Ethiopia: Drought Response Situation Report No. 07 (as at 30 November 2016)

This report has been prepared under the auspices of the Federal Disaster Risk Management Technical Working Group, co-chaired by the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC) and OCHA with participation of Sector Co-Chairs (Government Line Ministries and Cluster Coordinators). It covers the period from 01 November to 30 November 2016.


  • Worrying symptoms of new drought in the south and southeastern Ethiopia; meher assessment well underway

  • Nearly 500,000 people need urgent water trucking in Somali Region alone; Government and partners providing water trucking services in regions

  • Joint meher assessment well underway in 246 woredas in all regions of the country

  • The food response in Level 1 woredas sped up significantly for the first time in four months

Situation Overview

Worrying symptoms of new drought in south and southeastern Ethiopia; meher assessment well underway

While Ethiopia battles residual needs from the El Niñoinduced drought, below average rains in the southern and eastern parts of the country caused by the negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) have led to new symptoms of drought. The Hagaya/Deyr short rains (October to December), accounting for up to 35 per cent of annual rainfall in some areas, have been influenced by a negative Indian Ocean Dipole, a phenomenon causing poor precipitation across East Africa and causing imminent new drought in the region.

Water shortages and livestock deaths due to late onset, erratic and poor autumn Hagaya/Deyr rains are already reported from the primarily pastoral affected areas. Most parts of Somali, parts of Afar and some low land areas of Oromia and SNNP regions are most affected by the new drought, some pocket areas in southern Tigray and northeastern Amhara which already suffered from the 2016 El Nino induced drought will also require food aid into 2017 due to poor performing meher harvest.

Pasture and water sources are deteriorating in Deyr rains receiving zones of Somali region. Currently, people are collecting water from very distant areas as Birakas; traditional ponds are steadily drying up. As the water dries up, the quality of water is becoming worse, and diseases are increasing, especially along the rivers.

According to reports from the Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Bureau of Somali region, 38 trucks are required to serve the water needs of over 450,000 people (68,436 households) in 30 woredas, seeking 7, 305,000 birr per month in Afder, Doollo, Korahe Liban, Nogob and Shabele zones. WaSH Cluster calls for the need to ensure community water supplies are maintained through rehabilitation and strengthening of the operation and maintenance mechanism at the grass root level.

As the dry season progresses, water trucking is still ongoing in Afar, Oromia, Somali, SNNP and Tigray regions. In support of the ongoing water delivery by the Oromia Region Water Bureau, UNICEF will start water trucking in Oromia in December for over 270,000 people. In Somali region, Somali Regional Water Bureau, Islamic Relief, AWDA and DRC, IRC, SCI and Oxfam are currently water trucking. OCHA’s allocation of EHF funding to water trucking will also supplement the efforts of UNICEF in January 2017 in Oromia region, coupled with distribution of water treatment chemicals. SCI will also start water trucking in Somali region through EHF fund. According to the WaSH Cluster, water trucking is ongoing in 38 woredas with 57 trucks: Afar (3 trucks), Oromia (34 trucks), SNNP (5 trucks), Somali (3) and Tigray (12 trucks).

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