UNITED NATIONSEMERGENCIES UNIT FOR ETHIOPIA

NOTE FOR FILE FROM AFDER and LIBAN ZONES, Frederic Vigneau, Field Officer, Region 521 February 1995

1.Governmental and non-governmental organizations Since the termination of the dispersal operation in December 1994, the remaining humanitarian agencies in Afdheer and Liban zones are:

MSF Holland: One base in Dolo-Odo and one in Cheriti with:

* General health programmes including training sessions with the medical staff from the MoH, construction and rehabilitation of health clinics with a water and sanitation programme under agreement between MoH and UNICEF in both zones.

NCA: Main base in Dolo-Odo in the MSF H compound and one in Wadera, 85 klms North-West of Negele on the road to Awassa with:

* Agricutural programme including seeds distribution mainly along the three major rivers; Genale, Dawa and Weib. In addition some time back, a donation of goats was given to the semi nomadic people in the area. A food for work programme is also implemented through (some kind) of roads maintenance and rehabilitation of the social infrastructures (school).

SCF US: one base in Negele (Borena) and another one is planned in Dolo- Odo with:* Agricultural programmes along the main road between Negele and Dolo-Odo and an additional programme including health services, water and food for work in Liban zone.

CODOW: Ethiopian NGO Community. Water projects in different villages mainly in Afdheer zone. Also have an agreement with UNICEF.

UNHCR: limited presence in Moyale since the murder of the UNHCR representative on 21 December 1994.

WFP: presence under review; (the WFP representative killed on 22 February approximatively 40 kilometers North from Moyale returning from the 'El Leh refugees camp, monitoring the food distribution.)

RRC Liban zone: Based in Filtu

Dolo district: Based in Dolo-odo

Moyale district: Based in Moyale

RRC Afker zone: Based in Hargele

ARRA: Based temporarily in Negele (the representative is a previous TIG member).

2.UN compound in Dolo-Odo

At the final phase of the Dolo dispersal operation in December 1994, the TIG members left the UN compound which was being maintained by UNHCR. Since then, the compound has remained empty except for one short visit from ARRA representives from Negele.Today, the UN compound is the scene of "controversy":According to the ARRA representative, with the suspension of the Dolo operation, the UN compound is to be considered ARRA_s responsability and will be handed over officially to the local administration in the coming weeks. However, given this order has come from Addis Ababa (headquarters level), no official written document is in the possession of ARRA.

The Dolo local administration still recognizes the compound as UN property. However, considering that the operation ended in December 1994 and moreover that the UNCHR is no longer resident here, "the owner" has the legal right to take the compound back. In addition, no party other than the legal tenant (UN) has the right to use the compound. Consequently, the administration is not ready to permit any NGO to establish office on the grounds, although they are ready to provide interested partes with alternative premises. This is particularly true for SCF US.

2.1In spite of the existing situation, the UN compound is in a pretty poor condition. The houses badly need maintenance and in some places, reconstruction (the poles have been eaten by termites, the roof is falling apart etc.). However, given the critical position of Dolo-Odo vis a vis of its direct link with the neighbor country of Somalia, a period of reflection and an observation phase may be required to decide if the UN presence is necessary. The following elements should be considered in the coming months before leaving the compound for good:

Logistical material remaining:

. One container (blankets, sugar, UNICEF medical material etc.)

. 1631 farming tools are locked in one room

. camping and cooking materials

Since 1992, trees have been planted in the compound and are starting to be useful as a cool shade. The compound is located behind the EPRDF headquarters (security) and it has to be considered that there are no reasonable hotels in Dolo. Therefore, while deciding on whether to keep the compound or not, it will be necessary to send someone to legally finalise the situation vis a vis ownership, to take care of salary payments etc.

3.Population of Dolo-Odo

Today, it is difficult to estimate the population of Dolo-Odo without a proper census. However, we noticed that the town is less populated than before and is probably at its lowest level since the events of mid-1992. The heavy rain of October and November 1994 resulted in a significant group of people leaving the town and scattering in the surrounding agricultural area. The same pattern was observed in Cheriti, although the town is now undergoing "serious" development.

In Dolo-Odo town however, the difference between the internally displaced people, the returnees and the refugees is nearly impossible to distinguish but it seems that the last category is only a very small percentage of the total population, which probably does not exceed 15,000 people.

3.1Health situation

On Sunday 12 and Monday 13 February, eight cases of suspected Acute Diarrhoeal Diseases were reported at the health clinic of Dolo-Odo by the Ministry of Health. All were adults and the sickness was mild and moderate. MSF Holland were informed of the situation and after a few days revised the diagnosis of ADD, citing as cause of illness the possibility of food poisonning aggravated by the hot climate in the middle of the fasting period (Ramadan).

Note: It was also reported through ICRC that 500 cases of ADD were registered around Konso (Region 9 - Wolayita) with a mortality rate of 4-5. Two sample cases were brought to the attention of the Pasteur institute in Addis Ababa.

4. Food stock position

In December 1994, food and tools prepositioned to support the Dispersal Programme were officially handed to the zonal RRC (Liban and Afder) and the Disaster Prevention Prepardness Committee (DPPC) with the following breakdown:

AMINOHARGELE

WHEAT124 metric tons16,45 metric tons

CSB 76 " " 0

FARMING TOOLS 03,293 pieces

Over the past two months, the DPPC had taken a total of 20 tons of wheat, which were eventually distributed to the needy population. However, there was some disagreement between the DPPC and ARRA representatives based in Negele as the ARRA representative considers the remaining stock of wheat as governmental property and that only Addis Ababa has the right to decide where it could be allocated according to the food for work policy. On the other hand, the local administration wishes to see the food for work policy taking place as soon as possible but given additional food is allocated to the area.

5. Weather condition and security

There has been some rain around Negele up to 50 kilometres Southeast on the road to Filtu but Liban and Afder zones remain dry and very hot. The water level of the main rivers around Dolo-Odo and which are the natural border with Somalia, are still easily passable. This is probably one of the main factors of the looting of vehicles which have occured in the last few months. These incidences on NGO and private vehicles include:

20 December 1994; one MSF H vehicle looted in Dolo-Odo town but it was found stuck in the river bed a week later.

Mid-January 1995; one MSF Holland vehicle looted between Koley bridge and Cheriti. The vehicle is apparently already in Mogadishu and is rumoured to be used for fighting

Mid January 1995; one private Khat vehicle from the Kenyan border to Dolo-Odo was looted between Suftu and Dolo-Odo.

January 1995; attempt to loot a NCA vehicle between Sede and Suftu.

International organisations in the area dealing with humanitarian activitites are travelling in convoys or with a minimum of two vehicles and communicating on different radio frequencies, on different channels and at various time.

6. Miscellaneous

Some remaining building materials, which were stored in the container at the UN compound, were given to NCA in order to carry on the rehabilitation of the elementary and secondary schools in Dolo-Odo (see annex 1).

The 473 boxes of SCF biscuits still remain in the MSF Holland rubb hall at Dolo-Odo.

The UNICEF/MoH Electrolux refrigerator has been repaired and is now being stored in the MSF Holland compound in Dolo-Odo.

Goods remaining in the UN compound:

1631 pieces of farming tools.

cooking and camping materials

and in the container:16 quintals of sugar

100 blankets

medical equipment

UN-EUE28 February 1995

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    Editor: Ali B. Dinar, (aadinar@sas.upenn.edu)