Rains received during the past two weeks have eased the humanitarian situation in the drought affected areas of Somali, Oromia and SNNP regions. As a result, ongoing water trucking in Somali and Oromia regions has been reduced. Weather forecasts indicate that rains will continue in the coming weeks. Increased rainfall, however, also increases the risk of flash flooding and the outbreaks of acute watery diarrhea (AWD) as populations might be drinking surface / unsafe water. While the situation in previously affected areas is gradually improving, Afar Region has emerged as one of the main drought affected areas, as the sugum rainy season (March-April) has failed in the northern parts of the region. In response, the regional authorities supported by UNICEF, WHO, WFP, OCHA, PCI, SSD, AIDA, APDA, BFW, SC UK and CARE have prepared a drought response plan. According to the plan, some 44,600 people are currently facing critical water shortage. The response to the situation includes water trucking, rehabilitation of water supply schemes and training, and pre-positioning WASH and emergency drugs as part of prevention and preparedness activities against severe acute malnutrition, AWD, malaria, measles and meningitis. The regional DPPB supported by the local NGO the Afar Pastoralist Development Association has deployed three water trucks in Elidar and Dubti. UNICEF has released funding to support water trucking for three additional woredas, including Kurri, Bidu and Erebti. In Amhara Region, an estimated 6,212 households are in need of emergency water supply in East Belesa, Lay Armacho and Quara woredas of North Gonder zone and Minjar Shenkora of North Shewa Zone. UNICEF has released funding for water trucking in East Belesa of North Gonder. In Somali Region, around 40 per cent of water trucks have been suspended following the rains while in Oromia 39 water trucks stopped trucking in Borena and Guji, and few trucks in Bale are relocated to higher priority areas. The Somali Region Water Bureau dispatched household water treatment chemicals and jerry cans to 35,082 people in Liben and Afder zones. In light of the changing situation, partners are advised to focus more on provision of water treatments chemicals and maintenance of water schemes. WASH partners including GOAL, Menschen Fur Menschen, CARE, AFD, SC USA and UK, CONCERN, IRC, LWF, Agri-Service Ethiopia, and UNICEF continue to support water trucking and rehabilitation of water supply schemes in remaining drought affected areas. For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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