Ethiopia: Dire Dawa Floods - OCHA Situation Report No. 2

Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2006/0147
OCHA Situation Report No. 2
Dire Dawa Floods - Ethiopia
Occurred on 6 August, 2006

This report is based on information received from OCHA Ethiopia.


1) During the night 5 to 6 August 2006 very heavy rains caused flooding in the region of Dire Dawa, Ethiopia (525 kms east of the capital Addis Ababa). 3,000 displaced, 300 people missing and 200 people dead are reported so far but figures need confirmation. Dire Dawa is the sixth biggest city in Ethiopia, believed to have a population of about 0.4 million persons.

2) On 7 August, OCHA Deputy Head of Office accompanied the government of Ethiopia assessment team made up of the Commissioner of DPPA (Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Agency) and his three Deputies to Dire Dawa for one-day field assessment mission. They have consulted Catholic Relief Services staff and interviewed the affected individuals.

3) The Assessment Mission identified the immediate need for food and Non-food items (clothes, shelter, and household cutlery).

4) The floods broke the banks of river Dechatu, a river that flows for hardly a week in a year, and which passes through the centre of the city. The floods spread out for up to 200 meters away from the banks on either side, sweeping homes, trees, live fences and all other objects that were on the way of the floods. In some places entire buildings and concrete fences were wiped out. The catchment's area had been destroyed through deforestation while people had built houses too close to the flood prone areas.

5) The affected individuals are congregated in schools but some of them are still in the sites of their former houses.

6) The authorities warned that the risk of flooding was still high because heavy rains were falling in the highland outside the city.

National Response

7) An initial response, including food and non-food items from the Ethiopian Government began on 6 August. To date the DPPA has distributed 7.1 MTs of high-energy biscuits, 50 MT rice, 1.5 MT vegetable oil, 4,000 blanket, 10,000 cups, 10,000 plates, 2,000 jerry cans, 25 roll (4x50 meters) plastic sheeting, 2,000 spoons, and 10, 000 cups.

8) The Ethiopian Prime Minister visited the area on 7 August.

9) Since the occurrence of the disaster, local coping mechanisms were developed by Dire Dawa population and authorities through:

- Help by the local residents in identifying the dead, and helping the injured;

- Transfer of the homeless to school compounds since schools are currently closed.

- Registration of the homeless

10) The regional government has established a taskforce consisting of DPPA, the regional council, Ethiopian Red Cross and NGOs.

International Response

11) UNICEF has pre-positioned 2,000 family kits in Dire Dawa DPPA warehouse. Those are in process of distribution along with blankets and plastic sheets.

12) WFP is releasing a one-month ration to be distributed to some 10,000 people affected by floods in Dire Dawa. 150 tons of cereals, 15 tons of blended food, 5 tons of vegetable oil and 0.5 tons of salt will be released from WFP warehouses immediately for distribution.

13) Meanwhile, non-food items, which were dispatched by WFP for pre-positioning, have arrived on 8 August in Dire Dawa.

14) UN OCHA summoned a coordination meeting in Addis on 10 August to coordinate response and identify needs.

15) This situation report, together with further information on other ongoing emergencies is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at

Map: Ethiopia: Floods - Location map

Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officer:

Mr. Ousmane Watt
Direct Tel. +41-22-917 22 40

Mr. Jean Charles Dougrou
Direct Tel. +41-22-917 27 91

Press contact:

(GVA) Ms. Elizabeth Byrs direct Tel. +41-22-917 26 53

(N.Y.) Ms. Stephanie Bunker direct Tel. +1-917-367 51 26


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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