Ethiopia - Floods Information Report No. 2

Report
from UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 22 Aug 1996
Ref: DHAGVA - 96/0290
1. UN RESIDENT COORDINATOR IN ADDIS ABABA WARNS OF GROWING CONCERN OVER DETERIORATING FLOODS SITUATION ALONG AWASH RIVER BASIN IN CENTRAL ETHIOPIA.

2. FLOODING HAS BEEN RECORDED IN AWASH VALLEY SINCE MARCH, WITH RIVER LEVELS FLUCTUATING MARKEDLY OVER PAST MONTHS. RECENTLY, HOWEVER, DUE TO INTENSIFIED RAINFALL, SITUATION HAS BEEN DETERIORATING, WHILE RAIN STILL CONTINUES.

3. WATER IN KOKA RESERVOIR, SOME 60 KM SOUTHEAST OF ADDIS ABABA, HAS REACHED HIGHEST LEVEL RECORDED IN 34 YEARS SINCE DAM WAS CONSTRUCTED. WATER LEVELS ARE CONTINUING TO RISE AND HAVE NOW REACHED WITHIN 13 CM OF OVER-TOPPING DAM, AS COMPARED TO 40 CM AS OF 19 AUGUST.

4. GOVT IS EVACUATING INHABITANTS ALONG AWASH RIVER BANKS AND BEGAN TO DISCHARGE ACCUMULATED WATER FROM RESERVOIR. SO FAR, AREAS FURTHER DOWNSTREAM OF DAM, AFFECTED BY EARLIER FLOODS, HAVE BEEN EVACUATED. GOVT IS NOW ARRANGING EVACUATION OF ADDITIONAL 90,000 PERSONS LIVING IN TOWNS CLOSER TO DAM.

5. DISCHARGE OF WATER COULD POSE THREAT TO MORE THAN 30,000 PERSONS LIVING IN TOWN OF WANJI, IMMEDIATELY DOWNSTREAM OF DAM, PLUS MANY MORE IN AWASH VALLEY WHO ARE YET TO BE EVACUATED. POTENTIAL THREAT TO ECONOMICALLY IMPORTANT PLANTATIONS OF SUGAR, COTTON, AND BANANAS IN REGION IS ALSO FEARED.

6. GOVT CONVENED NATIONAL DISASTER PREVENTION AND PREPAREDNESS COMMITTEE, CHAIRED BY DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER. COMMITTEE IS TO DIRECTLY OVERSEE EVACUATION OF PEOPLE THREATENED BY FLOODS AND COORDINATE RELIEF EFFORT WHICH NOW INVOLVES VARIOUS TECHNICAL MINISTRIES, DPPC (DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND PREVENTION COMMISSION), AND NATIONAL DEFENSE FORCES.

7. SO FAR, NO REQUEST FOR INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE HAS BEEN ISSUED BY GOVT OF ETHIOPIA.

8. AS REPORTED IN DHA INFORMATION REPORT NO. 1 ISSUED ON 12 AUGUST, FLOODING HAS ALSO OCCURRED IN GAMBELLA REGIONAL STATE IN SOUTHWESTERN ETHIOPIA NEAR SUDANESE BORDER. MOREOVER, FLOODS WERE ALSO REPORTED ALONG SHEBELLE RIVER SINCE LATE MAY, CAUSING CONSIDERABLE DAMAGE IN MUSTAHIL AREA. SITUATIONS IN THESE AREAS ARE ALSO BEING MONITORED BY DHA, IN COOPERATION WITH UN RESIDENT COORDINATOR.

9. FOR COORDINATION PURPOSES, DONORS ARE REQUESTED TO INFORM DHA-GENEVA, AS INDICATED BELOW, OF BILATERAL RELIEF MISSION/PLEDGES/CONTRIBUTIONS AND THEIR CORRESPONDING VALUE BY ITEM.

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