March 8, 2017

Ogaden: More than 300 People Killed by Cholera Within Three Days

 

Photo courtesy of UNICEF Ethiopia @Flickr

The population of Ethiopia’s Ogaden region is facing a devastating wave of deaths due to a cholera epidemic. Despite the seriousness of the situation and the despair of the Ogadeni people, no help is provided to the victims, neither by the Ethiopian government or the regional administration and no effective action is undertaken by international organisations so far. The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) calls for urgent help and support not only from local, regional and national levels, but also from international actors.

 

Below is a press release published by ONLF: 

More than 300 people died of the cholera epidemic in Ogaden during the last 72 hours. Thousands are also at life-threatening stage with no medicine or health support. Although most of the towns in the Ogaden are affected, the disease is creating havoc in the rural areas, where there are no health facilities or emergency provisions. Villagers are reporting that families find their relatives dead in the remote areas while tending livestock. Some are found days later, mauled by wild animals. Both the Federal government of Ethiopia and the regional administration are hiding the extent of the epidemic and are not providing the urgent help that is needed.

The most affected areas are the regions of Jarar (dhegahbuur); Nogob (to urge), Qorahay (Qabridaharre) and Shabelle. Similar deaths are reported in the regions of Doollo, Afdheer and Liibaan. Since November, it is conservatively estimated that more than 2000 have died in the remote rural areas in Ogaden. The situation is further exacerbated by the drought and lack of adequate food or water and people are so emaciated that anyone affected dies quickly.

Although both the UN and the Ethiopian government mention the drought and the Cholera (Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD) in their reports, no concrete action has been taken. The people are dying from a curable disease that only requires a few antibiotics. However, the Ethiopian government has deprived the Somali people in Ogaden of the ability to buy medicine or food in neighbouring countries by the ruthlessly-imposed an undeclared embargo on trade and aid while barring access to international NGOs and independent media to most of the Ogaden.

ONLF urgently appeals to the World Health Organisation and UN agencies to heed the call for help from the Ogaden people and take urgent action in Ogaden regarding the drought and Cholera. Visits and reports are not enough. The Ethiopian government is committing a crime tantamount to genocide in preventing the Ogaden people from having access to medicine and food – an inhumane and heinous act.

ONLF calls upon the AU, EU, USA, the OIC, ICC, and other donor countries to press the Ethiopian government and the UN to act urgently to alleviate the calamity that is unfolding in Ogaden - specifically, to allow international NGOs to provide urgent medical relief and food aid to the rural agro-pastoralist community. 

ONLF calls upon the Somali people and all peoples in Ethiopian to highlight the issue to the international community and offer their support.

 

List of Number of Victims of the Cholera Epidemic in Ogaden - latest 72 hours (March 7, 2017)

Region

District

Area

Number of the dead

Jarar

Birqod

Birqod

25

Jarar

Gunagado

Dig

28

Jarar

 

Farmadow

30

Jarar

 

Guugule

14

Jarar

Dhagahmadow

Dhagahmadow

26

Jarar

 

Kuus Cawl

11

Jarar

 

Kugug

12

Jarar

 

Gujiifka

13

Qorahay

Shaygoosh

Shaygoosh

48

Nogob

Sagag

Sagag

17

Nogob

 

Biyo Khadaadhe

7

Nogob

 

Hunguri Dheere

8

Nogob

 

Biyo Jiifka

6

Nogob

Garbo

Ceel Xaar

17

Nogob

Garbo

Garbo

38

     

300