Ethiopia: Heavy rains and floods Minor Emergency 05ME030 Update No. 2

Situation Report
Originally published
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In Brief


The situation

The torrential rain which hit the eastern side of Ethiopia has led to heavy flooding that left 154 dead and thousands others homeless. The heavy rains hamperedh umanitarian response efforts in many parts of the country. The hardest hit areas include Jijiga in the Somali region and Wolayta. In Wolayta the numbers affected are reported to be around 28,000 people. This is the focus of the planned Ethiopian Red Cross Society 1 response.

There are reports of the Bilate River having flooded causing the displacement of many households in Humbo woreda, Wolayta zone. ICRC Awassa will make an assessment.

More than 150,000 have been affected by floodwaters and torrential rains that continued to pound the Somali region. Ten of thousands of livestock had also been killed. Outbreaks of diseases like malaria and diarrhoea is being f e ared.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action taken so far

The Ethiopian Red Cross through their national disaster response team (NDRT), with support from ICRC, conducted distributions to 700 households (3,500 persons) around Jijiga. Relief articles included 10 rolls of plastic sheeting, tarpaulins and blankets, 150 cooking pots, 300 jerry cans, 450 plastic cups and plates, and 150 tea pots. Separately, ICRC distributed non-food items to 400 households on the lowland areas of Gode, Mustahil, Kelafo as well as farming tools as part of their regular rehabilitation programme to beneficiaries in Afder. In Gode, the ICRC provided 200l itres of fuel.

In the context of the extent of damage, the national society requested funding from the Federation. CHF 100,000 was allocated from the disaster relief emergency fund (DREF) The regional delegation has issued two information bulletins, and additional reports have been posted on the Federation's Disaster Management Information System (DMIS). Click below to access the two information bulletins.

- Information Bulletin 1 dated 29 April 2005 - (alternatively, http:/www.

- Information Bulletin 2 dated 6 May 2005 - (alternatively, http:/www.

Responding to an alert issued by the Federation regional disaster management coordinator, and following a comprehensive briefing, a regional disaster response team (RDRT) was shortly assembled and sent to Ethiopia. The team is composed of a team leader, water and sanit ation and healt h officers from the Sudanese Red Crescent as well as the Kenya Red Cross and Tanzania Red Cross. The team is already deployed in the flood ravaged Wolayta area to support Ethiopian Red Cross in conducting their needs assessment over a ten-day mission. The RDRT is accompanied by members of the Ethiopian Red Cross national disaster response team. The DREF allocation si expected to cover all the necessary costs for the deployment including per diem, travel, accommodation and insurance as well as sort out costs of the operation. A debriefing will be conducted at the end of the mission.

The needs

The Federal Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission (FDPPC) convened a Somali Flood Meeting on 9 May with non governmental organizations (NGO)a nd the United Nationst o discuss the flood response. Preliminary FDPPC estimates indicate 23,000 total people n i five woredas were affected by the flooding of the Wabe Shebelle River. In contrast, the Gode technical team, comprised of UN, international NGOs, and regional authorities, also assessed the situation since road access was improved; their report of 10 days ago reported 107,800 affected in seven woredas.

TheDPPC con firms that existing food allocations in the 2005 Humanitarian Appeal for the affected areas should be sufficient to cover food needs of flood affected people. It is expected that currentassessments will establish the full extent of non-food needs.

Im mediate concerns are for medical and water and sanitation supplies to deal especially with the possibilities of malaria and diarrhoea epidemics. The UN is contributing stocks to those already identified to be in need.

As the water recedes, access by road is improving daily but there are still areas that cannot be reached. In villages near Kelafo in Gode zone beneficiaries walk up to two hours to collect re lief supplies.

Al ocal NGO(Hope for the Horn) identified signs of diarrhoea and and urgent need for preventive measures against malaria during an assessment in Kebribeyah, Harshin, Aware, and Gashamo districts.

The Regional Health Bureau has prioritised flood and drought affected woredas and subsequently revised distribution plans. The bureau also plans to go to Gode next week to conduct training for team leaders in the selected woredas on the new anti-malaria drugs, treated nets, and comprehensive mobile health packages. UNICEF has dispatched 30 emergency drug kits, 18,000 insecticide-treated mosquito bed nets (ITN) and 96 Rapid Diagnostic Test packs to Gode for distribution to flood affected areas. UNICEF will also be supporting 15 mobile clinics for 15 woredas.

On 4 May the Ethiopian government and humanitarian partners under the UN umbrella issued a Flash Update to the 2005 Humanitarian Appeal seeking USD 320 million, of which 47% was already secured (source: UN-OCHA). The U.S. Government has recently announced a contribution of 100,000 MT of food valued at USD4 7 million in e r sponse to the UN's Flash Update. An additional USD 2.3 million USAID/OFDA contribution was received for non-food items in various sectors.

The findings of the Federation's RDRT mission will be consolidated in a report which will also indicate the needs, and the propose response in areas where the national society will further intervene to assist the flood victims.


The Federation head of Horn of Africa sub-regional office, the regional disaster management unit and other technical departments of the regional delegation continue to provide coordination and direct support to th e national society. All activities are conducted in close coordination with local and central authorities, the ICRC, UN OCHA and other agencies.



For information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Ethiopia: Takele Jemberu, Acting Secretary General, ', Addis Abeba; Email;Phone; Fax 251.1.512.643

In Ethiopia: Pirkko Tolvanen, Federation Head of Horn of Africa Sub-Regional Office, Addis Abeba; Email; Phone / Fax: +251.1.514.317

In Kenya: Steve Penny, Federation Disaster Management Coordinator, East Africa Regional Delegation, Nairobi; Email; Phone +; Fax +

In Geneva: Richard Hunlédé, Federation Head of Africa Dept.; Email; Phone +41.22.730.4314; Fax +41.22.733.0395

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response(S phere)i n delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation's 2005 Annual Appeal no. 05AA005, Horn of Africa sub-regional programmes (includes Djibouti, Ethiopia and sub-regional office) - For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at