PFDJ and its Phobia of Statistics
In several interviews of DIA by the only existing mass media showed his denial to statistics. He has been heard to undermine statistical data in his speech and almost succeed in conveying his message indirectly. But what was his message behind it and why he is phobic to such values? Having these simple but critical questions let me have a glance to some of the statistical data that reveal the life condition of Eritrean population in 2003.
According to the report documented on the food security strategy of the state of Eritrea in 2004, the overview of the poverty situation in Eritrea based on the findings of the LSMS estimate reveals the following stylized facts highlighted;
• 66 percent of Eritreans (or 2.36 million) are poor unable to obtain sufficient food (in terms of calories) and other essential goods and services to lead a healthy life.
- Approximately 37 percent (or 1.31 million) of the poor live under extreme poverty, i.e., below the food poverty line.
- About 65 percent of the population in rural areas of the country is unable to obtain sufficient food (in terms of calorie intake) and other essential goods and services.
- With food assistance, about 53 percent of the population lack access to a minimal basket of consumption goods. Further, the study shows that about 50 percent of households require food aid even in good years, while 80 percent depend on it in years of poor harvests.
- Poverty incidences show significant variation between Zobas where the Northern Red Sea and Anseba have the highest poverty incidence followed by Southern Red Sea.
- Urban poverty is more serious than originally thought. About 33 percent of the poor or (0.78 million) live in urban areas. The incidence is more pervasive in small towns with a very high percentage of the population below the poverty line.
- Poverty is strongly related to lack of basic needs in education (especially literacy level of head of household) and health services and access to cultivable land.
- In rural areas, the poor households cultivate only 0.9 hectares of land, less than the average of 1.1 ha for each household, are less able to diversify their agricultural production and are thus more susceptible to economic shocks.
- The poor, in particular the rural poor, have larger families (average of 6 persons) compared to only 4.2 persons for the non-poor. The average family size in Eritrea is 5.1 persons.
- About 30% of households are headed by women (of which 18% are widowed); on average female employees earn less than half that of males and the majority of poor women in the rural areas are engaged in low-paying manual labor in construction and agriculture. Furthermore, female-headed households cultivate fewer plots and have fewer household assets including livestock than do male-headed households. Rural women are less likely to be literate and numerate and about 40% leave school at an early stage due to marriage. Rural women often do not receive antenatal care and suffer from poor nutrition.
Have a look in this video produced by IFAD
Waw, even for me, I hated this data. They really betray what has been told us on the news media day and night on the progress of the country. How can I accept such tangible facts which exist on the ground if what I listen is totally different? Can I deny by designing a tricky method? Ok, if you agree, I am rejecting this reality by simply ignoring the fact and live on the myth created. … I can see your changing face … that is what PFDJ taught me in the last 14 years. I am doing what I was trained for.
Haha, sometimes I like to talk as a crazy minded guest. Just cool down… I am not to that level of practicing my ignorance and preach to the people.
This is how DIA tried to escape from the fact that exist on the ground and underestimate any statistical data. I remember a well equipped National Statistical Office which started its function the early 2000s being non-functional after 5 or 6 years. Of course, the office has to be closed if it is going to reveal what really exists in the ground.
Let me then give my analysis on this and why DIA has a phobia with statistical data.
There is no secret that PFDJ follows TOP-DOWN instruction of working principle. For this, we have a number of reported facts on the cabinet (ministerial) meetings for the last 10 or more years. The cabinets conduct meetings to receive instructions and guidelines on what has to be done within the given time frame. I said time frame, just to be friendlier with ERI-TV. You know sometimes, accepting what has been told is good for rational analysis; I like that by the way. Because, if I reject from the beginning, then there will not be time to contemplate on what it is said. Anyway, to come back on the main objective, DIA has dreams and this dreams is just generated from his mind, just a dream based on good-intentions (?), -don’t be aggressive, just let it be as I said. Tewsakite do baeley ketsebabikelu [Abeyenay tsibuk timnit keyhilwo mukan eko – just whishpering alone].
… To be continued