Ethiopia - Floods Information Report No. 5

Report
from UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 25 Oct 1996
Ref: DHAGVA - 96/0438
1. UN RESIDENT COORDINATOR IN ADDIS ABABA REPORTS THAT FLOODS SITUATION IN GAMBELLA REGIONAL STATE IS NOW WELL UNDER CONTROL, WITH WATERS RECEDING IN VARIOUS PARTS.

2. GAMBELLA STATE, SITUATED IN SOUTHWEST OF ETHIOPIA BORDERING SUDAN, HAS BEEN AFFECTED BY FLOODS SINCE JUNE WHEN HEAVY RAINS IN CENTRAL HIGHLANDS CAUSED OVERFLOWING OF BARO, GILO, AND AKOBO RIVERS.

SITUATION

3. FURTHER TO AERIAL SURVEY CONDUCTED ON 2 AUGUST (SEE DHA INFOREP ONE DATED 13 AUGUST), UN RESIDENT COORDINATOR CARRIED OUT, ON 22-27 SEPTEMBER, RE-ASSESSMENT MISSION TO GAMBELLA STATE.

4. OVERALL, MISSION OBSERVED NO PREVAILING EMERGENCY SITUATION, THOUGH GENERALLY POOR SANITARY CONDITIONS ARE POSING HEALTH RISKS, ESPECIALLY ALONG BARO RIVER.

ALONG BARO RIVER

5. MISSION VISITED ITANG DISTRICT (33,609 INHABITANTS) ON 24 SEPTEMBER. IN ITANG TOWN (3,649 INHABITANTS), WATERS WERE RECEDING. MOST OF DISPLACED HAVE EITHER RETURNED HOME OR FOUND REFUGE WITH RELATIVES.

6. HOWEVER, CONSIDERABLE AREAS STILL REMAINED UNDER WATER, CREATING HAZARDOUS SANITARY CONDITIONS THAT NEED TO BE ADDRESSED. PARTICULARLY FEARED ARE MALARIA, DYSENTERY CAUSED BY AMOEBAE, AND TYPHOID. DISTRICT OFFICIALS REPORTED HEAVY DAMAGE TO LOCAL AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION, AND DPPC (GOVERNMENTAL DISASTER PREVENTION AND PREPAREDNESS COMMISSION) IS ADEQUATELY PROVIDING RELIEF FOOD.

7. JIKAWO DISTRICT (POPULATION 31,000), ACCORDING TO LOCAL ADMINISTRATION, IS STILL FLOODED TO SIGNIFICANT EXTENT. SANITARY CONCERN WAS ALSO EXPRESSED. DPPC IS PROVIDING ASSISTANCE, BUT IS FACING LOGISTICAL PROBLEMS DUE TO LACK OF TRANSPORTATION MEANS.

8. ACCORDING TO SITUATION ANALYSIS OF LOCAL DPPC, THERE IS STILL SOME CONCERN THAT BARO RIVER COULD OVERFLOW AGAIN, WHICH WOULD AFFECT ITANG AND JIKAWO.

ALONG AKOBO RIVER

9. IN AKOBO DISTRICT (POPULATION 59,000), DISTRICT OFFICIALS INFORMED THAT MOST ITS SURFACE, EXCEPT AKOBO TOWN, WAS STILL COVERED BY WATERS AND THAT FLOODS CAUSED HEAVY DESTRUCTION OF CROPS. FLOODS ARE EXPECTED TO RECEDE BY END OF OCTOBER.

10. DPPC IS REGULARLY AIRLIFTING RELIEF FOOD (SORGHUM). ACCORDING TO LOCAL ADMINISTRATION, THERE IS SHORTAGE OF HOUSEHOLD ITEMS, BLANKETS, PLASTIC SHEETS, MOSQUITO NETS, MEDICINE, AND AGRICULTURAL TOOLS, WHILE MALARIA IS REPORTEDLY AFFECTING LARGE PART OF POPULATION.

ALONG GILO RIVER

11. IN GOG AND JOR DISTRICTS (COMBINED POPULATION OF 90,620), 15,000 PEOPLE WERE AFFECTED ALONG GILO RIVER, AND NEARLY ALL CROPS OF MAIZE AND SORGHUM WERE DESTROYED. FLOODING STARTED IN JUNE, WHICH REACHED PEAK LEVEL IN EARLY JULY, RECEDING SLOWLY THEREAFTER TO REACH NEW HIGH IN MID-SEPTEMBER. ASSISTANCE BY DPPC BEGAN IN EARLY AUGUST.

12. IN GENERAL, MISSION FOUND GENERAL SITUATION ALONG GILO RIVER TO BE LESS SERIOUS THAN THAT ALONG BARO RIVER. HOWEVER, MALARIA AND TYPHOID WERE MENTIONED AS POSSIBLE RISKS. WATERS ARE NOW RECEDING SLOWLY, BUT LAND PREPARATION FOR NEXT SEASON IS NOT POSSIBLE.

GAMBELLA

13. GAMBELLA DISTRICT HAS BEEN FLOODED SINCE MID-JULY, WHICH AFFECTED MAINLY AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES, INCLUDING 298 HA OF MAIZE. MOST RECENT FLOODS OCCURRED IN EARLY SEPTEMBER, AFFECTING SOME 2,000 PERSONS IN PARTS OF GAMBELLA TOWN. LOCAL OFFICIALS REPORTED THAT SITUATION HAD RETURNED TO NORMAL, WHICH WAS CONFIRMED BY MISSION. AS 1,951 HOUSEHOLDS ARE FACING FOOD SHORTAGE, DPPC IS PROVIDING ASSISTANCE UP TO END OF OCTOBER.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE

14. NO APPEAL FOR INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE HAS BEEN ISSUED BY GOVT OF ETHIOPIA. DPPC HAS BEEN PROVIDING ADEQUATE ASSISTANCE AND CONSIDERS SITUATION TO BE WELL UNDER NATIONAL CONTROL. DPPC IS CONTINUING REGULAR MONITORING ON FLOODS SITUATION IN GAMBELLA REGION.

15. HOWEVER, THERE ARE CONCERNS EXPRESSED OVER LOGISTICAL CONSTRAINTS (E.G., SHORTAGE OF ADEQUATE VEHICLES) WHICH NEED TO BE ADDRESSED TO FULFIL PRESENT NEEDS, AS WELL AS TO IMPROVE PREPAREDNESS FOR FUTURE EMERGENCIES.

16. IN ADDITION TO ASSISTANCE LISTED IN INFOREP NO. 4, WHO HAS PROVIDED FIVE EMERGENCY HEALTH KITS TO ETHIOPIAN MINISTRY OF HEALTH, WITH SUPPORT FROM ITALIAN GOVT.

17. THIS IS THE LAST INFORMATION REPORT ON FLOODS ON ETHIOPIA'S GAMBELLA AND AWASH AREAS, UNLESS THERE ARE UNFORESEEN DEVELOPMENTS.

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