EL'MEDO RESETTLEMENT VILLAGE

LOCATED IN THE AFDER ZONE OF REGION 5

Accessibility

El'Medo is located approximately 50 kms from Cheritti. The road is narrow, uneven and not really suitable for even a light vehicle. At a crossing situated 10 kms from Cheritti there is an agricultural area where the road becomes very narrow due to a man-made embankment covered with bush trees. The most difficult part of the road is about 34 kms from Cheritti; here the road beceomes very steep and quite rocky for about 50 metres.

El'Medu village

The village of El'Medo is quite small and still under "construction". However, it is very clean and has a lot of open space. The resident population in the village consists of 22 families with a surrounding population of 200 families scattered over a 20 km area. Other than the single main building of the village, which is used for the school, there are no other facilities available.

Airstrip

There is a disused airstrip which dates back to the time of Haile Selassie; the potential usable length could be between 400 and 500 metres, but is now covered with small bushes and will need maintenance (the village inhabitants are willing to clear the area).

Water/Sanitation

The village is located 100 metres from the Weib river. The river has a constant supply of water throughout the year at this point in its course, however, there is no actual flow during the dry season. At places, the river appears to be deep enough to accomodate larger water inhabitants, such as crocodiles.

The river is the main source of water supply for the village. There has been no rain in El'Medo and its surroundings for the past 2 years. As the Weib river is very dry further downstream on the Cheritti side, the nomadic population has migrated to El'Medo.

General situation

The road

Some maintenance is needed if this route is to be used. The bush trees located 10 kms from Cheritti need to be moved and the road widened. The local community seems to be willing to provide labour and assistance in the repair and maintenance of the road. It is likely that the TOR vehicles will be able to pass through the route but may risk mechanical problems. An alternative is to use private trucks for transportation to El'Medo. Norwegian Church Aid is planning to distribute seeds in the village, and a truck is scheduled to deliver these seeds as well as some tools during the coming week. The tools could also be used for the maintenance of the road and the clearing of the airstrip (this matter was also discussed with the community). This delivery will be ascertained by the end the week when Ato Johannes from the NCA returns to Dollo.

Resettlement

Community Elders:

El'Medo community elders have already been informed of the planned resettlement of people in this area. They have expressed some concern and would like to know the exact number and the list of names if available; however, it appears that they approve of the project, hoping that it would bring new infrastructure and services to their village (although there have been no commitments). Land has already been allocated along the Weib river for the resettlement of the dispersed population (see attached map).

Medical surveillance on arrival :

This has also to be discussed with the different organisations present in the area (MSF, MoH), however, it seems feasible to set up a small health post in the village. The dispersees should be encouraged to remain in the immediate area for at least a few months to allow monitoring. One major element of such an operation must be the availability of medical resources and accessibility to medical facilities. Sanitation and clean water supplies are also necessary.

Transport:

When the operation starts (with the approval of the RRC and responsibility for providing health cover undertaken by the MoH), it has to take into consideration the need for maximum safeguards to limit the possibility of spreading further the outbreak of Acute Diarrhoea Disease (ADD). All contact with known areas of transmission should be avoided.

The convoys will have to pass through Cheritti if the Dollo/Cheritti road is used in order to avoid the alternate, and more difficult, route via El'Koran. The epidemiological risk of contamination would be greatly increased if people are allowed to overnight in the town. It is essential, therefore, that transit areas away from Cheritti are identified before the transport of people to El'Medo commences.

Food rations, seeds and other supplies could be transported directly to El'Medo so avoiding the necessity of each convoy of people passing through Haregele or waiting in Cheritti.

Medical surveillance is necessary at the arrival point regardless of the route. Chlorinated water should be made available on the trucks during transportation - arrangements for which have already been made by the TIG in Dollo.

The participation and support of the Ministry of Health and U.N. agencies is necessary throughout the dispersal operation. MSF Holland have a general plan of action, but so far they maintain their position in recommending that the population should not be moved yet.

Afder Zonal Administration

The zonal administration team, comprising the following members, was present in Cheritti:

Ato Rashid Aji: Chief Administrator

Ato Hamed Aden: Executive member of the Parliament

Ato Mohammed Sheik Hassan: ""

Ato Abdi Rahman Forey: ""

Ato Abdi Rahman Mohammed: ""

This team together with UN-EUE visited El'Medo to assess the situation. It was decided that the administator would have radio contact with the RRC.

NCA seed and tool distribution programme

NCA has unloaded 49 tons of Kalafo seeds in Dollo, approximately 10 tons in Cheritti and are planning to transport 50 tons from Hargele. The planned distribution of the 50 tons is:

- Hargele: 70 Quintals

- Cherittite: 100 " "

- El'Medo: 70 " "

- El' Kere: 70 " "

- Lamachalindi : 70 " "

- Dollo baye: 120 " "

NCA will provide the exact breakdown of the seeds as well the number of beneficiaries at a later date.

Frederic Vigneau

Field Officer

UN-EUE

6 April 1994

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