Relief: Ethiopia consists mainly of Desert and Mountains. Many valleys and plateau's also can be found in the country. Due to these landform types the percentage of farm land is approximately 5.7% of the total amount of land in Ethiopia. The amount of arable land is 10% of the 5.7% total. Ethiopia has an area of 1 221 900 sq. km. Ethiopia does not receive any problems such as volcanism, tidal waves, etc., but it does receive great winds and monsoons. It is located in Eastern Africa neighboured by Sudan (NW), Kenya(S), and Somalia(SE). Elevations can be seen on figure 1, and the physical features of Ethiopia on figure 2.
Climate: The Climate in Ethiopia is of three different climatic zones. These being the cool or dega zone, consisting of the central parts of the western and eastern sections of the high plateaus and the area around Harar, with terrains roughly above 7 900 ft. in elevation. The second zone is the temperate, or weina dega zone, comprising portions of the high plateau between 4 900 and 7 900 ft.. The final area being the hot or kolla zone, encompassing an area with an altitude less than 5 000 ft. The cool zones temperatures and precipitation can be seen on figure 3. The temperate zones temperatures range from 15.6C to 29.4C. The temperature in the hot zone of the lowlands can reach temperatures as high as 60C.
There are two distinct seasons in Ethiopia the rainy season, or kremt, lasting from mid-June to mid-semptember. the other is the Dry season, or bega, lasting from mid-September to mid-June. In April and May there is slight transition period. The greatest amount of precipitation is found in the southwest areas, near gore. They receive approx. 104 in. a year. The littlest amount of precipitation is found in the Great Rift Valley receiving less than 4 inches per year. the average annual precipitation in the central plateau at 48 in.
The prevailing winds that strike Ethiopia are the Southwesterly monsoon in the rainy season and the northeasterly wind from the Arabian Desert in the dry season.
Ethiopia's climatic conditions suffer severe drought jeopardizing millions with starvation. These extreme weather changes create horrible growing seasons, making yields quite unsuccessful.
Vegetation: The percentage of forest land is minimal in Ethiopia, most of the area is grazed dry farmland, and some generally arable land. Near areas where beef cattle are being raised tsete flies can be found in great numbers. They spread a sleeping disease, that in turn wear down farmers, and create less productivity, and more disease than needed. Another insect that causes severe problems are locusts. They are considered the plague of Ethiopia, eating, therefore ruining crops. Due to lack of money Ethiopia does not have sufficient preservation facilities, and much of there food rots and goes to waste. Rodents also get into crops and eat whatever is at hand.
Soils: Almost all of Ethiopia's soils are made up of infertile red and yellow laterite. Humus and other nutrients are washed out of the soils and into the rivers. Much land is lost from erosion and desertification, from constant over grazing and loss of trees.
Wildlife: I couldn't find any information on Ethiopia's wildlife, but I would suspect it is minimal. Small amounts of cattle and ox.
Race: Ethiopia is quite unique for the number of races throughout the country. These races are shown on figure 4.
Languages: In Ethiopia there are over 70 languages and 200 dialects spoken, but only eight of the languages are commonly used. Amharic is the official language of Ethiopia. Tigrinya and Arabic are the official languages of Eritrea. These are the only three languages with a written script. Due to the number of languages, many Ethiopians are bilingual and even trilingual. See figure 4.
Religions: Due to all these different religions many problems arise, such as which religion...
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Kurian, George Thomas, ed. Encyclopedia of the Third World. New York: Facts
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Wright, Hohn W., ed. 1996 Universal Almanac, Kansas City: 1995 Universal Press
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