Ethiopia - Floods Information Report No. 4

Report
from UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 04 Sep 1996
Ref: DHAGVA - 96/0331
1. UN RESIDENT COORDINATOR IN ADDIS ABABA REPORTS THAT SITUATION ALONG AWASH RIVER BASIN HAS IMPROVED, AS RAINS IN CENTRAL HIGHLANDS DIMINISHED OVER PAST FEW DAYS.

SITUATION

2. WATER LEVEL IN KOKA RESERVOIR HAS NOW BEEN STABILIZED, AND DISCHARGE FROM DAM HAS BEEN REDUCED. RIVER LEVELS DOWNSTREAM HAVE SUBSEQUENTLY FALLEN SIGNIFICANTLY. GOVT CONSIDERS THAT AWASH BASIN IS OUT OF IMMEDIATE DANGER OF FURTHER FLOODING.

UPPER AWASH

3. ON 27 AUGUST, JOINT UN ASSESSMENT TEAM (UNDP/DHA, WFP, AND UNICEF) VISITED UPPER AWASH AREA IMMEDIATELY BELOW KOKA RESERVOIR (TOWNS OF NAZARETH, WONJI, AND METAHARA) AND CONFIRMED THAT SITUATION THERE WAS UNDER CONTROL.

4. DESPITE WIDESPREAD INUNDATION, DAMAGE TO SUGAR CANE AND OTHER CROPS IS LIMITED TO SOME 400 HECTARES, ACCORDING TO GOVT. AT SUGAR PLANTATION IN METAHARA, ABOUT 90 KM DOWNSTREAM OF KOKA DAM, WORK HAS CONTINUED TO STRENGTHEN PROTECTIVE DIKES ALONG 2 KM STRETCH OF RIVER.

5. THOUGH TOTAL OF 40,000 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN DISPLACED IN WONJI AND METAHARA, GOVT STATES THAT THEIR IMMEDIATE SHELTER, FOOD, AND WATER NEEDS HAVE MOSTLY BEEN MET. MAIN ROAD TO WONJI FROM NAZARETH HAS BEEN RE-OPENED.

6. REGIONAL GOVT OFFICIALS REPORTED DAMAGE TO COMMUNITY WATER SUPPLY SYSTEM IN NAZARETH AND METAHARA.

MIDDLE/LOWER AWASH

7. ON 29 AUGUST, UNDP/DHA MISSION VISITED MIDDLE AND LOWER AWASH AREAS, FURTHER DOWNSTREAM OF KOKA RESERVOIR. DISTRICT RELIEF COMMITTEES HAVE BEEN FORMED IN MOST LOCATIONS TO COORDINATE FLOOD PREPARATION ACTIVITIES, LED BY DPPC (DISASTER PREVENTION AND PREPAREDNESS COMMISSION).

8. FOOD AND RELIEF MATERIALS HAVE BEEN PRE-POSITIONED. DIKES ARE BEING CONSTRUCTED AND/OR STRENGTHENED AT MANY LOW-LYING LOCATIONS ALONG RIVER. IN GEWANE, RESIDENTS IN VULNERABLE AREAS CLOSE TO RIVER WERE ADVISED TO MOVE.

9. AT DUBTI, SOME 580 KM DOWNSTREAM OF KOKA DAM, WATER LEVEL HAS DECREASED TO 7 M, FROM HIGHEST MARK OF 8.25 M RECORDED ONE WEEK AGO. SOME 10,000 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN EVACUATED AS PRECAUTIONARY MEASURE.

RESPONSE

10. NO REQUEST FOR INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE HAS BEEN ISSUED BY GOVT OF ETHIOPIA. GOVT MAINTAINS THAT IT IS ABLE TO MEET NEEDS OF AFFECTED PEOPLE, USING LOCALLY AVAILABLE RESOURCES.

11. ASSISTANCE PROVIDED BY NGO'S TO WONJI AREA INCLUDES:

  • 230 FAMILY TENTS, 150 ROLLS OF PLASTIC SHEETING, AND WATER BLADDERS, FROM SCF/UK.
  • 20 TENTS, 2 WATER PUMPS, AND WATER BLADDERS, FROM MSF/HOLLAND AND BELGIUM.
  • 10 TONS OF HIGH ENERGY BISCUITS AND OTHER SUPPLIES, FROM MENSCHEN FUR MENSCHEN.
  • BISCUITS AND ASSISTANCE WITH WATER SUPPLIES, FROM CARE.
  • 100 LARGE TENTS, FROM ETHIOPIAN RED CROSS.
12. UNICEF PROVIDED TENTS, BLANKETS, AND PLASTIC SHEETING. UNHCR HAS MADE AVAILABLE 500 TENTS.

13. WITH IMMEDIATE CRISIS IN AWASH AREAS CONSIDERED TO BE OVER, CONCERN IS NOW BEING FOCUSED ON PREVENTING POSSIBLE SPREAD OF DISEASES AND ON REPAIRING DAMAGED WATER SUPPLY SYSTEMS. RELEVANT UN AGENCIES HAVE BEEN ASKED TO ASSIST GOVT IN ADDRESSING THESE ISSUES.

14. THOUGH SITUATION ALONG AWASH RIVER HAS BEEN STABILIZED, THERE IS REPORT ON RISING WATER LEVELS IN LAKE TANA. FURTHERMORE, MORE RAINS ARE STILL ANTICIPATED IN COMING WEEKS IN SOUTHWESTERN PARTS OF ETHIOPIA. DHA, THROUGH UN RESIDENT COORDINATOR IN ETHIOPIA, CONTINUES TO MONITOR SITUATION.

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