Weekly Humanitarian Highlights in Ethiopia, 8 January 2013

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 08 Jan 2013

WASH Update

Good seasonal rains have largely replenished water sources and supported regeneration of pasture in most chronically water-insecure areas of the country. However, pocket areas continue to experience water shortages. In Oromia, regional authorities requested 12 water trucks for East Harerge (8 trucks) and Bale (4 trucks) zones. Among the requests for East Harerge zone are three trucks for Kumbi, two trucks for Midhaga Tola, two trucks for Meyu and one truck for Fedis woredas to reach some 67,261 drought-affected people. Preliminary results of the recent meher assessment team recommended an immediate start to water trucking in Kumbi, Midhaga Tola and Meyu woredas of East Harerge zone, as well as close monitoring of the situation in Babile, Chenaksen, Fedis, Gola Oda, and Kursum woredas. At present, only one truck is operational in Kumbi woreda, benefiting approximately 14,500 people. Several drought-prone woredas in Oromia’s West Harerge zone are being closely monitored, including Boke, Burka Dimtu, Daro Lebu, Hawi Gudina, Meiso, and Oda Bultum. In Afar Region, Dubti, Elidar, and Kori woredas of zone 1 and Bidu and Erebti woredas of zone 2 have reported critical water shortages. Currently, two trucks are operating in Dubti and Elidar woredas, benefiting more than 3,200 people. In Tigray Region, more than 179,000 people in eight woredas, including 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. Erob, Shire and Hintalo Wajirat are experiencing acute shortages with some 7,500 people without water and an additional 10,300 at risk. No water trucks are currently deployed in these locations. Emerging water shortages in Minjar Shenkora woreda of North Shewa zone (Amhara), as well as Bare and Dollo Bay woredas of Afder and Dollo Ado woreda of Liben zone (Somali), may also result in increasing demands for water trucking in early 2013.

Humanitarian partners emphasized the need for acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) prevention and preparedness activities ahead of the upcoming religious celebration in Lalibela Town, Amhara Region. Every year, mass gatherings at religious sites serve as potential vectors for transmission of AWD and other water-related disease outbreaks. The Amhara WASH taskforce has proposed further discussions in Addis Ababa on sustainable solutions. With seasonal labour migration another potential source of transmission, the movement of some 1,500 laborers to the Omo Quaraz Sugar Development project in Dasenech and Sala Mago woredas of South Omo zone (SNNPR) also presents an increased risk of AWD outbreaks in the coming six months. The significant increase in population coupled with insufficient water supply and inadequate health facilities are a primary cause for concern. For more information, contact awesterbeek@unicef.org

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