation wrought by the three-year genocidal war on Tigray.

The environmental damage caused by the indiscriminate use of excavators and bulldozers to demolish Tigray’s mountains, including historical and religious sites, poses a grave threat to the region’s natural and cultural heritage. This constitutes not only a violation of international law but also an urgent environmental disaster that requires immediate action from international environmental organizations.

To address these multifaceted challenges, a comprehensive and independent investigation team must be established to uncover the root causes of these crimes and hold the perpetrators accountable. Additionally, measures should be taken to enhance security and protection for vulnerable communities, including the installation of surveillance systems for vital infrastructure such as water pumps and hospitals.

Furthermore, sustainable development initiatives must be prioritized to address the underlying socio-economic grievances that fuel crime and exploitation in Tigray. This includes supporting local communities in managing their natural resources responsibly and promoting equitable access to opportunities for all residents.

In conclusion, the coordinated theft of water pumps in rural Tigray is not just a criminal act but a symptom of larger systemic issues that require urgent attention and decisive action from both the Tigray government and the international community. Only through collective efforts can we ensure the survival, security, and dignity of the people of Tigray in the face of these existential threats.

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