Addis Ababa, January, 03/2017. The number of people affected by the drought and who seek humanitarian aid has dropped to 5.6 million from the previous 10.2 million last year, showing a 44 percent decline, the National Disaster Risk Management Commission disclosed.
The Commissioner, Mitiku Kassa said a recent drought assessment conducted on 54 zones in nine regional states, indicate the reduction in the number of affected people.
The marked reduction in the number of affected people is attributed to the proper and timely rains that many areas of the country get during the main rainy season.
The proper and timely rains have enabled most crop growing areas, which was affected by the drought previously, to ensure their food security.
Although crop growing areas have ensured food security, the drought persists in some pastoralist areas. Fourteen pastoralist zones in Ethiopian Somali, Oromia and SNNP, affected by the drought, are seeking special attention of humanitarian aid, he said.
Mitiku added that the number of affected woredas that need urgent humanitarian response reduced to 192 from the previous 216, showing a 12 per cent reduction.
Out of the 5.6 million people who need humanitarian aid, the regional states of Oromia, Ethiopian Somali and Amhara constitute about 36, 29.8 and 11.4 per cent respectively, Mitiku added.
The assessment has also indicated that close to 922 million USD is needed to provide humanitarian aid for the stated number of affected people.
In order to effectively curb the drought, command posts for early warning; monitoring and evaluating humanitarian aid needs; and warehouses have already established close to the affected areas.
Supplementary nutritious foods and cereals to be provided to the affected people will be purchased from the local market, while various approaches will be used to address shortage of potable water, which might worsen through time, Mitiku said.
Prevention of drought induced risks on animals is underway by providing fodder, mobile veterinary services, commercial and slaughter destocking centers, the Commissioner pointed out.
As Ethiopia has been affected by climate change induced disasters, the country through its green development strategy is working to create a resilient economy.
The government is committed and working to overcome the current drought occurred in some pastoralist areas of the country without loss of human life, Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekenen said while addressing the joint meeting of national and regional disaster prevention and preparedness committees.
''Our drought risk reduction and prevention will not be fruitful unless the mechanisms we design to do so are in line with the sustainable development program of the GTP 2,'' Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonen said.
“What we intend to do now is curbing the drought in a sustained manner by creating a shock resilient sustainable economy to avoid any risk by mobilizing all stakeholders at the federal and regional level,” Demeke said.
The Ethiopian government in collaboration with regional governments and the public took the lions share in the efforts towards curbing the El-Nino induced drought.