Ethiopia Weekly Humanitarian Bulletin, 11 February 2013

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 11 Feb 2013

Food Security Update

The Central Statistics Agency forecast for the 2012 meher (October to December) harvest indicates that some 23 million metric tons of grain were expected to be harvested – an increase of 5 per cent over 2011. Cereal production, including maize, teff, sorghum, wheat and barley, is reportedly up by 6 per cent, while pulse production is down by 2 per cent. Meher crops were planted on more than 12 million hectares in 2012, an increase of 1.5 per cent over 2011. This, coupled with the good performance of the kiremt (June to September) 2012 rains, led to the increased production expected.

Meanwhile, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) notes that the generally good kiremt rains have supported improved food security in benefiting areas nationwide, except in pockets areas that received poor seasonal rains – both in terms of amount and distribution. Areas affected include the eastern marginal meher-producing areas of Amhara and Tigray Regions, some agro-pastoralist and pastoralist areas in Somali and southern Oromia Regions, and some sweet potato-growing areas of SNNPR. Early livestock migration to better-off river valleys and dry-season grazing grounds was reported from parts of East and West Harerge and Bale zones of Oromia; North Gondar and Waghemira zones of Amhara; and Eastern and Southern zones of Tigray. According to FEWS-NET, deteriorating nutritional conditions have been reported in these areas. In SNNPR, the amount of land planted with sweet potato at the end of 2012 was below normal due to a shortage of sweet potato cuttings. With decreased production and limited opportunities for income diversification, the food security of poor households in affected areas of SNNPR in coming months requires close monitoring. For more information, contact: infodrmfss@dppc.gov.et or ethiopia@fews.net

WASH Update

Poor seasonal rainfall performance in the latter half of 2012 has resulted in critical water shortages in several parts of Somali Region. Hardest hit are the kebeles of Barey woreda (Afder zone) that border Somalia, where high levels of malnutrition have been recorded (survey results show 25.5 per cent global acute malnutrition, 5.8 per cent severe acute malnutrition and an under-five mortality rate just above the emergency threshold levels of 2.1 per 10,000 children per day). Four kebeles require immediate water trucking, including Dudun, Garily, Guled-Dhere and Harhodey. The NGO ADRA is operating water trucks in Garily and Guled-Dhere. With existing water sources dried up, these areas possess no alternative water supply capacity at present: the salinity of groundwater in the area makes boreholes unviable, although construction of new birkads is a viable longer-term solution. Elsewhere in Somali Region, Kersa Dula, Dollo Bay and Guradamole woredas of Afder zone; Hadagala, Shinile and Ayisha woredas of Siti zone; Shekosh woreda of Korahe zone; Danan and Imey woredas of Shebelle zone; and Fik, Kubi, Hamero, Selehad, Legehida and Meyu Muluke woredas of Nogob zone have also requested support with water trucking.

Oromia Region has also issued new requests for water trucks in the past week, including 10 trucks requested for 50 kebeles spread across Boke, Burka Dimtu, Daro Lebu, Gamachis, Hawi Gudina, Meiso and Oda Bultum woredas of West Hararge zone. In Afar, water trucking requests have increased from 14 to 24. Countrywide, 17 water trucks are currently operating in parts of Afar (9 trucks of 24 requested), Oromia (5 of 25 requested) and Tigray (3 of 12 requested), with a gap of 44 trucks. For more information, contact awesterbeek@unicef.org

Education Update

More than 17,000 primary school children (40 per cent girls) have reportedly dropped out of school since the beginning of the 2012-13 school year countrywide, mainly due to drought-related migration. In Somali Region, some 313 students (40 per cent girls) in Adadle woreda of Shabelle zone dropped out of school due to drought affecting the area. Of the dropouts, 40 per cent (of which 46 per cent were girls) returned to school following community mobilization work supported by UNICEF. WASH partners operating in the zone have been requested to expand water trucking interventions to schools, which risk closure due to lack of water during the dry season. The Regional Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Bureau in Afar also reported increasing drop-outs in drought-affected woredas of Yalo (Zone 4) and Bidu and Erebti (Zone 2), despite provision of school feeding to support children to stay in school. The government is responding with one-month’s water rationing for the schools. In conflict-affected areas of Oromia’s East Harerge zone, meanwhile, some 10,600 children (40 per cent girls) from 35 primary schools in Kumbi, Gursum, Meyumuluku and Chenasken woredas have seen their schooling interrupted over the past three months.

Relief Food Update

As of 6 February, distribution of seventh round of 2012 relief food, which targeted 2.8 million people countrywide, reached 94 per cent. Dispatch of the “bridging” round (funded with 2012 resources for distribution in January/February 2013), which targets 1.5 million people in Afar, Amhara, Oromia, Somali and Harari Regions, reached 76 per cent, including 87 per cent to areas covered by the Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Sector (DRMFSS), 95 per cent to areas covered by the NGO consortium Joint Emergency Operation (JEOP) and 37 per cent to WFP-covered areas in the Somali Region. Under the “bridging” round, beneficiaries in areas covered by WFP and JEOP are receiving a full food basket and full rations, while those in areas covered by DRMFSS will receive a half-ration of vegetable oil and full rations of all other commodities. For more information, contract wfp.addisababa@wfp.org

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.