Like many women living in Wabi Yar, a small town in Ogaden roughly 20km north of Qabri Dahar, Amina finds economic empowerment and independence through collecting and selling frankincense, myrrh, and opoponax resins. Ogadenian women like Amina play a significant role in building and cultivating the region’s economy. Resin collection provides Amina with the financial security and stability she needs to put food on the table for her and her family. This sustainable source of income serves as a lifeline for Amina in a town that is otherwise jeopardized by the persistent presence of drought conditions and an unstable political climate. As a firm believer in her products, Amina speaks of its many benefits and encourages its various uses. Seeing the resins ability in generating a sustainable and stable income for her and other women like her, Amina advises buyers to continue purchasing the resins, so that they may continue to earn a livelihood.
Ogaden, the Somali region of Ethiopia, is home to roughly 4 million people. Extreme heat coupled with long periods of drought, dominates the region. The harsh weather is particularly difficult for the majority pastoralist population, who steadily rely on rain to sustain their livestock. Approximately 80% of Ogadenians are pastoralists, with the buying and selling of livestock being one of their primary sources of sustenance. Because of this, Ogaden is one of the most underdeveloped and food-insecure regions in Ethiopia. Despite this, the Ogaden people are the epitome of resilience and hope. They recognize the abundance of natural resources found on their lands, so they diligently seek to benefit from it. Having inhabited the region for many decades, Ogadenians are well-versed and committed to honoring and protecting their natural resources.