Ethiopia Weekly Humanitarian Bulletin, 27 February 2017

Situation Report
Originally published
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Key Issues

  • Cross-border Murle attack in Gambella region, at least 3,714 displaced

  • At least 228,000 children out of school in drought- hit Oromia and Somali regions

  • Government and partners continue rationing water to drought-affected areas, but the need remains high

Back-to-back seasons of poor or non-existent rainfall in 2015, exacerbated by the strongest El Niño phenomenon on record in the same year, led to the worst drought in decades in Ethiopia in 2016. While the country continues to respond to residual needs from the past drought, below average rains in the southern and eastern parts of the country caused by the negative Indian Ocean Dipole have left 5.6 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in 2017. Some US$948 million is urgently required to respond to the new humanitarian needs.

Cross-border Murle attack in Gambella region, at least 3,714 displaced

Following reports of people displacement in Jor woreda of Anywaa zone (Gambella), a multi-agency team visited the area on 17 – 19 February, to gauge the situation and identify humanitarian needs.
The team, led by the Gambella Regional Disaster Prevention and Food Security Agency and UNOCHA, found that successive cross-border attacks by the South Sudanese Murle ethnic group in Ojwelo (04 July 2016), Ojalo (17 Jan. 2017), Othwol (01 Feb. 2017) and other kebeles in the woreda led to displacements and deaths. At least 3,714 people (743 households) are reportedly displaced, the majority taking shelter in Ongoi Town and Alemi and Thoo kebeles. The displaced people have been living and sharing food with their relatives around, seeking urgent food and emergency shelter and non-food items support, as well as access to clean water and other social services. Government security forces are deployed to the border area to restore peace and security.
Given past trends, the cross-border attacks and the consequent deaths, displacement and cattle raiding are expected to continue until the onset of the rainy season in March when road access will be impaired.

Meanwhile, heavy fighting since last week between rebel and Government forces in Maiwut County,
South Sudan has caused new Influx of South Sudanese refugees into Gambella region. At present,
Gambella hosts some 325,000 refugees from South Sudan.

At least 228,000 children out of school in drought-hit Oromia and Somali regions

Since November 2016, some 578 schools in drought-hit areas in Oromia (141 schools) and Somali (437 schools) regions have closed, disrupting the education of at least 228,000 children (44, 571) in Oromia and 183,090 in Somali). Families have migrated in search of food and water, and at present, some 163,000 school-age children are internally displaced in these areas. At least $5.9 million is urgently required to support school feeding and water access in or near the schools for 75 days and to establish Temporary Learning Centers (TLCs).

Government and partners continue rationing water to drought-affected areas, but the need remains high

Using the limited funding available, the Government and humanitarian partners are providing water trucking support to drought-affected communities in the new drought belt. However, the amount of water provided is significantly below the minimum standard of 5 liters per person per day. In Adadle woreda (Somali region) for example, some15,972 beneficiaries received 2.1 liters per person per day in January, while in Gode and Kalafo woreda some 13,323 people received 2.9 liters per person per day during the same month. The response in Liben zone of Somali region is most insufficient compared to identified needs. Lack of water storage tankers and the poor water quality are posing additional challenge to the response.

For further information contact:

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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