Ethiopia National Flood Alert - April 2018
In April 2018, flood incidences were reported in Arsi zone (Golelcha and Sude woredas), Bale zone (Agarfa woreda), Borena zone (Arero, Dire, Elwaye, Gomle Miyo, Yabello and Wachelle woredas), East Harerge zone (GoloOdo and Kumbi woredas), East Showa zone (Bora woreda), Guji zone (Adola and Agewaye woredas) and West Hararge zone (Doba and Gelemso woredas) of Oromia region; Afder Zone (Hargelle, Charati, Raaso, West Imey and Dolobay), Dawa Zone (Khadaduma, Hudet and Mubarak), Doolo Zone (Lehel-Yacub), Fafan Zone (Jijiga town, and Gursum), Liben Zone (Dolo Ado), Nogob Zone (Garbo and Duhun), Shabelle Zone (East Imey, Mustahil, Kelafo, Ferfer, Adadle, and Bercano), and Sitti Zone (Shinile) of Somali region; and Gamo Gofa zone (Bonke and Daramalo) and Sidama Zone (Loka Abaya) of SNNP region. Following the reports, the NDRMC-led, multi-sector National Flood Task Force was activated.
Based on the National Meteorology Agency (NMA) Mid-Season forecast for the belg/gu/ganna season (April to May 2018), this Flood Alert is prepared to provide information on the probable weather condition for the belg/gu/ganna season and to identify the areas likely to be affected in the country to prompt timely mitigation, preparedness and response measures. The Alert will be further updated based on revisions in NMA forecast for the season and the development of the situation on the ground. The Alert will also form the basis for contingency/operation plan preparation as required.
Flood is one of the major natural hazards in Ethiopia which causes significant damages to lives and livelihoods in parts of the country. Flooding in Ethiopia is mainly linked with torrential rainfall and the topography of the highland mountains and lowland plains with natural drainage systems formed by the principal river basins.
In most cases floods occur in the country as a result of prolonged heavy rainfall causing rivers to overflow and inundate areas along the river banks in lowland plains. Among the major river flood-prone areas are parts of Oromia and Afar regions lying along the upper, middle and down-stream plains of the Awash River; parts of Somali region along the Wabe Shebelle, Genale and Dawa Rivers; low-lying areas of Gambella along the Baro, Gilo, Alwero and Akobo Rivers; down-stream areas along the Omo and Bilate Rivers in SNNPR and the extensive floodplains surrounding Lake Tana and the banks of Gumera, Rib and Megech Rivers in Amhara (see Map 1 below).
Flash floods occur in lowland areas when excessive rains fall in adjacent highland areas. Flash floods mostly affect areas including Central, Southern and Western Tigray region; North and South Wollo, West Gojjam and Oromia zones in Amhara region; parts of Zone 1, Zone 2 and Zone 4 in Afar region; North Shewa zone in Oromia region; Wolayita, Hadiya, Siltie, Guraghe and Sidama zones in SNNPR; Jigjiga Town in Somali region and Dire Dawa City Administration. This type of flood is characterized by sudden onset with little lead time for early warning and often resulting in considerable damage on lives, livelihoods and property.