Gode and Kalafo zones

Region 5 (Somali)

Frederic Vigneau, UN-EUE Field Officer

15 August, 1994

1. Food distribution

A general food distribution took place in Gode between 8-9 August, 1994. Gode town and the camps with the dispesee population and returnees were included in the distribution process. So far, this operation has been handled by the Region 5 Relief and Rehabilitation Bureau (RRB).

The total number of beneficiaries was estimated at 64,831 people including 6,478 heads of families. The registration process was conducted over a period of two days, carried out by 120 personeel supervised by the RRB. In order to avoid any contradiction, the paperwork was handed over to the EPRDF as soon as the registration was completed. (MSF Belgium latest census of April 1994 indicates a total of 24,504 people in both camps as well as 11,919 new arrivals who have re-settled in Gode town. The total dispersee population is an estimated 36,423.

742 tons of wheat grain were allocated to Gode and its 5 zones. However, only 731 tons have been received. Due to the high number of beneficiaries, the ration for distributions was 5kgs/person/month instead of 15 kgs/person/month.

The estimated breakdown of food aid allocation in the area is:

. 325 tons to Gode (completed)

. 123 tons to the Kilil (stock balance of 6.9 tons)

. 283 tons to the zones (Kelafo, Ferfer, Imi, Denan and Mustahil)

The RRC in Gode has only four lorries available for the transportation of food aid. In addition, the fuel supply to Gode is periodically poor, and as fuel availability is limited, the price of fuel on the black market may at times reach Birr 7.00 per litre. Therefore, it is impossible to predict the exact time when relief food allocated to the zones in the peripfery of Gode will be transported to its destinations.

2. Dismissal of the Region 5 officials in Gode

On Monday, 15 August, all the heads of departments and their deputies from the 24 various governmental bureaux were officially suspended from their positions. This action also applies to the RRB officials. According to some unofficial discussions and different sources, the people of Gode expect new nominations for all the vacated posts within the next week.

3. Security in Gode

Since the murder of the mayor of the town, Mr. Muktar Aden Gedden on the 26 July, no other major incidents (i.e throwing of hand grenades in public areas), have been reported or witnessed. Regarding this assassination, it is still not clear who is responsible as no individual or groups have been indicated.

Following reports from the elders of the Digeno Ber village regarding unknown gunmen in this locality, the road between Gode and Kalafo was closed for 4 days from Tuesday, 9 August, to Friday, 12 August to enable the EPRDF to monitor and clear the area.

4. Refugees and returnees in Kalafo

As a consequence of the fighting in Belet Wein/Somalia, from mid-July 1994 an influx of people started to arrive daily at Kalafo until 28 July. The majority of these people belong to the Hawadle family who fled the Habre Gedir clan (SNA) and now control the town. This group, on their way to Kalafo, had to avoid the Mustahil town which is also dominated by the Habre Ghedir clan. Therefore, they are using a transit point, for one or two nights, situated at 40 kms before Kalafo. This transit point is a small village called Shibo and is located in a remote area far from the main road and is currently not accessible due to the overflow of the Wabi Shebelle river.

Due to the number of the new arrivals and the precipitation of their movement, it is difficult to assess the number of returnees and refugees among them. For the time being, they are settled in the proximity of Kalafo town and at a distance of approximately 500 metres from the Wabi Shebelle river. As of 15 August, the population occupied an area of around 6,000 square metres and were building small Somali huts that are large enough to accomodate three people. The approximate number of people in this group varies according to different sources.

The EPRDF in Kalafo have so far registered 1,400 new families and estimate that the total population does not exceed 5,000 people. The Kalafo administration supported by 10 individuals from within the camp are daily recording the newcomers and have provided the following breakdown:

   DATE     H.o.F        DEPENDENT        TOTAL           
28/07         165           663              828          
29/07         141           564              705          
30/07         161           644              805          
31/07         195           780              975          
01/08         209           836            1,045          
02/08         171           688              859          
03/08         191           764              955          
04/08         225           900            1,125          
05/08         124           496              620          
06/08         181           724              905          
07/08         246           774            1,020          
08/08         165           663              828          
09/08         169           676              845          
10/08         233           932            1,165          
11/08         243           972            1,215          
12/08         221           884            1,105          
TOTAL       3,040        11,960           15,000          

It is obvious that the administration's numbers are far from reality. According to a discreet evaluation, a reasonable figure may be around 3,000 newcomers. (To confirm this estimation, we could consider that at an average of 3 huts per 20 square metres provides adequate space for 1,350 huts in the resettlement area of 6,000 square metres. Therefore, it may be assumed that if each hut is occupied by 3 people, the number of hut dwellers would be a population of 4,050 people.)

It should be noted that according to the EPRDF, almost the same amount of people are in Shibo and are on their way to Kalafo.

For the moment, the nutritional status of the refugees and returnees seems to be satisfactory. If the existing situation should last longer, a proper nutritional survey and evaluation of the conditions of children under 5 should be conducted. It has been observed that the majority of the new arrivals are women and children.

5. Kalafo Health Unit

In Kalafo town, there is a health centre which was built three years ago, with funding and equipment provided by the Austrian Government. This centre covers the zones of Kalafo, Mustahil and Ferfer and is equipped with one 4x4 vehicle.

This centre offers the following services:

. OPD (out patient department)

An average of 50 patients/day

. MCH (anti-natal care, EPI, delivery services,

baby clinic and family planning centre)

. Laboratory check

. Sanitation department

. Minor surgery

. Pharmacy and isolation room

. INP (in-patient department) with a capacity for 16 patients

An average of 8 to 10 beds occupied at a time

Medical staff comprised of:

. 3 doctors, 5 nurses, 16 health assistants, 2 lab. technicians,

2 sanitarians and 15 staff memberds in charge of administration, cleaning, etc.

Main diseases:

. Children : Bronchopneumonia/Malaria/Diarrhea/Conjunctivitis

Malnutrition among babies (3 to 6 months)

. Adults : Malaria/ Pneumonia/ Parasites/ Anaemia in pregnant women.

Only one case of Acute Diarhoeal Disease was reported two months ago from Ferfer.

The cost of a visit for each patient at the OPD is Birr 1 by registration card, including drug prescription. However, if the patient shows a letter from the administration ensuring that his income is less than Birr 50 per month, the visit and the treatment will be conducted free of charge.

Birr 1,50/person/day for the INP.

Water is delivered from the town, and is stored in a watertank supplied by an electric pump.

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