IOM Ethiopia: Gedeo & West Guji Situation Report No. 5 (4 September 2018 - 9 October 2018)
Localized conflict and insecurity between communities in Ethiopia’s Gedeo Zone (Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region – SNNPR) and West Guji Zone (Oromia Region) led to the rapid displacement of nearly 960,000 people between April and July 2018.
On 24th July, IOM launched an appeal for USD 22.2 million to respond with Site Management, Emergency Shelter/NonFood Items (ES/NFI), Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Health, and Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) services. The appeal aims to reach 400,000 affected individuals in IDP collective sites and host communities. Since the appeal, IOM has provided services in over 40 sites.
In mid-August, government-supported returns began toward areas of origin, though the situation for returnees remains precarious. Many are unable or unwilling to return to their original properties, and now gather in new collective sites in their kebele (town council) of origin.
By 1st October, over 330,000 IDPs were reportedly transported back to their area of origin by the government. The majority of this movement has been from Gedeo to West Guji, and has been conducted without notice or coordination with humanitarian partners. IOM teams are now rapidly scaling up operations in West Guji to serve new caseloads as they arrive. Emergency SMS, Shelter, and WASH services have now reached over 20 collective sites in West Guji, though additional support is urgently needed.
The situation has been further complicated by periodic access challenges to both IDP and returnee sites. Rain, insecurity, and area politics have limited teams’ movements and compounded the difficulty of implementation. IOM is further increasing its field presence in West Guji through the expansion of its Bule Hora operation and the opening of the Bule Hora Humanitarian Hub. IOM and UN partners will base at the Hub to improve response coordination.