Weekly Humanitarian Highlights in Ethiopia, 31 December 2012

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 31 Dec 2012

WASH Update

According to preliminary results of the seasonal assessment, water sources are rapidly drying up in lowland drought-prone woredas of East and West Harerge zones of Oromia Region, with early livestock migration reported from Kumbi, Meyu and Midhaga Tola (East Harerge) and Burka Dhintu and Hawi Gudina (West Harerge). Among the areas hardest hit by the poor 2012 belg (mid-February-May) rains and resulting crop failure, the Harerges also received insufficient rain during the kiremt (June-September) season. Water trucking is recommended from early January 2013 for affected communities, schools and health institutions in eight woredas of East Harerge (13 trucks) and seven woredas of West Harerge (11 trucks), to benefit nearly 400,000 people (142,067 in East Harerge and 255,216 West Harerge). Meanwhile, an immediate start to water trucking is recommended for Kumbi, Meyu and Midhaga Tola woredas (East Harerge). At present, only one truck is operational in Kumbi woreda, benefiting approximately 14,500 people, even though the water source used to support the operation is located some 110 kilometers (single trip) from Kumbi, in Gola Oda woreda. In addition to water trucking, there is also an urgent need to repair non-functional boreholes in the two zones: of 808 existing motorized boreholes, one quarter (195) are currently non-functional. Among the main challenges are a shortage of spare parts to repair the boreholes, lack of budget and absence of a service rig.

Water availability is also diminishing in other areas that received poor belg and kiremt rains in 2012. In Tigray Region, more than 179,000 people in eight woredas (Hintalo Wajirat and Seharti Samre in South Eastern zone; Raya Azebo in Southern zone; Kafta Humera in Western zone; Shire and Shiraro in North Western zone; Tanqua Abergele and Wereilehi in Central zone; and Erob and Klite Awlalo in Eastern zone) require support. The Regional Water Bureau and UNICEF have deployed seven trucks in five woredas (existing operation schedule to end on 31 December 2012), leaving a gap of 11 trucks to support the other areas. Erob, Shire and Hintalo Wajirat are experiencing acute shortages, with an estimated 7,500 people currently without water and an additional 10,300 at risk. No water trucks are currently deployed in these locations. Rehabilitation of existing water sources and construction of new ones is also required: in Erob woreda, 53 of 140 existing water schemes are non-functional (38 per cent). Two trucks also continue to operate in Dupti and Elidar woredas of Afar Region, benefiting more than 3,200 people. For more information, contact awesterbeek@unicef.org

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