Ethiopia

Ethiopia: Floods - Flash Update, As of 5 May 2020

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HIGHLIGHTS

• The Government and humanitarian partners are currently dealing with flood preparedness and response activities amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

• Close to 219,000 and 107,000 people are affected and displaced respectively due to floods in Somali, Afar, SNNP, Dire Dawa and Harari. Over 90% of the flood-affected and displaced people are from the Somali region.

• According to the National Meteorological Agency (NMA) weather outlook, belg/gu rain will increase its temporal and spatial coverage even beyond the usual belg/gu dependent areas of the country. In May, heavy fall is likely to occur over some places of eastern, southern, southeastern, and southwestern parts of the country.

219K affected people

107K internally displaced

SITUATION OVERVIEW Ethiopia is experiencing extreme weather variability with some areas experiencing drought, while others are impacted by flooding. Based on the NMA weather forecast for the belg/gu season (January to April/May), the Government-led Flood Task Force released a Flood Alert listing the areas at risk of flooding during the current rainy season.

According to NMA weather outlook, belg/gu rain will increase its temporal and spatial coverage even beyond the usual belg/gu dependent areas of the country. In May, the rains are anticipated to increase across most parts of the country. Moreover, heavy fall is likely to occur in some places of eastern, southern, southeastern, and southwestern parts of the country.

In the past few weeks, flood incidences were reported from some areas of the country. On 24 April, flash floods killed four persons and damaged 53 houses (fully) and 212 houses (partially) in Dire Dawa; on 25 April, river overflow damaged social infrastructure and affected livestock in Jinka town, SNNP; and on 25/26 April, flash floods affected 34,507 households and displaced 15,195 households in Erer, Sitti, Nogob and Korahe zones, Somali region.
Local communities in the Dawa zone that spoke to humanitarian partners, stated that they have never experienced such amount of water in the Dawa River. On May 4, the flood caused a total collapse of the main bridges between Hudet to Negalle and Mubarak to Filtu. In addition to this, the rains made travel to rural areas within the Dawa zone difficult.

In SNNP, the rain-induced landslide in four woredas of Gamo zone (Chencha, Gerese, Gacho Baba, and Kemba) from 11 to 18 April resulted in eight fatalities, displacement of 1,383 people, destruction of 34 houses and the damage of 234 hectares of land. Similarly, some 1,665 people were affected by landslide and heavy rain in Bonke woreda (Gamo zone). The zonal Red Cross Society provided NFIs (clothes and household utensils) and the zonal DRMO delivered flour (14 quintals) to the displaced and affected community.
Similar reports of storms / heavy rainfall were received from the zones of Hadya (Lemo and Shashego woredas), Halaba (Wera), Silite (Sankura), and Basketo Special woreda.

So far, close to 219,000 and 107,000 people are affected and displaced respectively due to floods in Somali, Afar, SNNP, Dire Dawa and Harari. Over 90% of the flood-affected and displaced people are from the Somali region. The flood task force is reactivated, and response activities are ongoing in the Somali region.

By large, the belg/gu rain will be expected to have a positive impact on water recharging and agriculture/pasture development activities. However, it is always advisable to take all the necessary precautions, prevention, and mitigation measures to minimize the negative impact of flood disasters on peoples' lives and livelihoods. Nevertheless, there may be a need for partners to support affected and displaced communities together with the Government.

The Government-led multi-agency needs assessment started early May in the Somali region. The assessment will gauge the impact of the floods on people's lives and livelihood and also, will identify food and non-food needs. The findings will be expected to trigger humanitarian responses using EHF and other funding mechanisms.

HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE

In the Somali region, IOM distributed 500 standard NFI Kits to 500 displaced households in Borda-Korah kebele of Ber'ano woreda. IRC pledged to distribute wash NFIs for 2,000 families, ES/NFIs for 700 households, and 1,000 dignity kits. SCI updated for considering SWAN to respond. UNICEF promised to recheck WaSH stock for the flood response.

SOS is planning to procure body and laundry soap amounting to ETB 492,000. SOS has a contingency fund estimated ETB100,000 which can be used as cash transfer to the flood-affected people. SOS is also re-programming ETB 3,000,000 for cash response. ADRA is planning to distribute cash to 2,000 households in Kalafo woreda through Awash Bank. RDRMB sent food and ES/NFIs to 1,000 displaced households in Kalafo woreda but the trucks are stuck in Gode due to flood road blockage. Still, huge gaps remain in ES/NFIs, WaSH, and food in Somali and other regions.

In Kalafo, Mustahil and Ferfer, roads are inaccessible by land for large trucks carrying supplies. The Regional President requested humanitarian partners to consider airlifting aid in inaccessible locations.

In the Afar region, the Government distributed food and NFIs for half of the displaced people. The regional DPFSPCO already requested additional food and NFIs assistance to NDRMC.

GENERAL COORDINATION

On 27 April, the National Flood Task Force was reactivated to coordinate flood preparedness and response activities at national and sub-national levels. The Flood Task Force is chaired by NDRMC and OCHA provides secretariat support.

Similarly, a Regional Flood Task Force was reactivated in the Somali region, and a joint assessment started in early May to identify needs in severely affected areas.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.