Ethiopia: Floods - Oct 2015
Since the beginning of bega season, incidents of flooding were reported in East Imey, Mustahil and Kelafo woredas of Shebelle zone in Somali region due to the overflow of the Wabe Shebelle River (East Imey) and flash flood. Evacuation of at-risk population to safer/higher grounds was undertaken in Mustahil and Kelafo woredas. Govt. Ethiopia, 20 Nov 2015
A Flood Contingency Plan was released on 18 November to guide mitigation and response efforts in flood-risk areas, especially along the Wabishabelle, Genale/Dawa, and Omo River basins. At least 210,600 people are expected to be affected by flooding and at least 105,300 people risk displacement. (OCHA, 23 Nov 2015)
Floods in the Somali Region, Mustahil, Kelafo and East Imey woredas of Shaballe Zone have killed five people, displaced more than 46,500 people, affected some 102,000 others and killed some 10,000 livestock. In these areas, schools have been forced to close, health clinics are affected, water pumps and wells are destroyed. Farm land is flooded and crops destroyed. (UNICEF, 31 Oct 2015)
Southern and southeastern pastoral areas (southern Somali, Southern Oromia and the lowlands in South Omo Zone in SNNPR): Although there was some flooding in October in localized areas, affecting planted crops and access for livestock feed in November and early December, floods receded later in December, increasing availability of pasture and browse. This will in turn increase household milk access and income from livestock product sales. Poor households in these areas are expected to move from Crisis (IPC Phase 3) to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) beginning in January 2016. (FEWS NET, 31 Dec 2015)
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Globally, millions of vulnerable households are at risk of increased hunger and poverty due to droughts and floods as a result of a climatic occurrence: El Niño. This phenomenon is not an individual weather event but a climate pattern which occurs every two to seven years and lasts 9-12 months. No two El Niño events are ever the same and it is thought that this particular occurrence could be the most powerful on record. The strongest El Niño in 1997/1998 killed some 21,000 people and caused damage to infrastructure worth US$ 36 billion.
The number of food insecure people in the region is expected to increase by 83 per cent, from approximately 12 million people at the start of 2015, to 22.1 million people by the start of 2016. In addition, between 2.7 million and 3.5 million people could be affected by oods.
In Ethiopia, food and nutrition needs have already increased from 2.9 million at the beginning of 2015 to 8.2 million today. Some 15 million people will likely require food assistance in early 2016.
The evolving El Niño, which currently has a probability of occurrence at above 90% and is likely to be the worst in 30 years, will exacerbate the current food and nutrition security situation. Parts of Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia and Kenya are expected to experience severe flooding while other parts of the region will experience drought conditions.