June 22, 2009
Oromo: Ethiopia Water Shortage Affects Livestock
Reports from some zones in Amhara Region revealed that the nutritional condition of children shows signs of decline. Water shortages in Somali Region are affecting both humans and livestock.
This week’s [June 22 to June 29] humanitarian situation update by the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that standard nutrition surveys are needed in the affected areas in different regions to assess the scope of the situation.
Reports from some zones in Amhara Region revealed that the nutritional condition of children shows signs of decline. Water shortages in Somali Region are affecting both humans and livestock. The mid-year joint belg/pastoral area national needs assessment began on June 8 in belg-cropping areas and is scheduled to begin on June 22 in pastoral areas.
The finding of the assessment will be used to revise identified needs in the humanitarian requirements document.
The food and nutritional security situation remains a source of concern in parts of Amhara, Oromia, Afar, SNNP, Somali and Tigray regions in the wake of the poor performance of belg rains. In Amhara Region, initial reports indicate that the nutritional condition of children in North Wollo and Waghemra zones shows signs of decline.
Standard nutrition surveys are needed in the affected areas to assess the scope of the situation. Meanwhile, Save the Children UK in Bugna and Delanta woredas in North Wollo zone, CONCERN in Werababo and Dessie Zuria woredas in South Wollo zone and World Vision in Efrata and Geramider woredas in North Shoa zone are implementing community-based therapeutic centers (CTC), with support from the Humanitarian Response Fund.
In Somali Region, the approaching close of the rains and their poor performance as well as early cessation in several areas raises the potential for water shortages affecting both livestock and humans in pastoralist and agro pastoralist communities, which could exacerbate food insecurity in the region.
In Afar Region, Afar Pastoralist Development Association reports that a number of woredas, including Erebti, Kori and Bidu, Northern, Eli Dar, Afdera, Awra, Gawwaani, Dubti and parts of Mille are experiencing extreme dry conditions, indicating that continued water tankering will be needed.
According to the latest Ethiopia Market Watch issued by the World Food Programme (WFP), general inflation based on the monthly moving average stood at 44.3 percent in April 2009, with food inflation at 57.2 percent and non-food inflation at 24.6 percent. This represents a slight decrease since March 2009, when the general inflation rate stood at 45.2 percent.
While the April 2009 rate remains 24.4 percent higher than in April 2008, the overall trend for the past year has been declining.
Food aid pipeline
With WFP reporting that its relief food pipeline is facing shortages, the prioritization committee comprising government, donor, and UN and NGO representatives working on delivery of relief food met to review the availability of relief food in the country and recommend a course of action for further distributions given limited stocks.
WFP reports that it has approximately 29,000 MT of cereals left in its relief pipeline, while the NGOs’ Joint Emergency Operation Programme has about 70,000 MT arriving in July. The targeted supplementary food pipeline dedicated for addressing moderate malnutrition cases will break in July 2009.
National needs assessment
The mid-year joint belg/pastoral area national needs assessment began on June 8 in belg-cropping areas and is scheduled to begin on June 22 in pastoral areas. The finding of the assessment will be used to revise identified needs in the humanitarian requirements document.
According to official reports from the Ministry of Health (MoH), 90 new cases of Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD) were reported in 14 woredas of Oromia, SNNP and Harari regions from May 18 to 24. Risk factors including poor hygiene and sanitation practices impede complete containment of the disease.
In response, the Oromia Regional Health Bureau, with technical support from UNICEF and WHO, conducted training on AWD response for 48 health and water personnel from the 12 woredas of West Arsi zone at which a preparedness and response action plan was prepared and presented for discussion.
UNICEF will provide a CTC kit to West Arsi in the coming days, in addition to the three CTC kits and drugs provided in the beginning of May. UNICEF has also provided five CTC kits to SNNPR and dispatched 21,400 bottles of Water-Guard water treatment chemicals, (enough to some 31,860 people for one month) to Konso special woreda.
Meanwhile, WHO continues to provide technical support to affected regions, including Somali, through provision of emergency drug kits, support for assessments and strengthening of surveillance activities