Recent Floods Displace Over 300, 000 People in Ethiopia

ADDIS ABEBA – Over 300, 000 Ethiopians have been displaced due to floods that occurred in various parts of the country, says the UN humanitarian agency on Tuesday.

During the months of April and May 2020, heavy and prolonged Belg/Gu rains led to flooding and landslide incidents in Somali, Oromia, Afar, SNNP, and Dire Dawa. In some cases, the incidents have been deadly.

The latest government reports indicate that close to 470,163 people are now affected and 301,284 people are displaced by floods across the nation, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs or UNOCHA.

The government and its humanitarian partners are jointly responding to meet the needs of affected people. But many people are still expecting for food as well as humanitarian support.

The Somali Region has already requested the federal government for military helicopters which will help move supplies to flood-affected communities in the hard-hit and unreachable areas of Shabelle zone, according to UN OCHA.

In Afar, the UN agency says authorities are providing only half of the flood-affected households with food and non-food items from prepositioned relief items.

The region has made a request to the federal disaster management office for more food and non-food items to assist the remaining half of the needs, UN OCA’s report says.

The flood-induced challenge will not be over soon as rainfall is peaking in most of Ethiopia’s Belg/gu season rain receiving areas.

The rain-producing systems are anticipated to be strengthened across most of these areas in the remaining days of May.

Heavy rainfall is also likely to occur in parts of eastern, southern, southeastern and southwestern parts of Ethiopia, according to the forecasts.

Image: Heavy flooding destroyed two main bridges, posing major access problems for WFP and other agencies in mid last year [Photo File/Abdikadr Farah]