Ethiopia: Awadaye – Khat Market
Harar region is responsible for the production of the lion’s share of the narcotic khat plant that everyone in the Horn of Africa is chewing on – all of Djiboiti, Somalia, and mostly Muslim Afar and Harar communities. Khat is legal is Ethiopia and the government taxes it heavily and derives significant revenue from it. The plant has alkaloid stimulants that apparently produce cocaine-like effects – stimulus and then crash. Everybody chews it here (and in Somalia and Djibouti), agitated green-teeth people almost assault you in their excitement, and seriously stoned men and women just sit or lie in the streets. There is a large market in the town of Awadaye that has a sort of wholesale market for khat – local farmers bring large batches of freshly cut plant and sell it to dealers who then transport it further. The market is plain insane – everyone is absolutely and seriously stoned to the max and khat is everywhere!