UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
Revised Estimate of Returnees
The DPPC announced that the Tigray Regional Government is overwhelmed by the massive flow of Ethiopians returning from Eritrea on a daily basis, and calls for strong and immediate measures on the part of the international community to assist the returnees. The Government explained that the resources on hand are not adequate to meet the humanitarian needs of the returnees. The DPPC reported recent arrivals included 10,742 through the auspices of ICRC arriving in Tigray region and 1,201 via Assab to other areas of the country. In addition, 18,712 arrived in Tigray unescorted.
Awash River Floods Again
During the second weekend of August the Awash River broke its banks killing at least nine people and leaving 30,000 residents homeless. The Dubti wereda district in the Afar regional state was inundated when floodwaters above normal rushed into the lowlands due to a week of intensely heavy rain. Panafrican News Agency states that the death toll of cattle, goats and sheep is estimated at 5,000 heads. Farmers (private and State owned) are left stranded as they try to cope with the floodwaters that officials estimate may stay for up to a month.
The Awash River basin frequently floods in August/September because of heavy rainfall in the eastern highlands and escarpment areas in North Shewa and Wello. Over the years, soil and water run-off in the escarpments areas has steadily increased as a result of deforestation and population pressures.
Assistance from all levels of the Government was immediately provided in the form of helicopter airlifts, relief food, and plastic sheeting for use as shelter. Schools were also used as temporary shelter. Nevertheless water purification equipment and medical assistance are needed.
Gode-Possible Phase out of Special Food Programmes
Some agencies involved in supplementary/complementary food distributions in Gode and elsewhere are considering stopping distributions at the end of August, while other agencies, and local officials, feel it is too early to do so. Discussions with the Taskforce in Gode are continuing on this issue. The head of Gode Zonal Health Department has suggested a joint assessment and evaluation of the situation to verify current needs and estimate future needs, before any organization decides to stop its emergency activities. The Zonal Administrator and the Chairman of the Taskforce requested at least one month’s advance notice of withdrawal by any organization.
Nutrition Taskforce Strengthened
In view of a rapidly increasing number of nutrition interventions, the DPPC/UNICEF/WFP Nutrition Taskforce is attempting to improve response by further strengthening information sharing and providing technical expertise on request. As part of this intervention nutritionists from UNICEF and WHO have summarized results of nutrition surveys carried out in 1999 and 2000 into a database. In order to regularly up-date this database, all agencies are invited to provide the taskforce with a copy of nutrition surveys they have undertaken. In the absence of updated DPPC/MOH (Minister of Health) guidelines on nutrition survey methodologies and selective feeding practices, the Taskforce has also disseminated WHO manuals and summaries on minimum standards. The Taskforce is encouraging broader donor and NGO participation through its bimonthly (Tuesday afternoon) meetings at the UNICEF meeting room. NGOs are invited to send nutritional survey reports to UNICEF at email@example.com. The database is also available at www.telecom.net.et/undpeth.org.
UN Issues Appeal for Rehabilitation and Recovery Programmes for IDPs
The United Nations Country Team will issue an updated appeal this week requesting a total of US$30.4 million for rehabilitation and recovery programmes for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Tigray and Afar regions for the September 2000 to January 2001 period. Of this US$30.4 million, the UN is appealing for about $15.1 million for food assistance and US$15.3 million for non-food assistance.
The internally displaced civilians in Afar and Tigray regions of Ethiopia have begun to reestablish their presence in and ownership of their places of origin. These returning IDPs need assistance in practically all sectors as most of them lost their possessions when they left their homes in the course of the Ethiopia-Eritrea conflict. Their return also poses an issue of immediate concern, as the areas they are returning to lie in the former war zones and are, in many cases, heavily mined. Even places that were never occupied are at least shelled and the risk of unexploded ordnances is real.
29,767 MT of food assistance is being requested to aid about 312,500 people: 272,000 IDPs currently being assisted and an estimated 40,500 additional people in need of support, although the latter figure is subject to change as increasing numbers of Ethiopians return from Eritrea. WFP is preparing a budget revision to EMOP 6080.01 to reflect the anticipated further increase in numbers to review the modalities of operations.
The agricultural activities in all the weredas along the border where IDPs made a living were affected by the war. Farmers are short of seeds, oxen, farm tools, fertilizers, and storage facilities. It is critical, to begin mobilizing resources now for the 2001 planting season to ensure that the maximum area can be planted next year.
The main health problems in the war-affected areas are related to the collapse of the pre-existing health services due to destruction of the health facilities, the presence of some specific health problems related to the war situation, and the increase risk for some specific diseases due to environmental deterioration, interruption of normal health preventive services, damage to water systems and other infrastructure. There is an increase in landmine casualties and a lack of sufficient trauma care, a higher risk of HIV/STD infection, and an increased risk for malaria and water borne diseases.
Water and sanitation conditions are also poor. Many of the most important water points were destroyed or damaged and are in need of rehabilitation. In addition, much of the shelter and household items provided to the IDPs in camps have become worn and are no longer usable; replacement is necessary.
In most areas, the schools have been destroyed. The school year starts in September and in many places it will be necessary to conduct classes without proper classrooms. In addition to the need for temporary classrooms and rehabilitation of schools, there is a need for textbooks and other school supplies.
Appeal Resource Requirements by
|Food, Logistics and Related Costs||
|Water and Sanitation||
|Relief and Special Assistance||
|Humanitarian Mine Action||
|Children and Women with Special Protection Needs||
|Monitoring and Reporting||
Cases of Meningococcal Meningitis Increase in Addis Ababa
By 7 August 2000 a total of 648 cases and 19 deaths of Meningitis were reported in Addis Ababa. According to WHO, the current outbreak of Meningitis in Addis Ababa started in the week of March 28 when a number of cases were reported from the Black Lion Hospital. Since then, the number of cases reported weekly has increased from very few in the initial weeks to 155 per week in the last week. The last major outbreak occurred in northern Ethiopia in 1988-1989 with nearly 50,000 cases and 900 deaths.
Because Meningitis is highly contagious, the Regional Health Bureau started a four-day mass vaccination in Addis Ababa on 12 August using the Ministry’s available strategic stock (supplied by WHO and UNICEF). In the first two days of the vaccination more than 800,000 people were vaccinated.
Assuming that of the total 2.7 million people in Addis Ababa 70% of the population is under 30 (1.9 million), there is a vital need to support the Government’s efforts. Urgent mobilization of resources by partners, particularly WHO and ICG group, are needed to airlift vaccines and other supplies.
UNICEF - Update
UNICEF has contributed 1.7 million doses of Meningitis vaccine, needles, syringes and safety boxes to control further spread of the recent outbreak of Meningitis in the country. Close collaboration has taken place with the Ministry of Health and WHO to ensure efficient delivery of the vaccinations.
A special Measles/vitamin A campaign is currently taking place in Gode zone for more than 67,000 children aged 6-59 months. A total of 10,000 children have been vaccinated in Gode town, and the campaign continues in Kelafo, Mustahil, Denan, and East Imi of Gode zone. The Zonal Health Bureau reports an approximate coverage of 90% so far. The campaign will continue moving southwards to other zones in Somali region and should be completed by 24 August.
The education of 600,000 children throughout the country has been disrupted due to drought. In addition, 35,000 children were forced to discontinue their education due to the conflict with Eritrea in Tigray and Afar regions. UNICEF has started the distribution of education materials to support the needs of 36,000 students in Somali, Oromiya, Amhara, SNNPR and Tigray regions in response to both drought and conflict situations. Children attending feeding centers provide an important access for psychosocial and educational programmes. This type of activity is in place in Gode with special emphasis on hygiene education, a component to be replicated in other regions. Additional funding is required to respond to the total target population.
No Anthrax Outbreak in Afar
A joint WHO, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture and regional health and agriculture departments’ outbreak was conducted from 1 to 8 August 2000. The objective was to verify and to investigate whether the reported anthrax epidemic in humans could be associated with outbreaks of Anthrax in livestock.
The Mission did not find evidence of an Anthrax epidemic in livestock in the area where the human fatal disease was observed, although sporadic cases of Anthrax did occur in the Afar Regional State.
Although no evidence of Anthrax in humans was found, there had been outbreaks of an unknown disease. The pastoralists described an epidemic of two syndromes- i.e. a dysentery syndrome and an oropharyngeal syndrome that started in October 1999 and lasted until April 2000.
A more detailed report is available from FAO.
Rainfall activity in Ethiopia has been normal to above normal in the past two weeks. As a result of heavy rain and hail there was flooding and water logging in some areas.
Shinille zone, in the north of Somali Region, which had recently been an area of concern because the drought had caused out-migrations, also received significant rain. The rain in the last two weeks of July improved pasture and herds of cattle that had left the area over recent months were observed returning. However, the rains have also washed out some roads, affecting access.
WFP — Current Situation in Somali Region
Conditions have improved in many areas of Somali Region, with better food deliveries and in some areas such as Gode, better control over registration, leading to higher ration sizes. There are reports of animals once again producing milk, and good expectations for the sorghum harvest in Korahe zone. The irrigated maize crop in Gode zone along the Wabe Shebelle River is doing well, and is coming into the local market. However, if the price remains low farmers will have difficulty in purchasing the inputs needed for September planting period. There are contradictory reports on the condition of flood-irrigated and rain fed maize production in Gode zone.
Concern continues, however, for Shinille zone and for areas where the drought continues (see Focus on Shinille Zone section).
The Ogaden Welfare Society (OWS) is switching to dry supplementary rations in its supplementary feeding programme in Gode, and discharging children in larger numbers. As of 14 August, the enrolment in the therapeutic feeding center in Gode was down to 344 from 429 last week. The beneficiaries of the supplementary feeding centers decreased to 2,369 this week from 2,888 last week.
The dr ought displaced have been included in distributions in Gode town but excluded in certain other locations, for example for some marginalized clan groups in Bargun and Janogaban near Denan. WFP and various NGOs have taken action on this issue in Gode, raising the subject with the local Emergency Taskforce. Serious health and water problems have resulted in serious malnutrition conditions among children in Bargun.
WFP monitors have been carrying out assessments by helicopter in Fik and Degehabour zones. The teams found that increased numbers of drought displaced are being reported in many of the locations visited. Food aid has been received, but as elsewhere in the region, recovery is expected to take some time due to the large number of cattle and other livestock deaths. In parts of Degehabour and Fik, drought conditions continue, as the rains received in the south and south-west parts of the region in early May did not fall in this part of the region.
Efforts are being made to bring more attention to the needs of the drought displaced in Jijiga zone.
Report of the Secretary General on UNMEE
The Secretary General presented a report following the 31 July 2000 Security Council authorization of the establishment of the UN Mission to Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE). The proposed mandate of the expanded UNMEE is to monitor the cessation of hostilities and to assist in ensuring the observance of the security commitments agreed by the parties.
A significant risk throughout the conflict area is that of landmines and unexploded ordnance. There is an immediate threat in the temporary security zone (TSZ) and adjacent areas for the deployment and operation of the peacekeeping mission, and to the resident and returning population and associated humanitarian efforts.
The team of four UN Military observers present in Addis Ababa visited the northern border from 16 to 18 August in order to plan for the deployment of the remaining 45 UN military observers scheduled to arrive by September in Ethiopia. On 24 August, the team will visit the Eastern sector of the border in Afar. This represents phase two of the three phases in the deployment of the peacekeeping mission.
Landmines Pose a Threat to Returning IDPs
There has been a critical landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) problem in Ethiopia for the last 60 years. The recent conflict has compounded an existing landmines/UXO pollution problem inherited from the Italian invasion, the Ogaden War and the long civil conflict against the Derg regime.
The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is deeply concerned about the threat that landmines and UXOs pose to displaced civilians returning to or wishing to return to their homes along the border area and has already undertaken extensive demining operations in the conflict zones. The landmine/UXO problem is, however, immense and the Government of Ethiopia has requested the United Nations Country Team in Ethiopia (UNCT), as a matter of urgency, to assist in undertaking an Emergency Survey to determine the nature and extent of the landmine/UXO threat. The UNCT is appealing for international assistance in the UN Appeal for Rehabilitation and Recovery Programmes for the Internally Displaced Persons and will work in collaboration with the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), who will assume overall responsibility for coordinating the larger mine action framework in the context of the Peacekeeping Operation. This initial Emergency Survey would be part of a larger Emergency Survey covering the full conflict zone and would be the first step toward a much larger humanitarian mine action programme. One of the main aims of the Emergency Survey is to determine the real extent of this threat and, once this threat is quantified, develop the immediate and long-term programmes needed to mitigate the threat so that landmines and UXOs no longer constitute an obstacle to post-conflict rehabilitation, reconstruction and reconciliation efforts
In addition to the concern for returning civilians, landmines/UXO will also pose an immediate threat to the safe deployment and operation of the UN Observers and Peacekeeping Mission, as well as to other UN agencies, international and national non-government organizations engaged in associated humanitarian programs for returning civilians.
Success in Mitigating Effects of the Drought in Konso
The WHO/Office of the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator (ORHC) nutritionist, during a visit to the Konso area, concluded that despite the failure of the belg crops in Konso efforts to mitigate the effects of the drought appear to have been largely successful. Malnutrition rates dropped considerably during the latter half of 1999 despite failure of both the belg and the meher harvests. This success could be related to strong co-ordination of the local Drought Mitigation Commission and timely response. In the absence of a comprehensive early warning and nutrition surveillance system, the Wereda Council and the agencies that later established a Drought Management Committee (DMC), requested MSF Holland to conduct a comprehensive nutrition survey in order to measure the impact of the drought at an early stage. Based on this survey, humanitarian responses increased, not least because a number of agencies were already present in the wereda and were willing to adjust their programmes and/or initiate new drought response programmes. As these agencies covered the health and nutrition sectors as well as the food and food security sectors, a multi-track response could be developed in a relatively short time. A further strong point is that response continues to be adjusted according to needs identified by means of follow-up surveys in combination with bottom-up information from peasants associations to the DMC and other stakeholders.
Food and Nutrition Survey in Somali Region
A team from UNICEF/CDC (Center for Disease Control), and WHO/Office of the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator (ORCH) undertook an assessment on the food and nutrition situation in Gode, Fik, Korahe, Jijiga and Shinille zones of the Somali Region. The objective of the mission was to provide an overview of the nutrition situation in the Somali region, the humanitarian response, to outline the major problems hindering an effective response and finally, to provide recommendations for action.
Although there is evidently more food distributed in all zones and UN and NGOs have scaled up their operations, the situation is only marginally and/or slowly improving. A nutrition survey carried out by SCF US with UNICEF support revealed that the prevalence of malnutrition in Gode zone in July was still a high 29%. According to the assessment, the overall problems with the humanitarian response in Somali region relates to the lack of a comprehensive surveillance system, the lack of a suitable co-ordination mechanism and the lack of an integrated response. Co-ordination mechanisms in place have not been effective in standardizing nutrition surveys or selective feeding programmes or in effectively identifying areas requiring immediate response and ensuring a timely intervention. This has resulted in assessments and surveys of a relatively ad hoc nature that do not always produce useful information or meet minimum standards. Of concern is that surveys using non-representative sampling methods that may result in significant bias are being used as the basis for advocacy.
In terms of response, the team observed that while some therapeutic and supplementary feeding programmes were of excellent quality, others did not meet minimum standards. Lack of 24-hour care, high default rates with relatively poor education of mothers and the exclusion of malnourished older children, adolescents and adults were of particular concern.
Lastly, the lack of a comprehensive nutrition surveillance mechanism has resulted in a failure in targeting of food aid to the most vulnerable geographic areas and adjusting priorities according to needs. It has allowed some areas such as Gode to attract relatively more food, selective feeding programs and support in the health sector, while others areas such as Shinille and Jijiga zones remain with grossly inadequate assistance in these sectors. Even within Gode district, some communities in the district received relatively little food while resident populations in urban areas received a surplus.
Recommendations of the team will be used to formulate a strategy to improve humanitarian response in the Somali region. To this end, UN Country Team will host a series of meetings with key actors at central and regional level.
FAO — Preparation of Project Proposals in Somali Regional State
FAO conducted an assessment of the livestock and animal health situation, and the veterinary service delivery system in Somali Regional State for the preparation of project proposals. In line with the June Regional Appeal, FAO prepared three project profiles for Somali Regional State:
Current status and condition of livestock
Drought was still prevalent in northern part of Somali region, i.e. Shinille and Jijiga zones at the time of the mission (12-14 July 2000). Many carcasses were found along the migratory routes. The five main destinations used by the pastoralists to search for grazing and water are Ramis, Gobellie, Dakat, Fafem and Erer valleys. Because diseases were present from these cattle congregation sites, 200 head of cattle are reported to die on a daily basis.
On a positive note, the livestock condition is improving in the southern part of Somali region due to the short spell of rain in May.
Animal disease situation
Livestock is suffering from mechanically transmitted trypanosomiasis, internal and external parasites and plant poisoning (Lantana camara) in the drought affected northern part of Somali region. According to pastoralists in the southern part of Somali region the most important diseases in livestock is pasteurellosis, black quarter and anthrax, and in camels, it is trypanosomiasis.
The Bureau of Agriculture (BOA), the South Eastern Rangelands Project (SERP), NGOs and some private veterinary practitioners are providing veterinary services. There is a need to bring the parties together because most of them work parallel to each other without much coordination. Hence, a community-based system linked to the private sector will be much more cost efficient and sustainable than training and employing large numbers of animal health technicians, and constructing new clinics. In addition, the public veterinary services will have an important role in the establishment of disease surveillance and reporting system.
Disease surveillance and reporting system
Disease status reporting does not exist in the region. There is a lack of data on livestock numbers, livestock movement, and livestock diseases prevalent in the region. Thus, the assessment team recommends that the establishment of a sound disease surveillance system be given a high priority.
The proposed disease surveillance activity should be supplemented by developing a livestock early warning system, which would be a major input in the development of a drought emergency preparedness plan. An early warning system without an early reaction capacity is just a waste of money. Therefore, prior to the occurrence of the drought, Government, NGOs and donors have to agree upon this livestock emergency preparedness plan.
Feasibility of de-stocking
Because of the rains in May, de-stocking, as an emergency relief intervention, is highly unlikely to get the support of the pastoralists at the present time. However, a contingency plan describing the modalities for de-stocking has to be prepared and agreed upon by all parties involved in case the September-October rains fail again. Without such an agreed emergency preparedness plan and secured funding prior to the occurrence of the drought, this intervention is not a viable emergency relief intervention.
FOCUS ON SHINILLE ZONE
Shinille zone of Somali National Regional State (SNRS) consists predominantly of nomadic clans practicing pastoral and agro-pastoral activities. The area experienced long periods of drought due to climatic conditions in the past three years, however, recent rainfall has alleviated some of the immediate crisis (see Weather section). Patterns of abnormal movements or migration, deterioration in livestock health conditions, and general food insecurity in the area were observed as the people exercise survival strategies. Offering some relief to the situation has been the distribution of food aid to the zone for the past two months. As part of the Ethiopia Humanitarian Update featured areas, Shinille zone is explored through the personal observations of the UN Regional Humanitarian Coordinator, the relief efforts of UNICEF, and the works of three NGOs (Oxfam GB, Hararghe Catholic Secretariat and Deniz Feneri, a Turkish NGO).
UN Regional Humanitarian Coordinator Assessment of Shinille Zone
Manuel Aranda da Silva, UN Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Drought in the Horn of Africa, recently visited the area between Erer and Shibule in Shinille zone. The UN-RHC found that five recently established IDP camps along the Erer and Shibule road have a population between 1,000 and 3,000 each, and another camp in Shibule with some 4,000. Most displaced persons are nomads searching for better pasture and water. Malnutrition was evident particularly with
the under-five population and food rations provided to date have been inadequate. Corn Soya Blend (CSB) provisions have also been very limited and only provided minimal nutritional value.
UNICEF has been involved in both the assessment and response to the effects of drought in Shinille zone. Assessments indicate severe malnutrition, as confirmed by reports from Oxfam GB in July, affecting IDPs of which the majority are women and children.
UNICEF provided 10,000 sachets of Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS), 10 MT high protein biscuits BP5, 6 MT Dry Skim Milk (DSM), shelter material, and jerry cans to respond to immediate needs. To minimize water shortages, funding has been provided to the Hararghe Catholic Secretariat in support of emergency water tankering activities. Plans are underway this week to carry out measles/vitamin A vaccinations to contain further health hazards.
In response to the limitations of human resources for emergency health, UNICEF has trained forty-eight health professionals in nutritional surveillance. These professionals will serve Shinille as well as the entire Somali region.
OXFAM GB Assessment Missions in Shinille
Although OXFAM GB is not currently operational in Shinille, it is actively undertaking assessment missions in the area and based on the results of these missions and donor funding, foresee a presence in the near future. OXFAM GB sent an emergency food and nutrition specialist, water advisor, health and education advisor, and an emergency programme assistant to the area from 10 to 15 July 2000. In August, it sent another team on a follow-up mission to Shinille.
OXFAM GB reports that the humanitarian situation in Shinille is severe. The needs are many and the number of affected and vulnerable people is large. Its recommendations in the water sector include the rehabilitation of boreholes, water tankering, sanitation activities to prevent fecal contamination, distribution of water containers and bladders, and rehabilitation of existing hand-dug wells. In the food and nutrition sectors, OXFAM GB advocates the provision of a full maintenance ration, blanket dry feeding for under fives and pregnant and lactating women, dry supplementary and intensive supplementary feeding programmes for the malnourished, provision of cooking utensils, nutrition education, and the need for clothing and shelter. In the health and vector control sector OXFAM recommends the support of vector control activities of the Zonal Health Departments (ZHDs), the support for the Health Department’s measles vaccination and vitamin A campaigns, to strengthen local capacity through training of community hygiene promoters, hygiene promotion, and to strengthen health facilities.
Due to the immense needs in these two
zones, OXFAM GB is proposing to begin work in the areas most in need in
Shinille, the Erer district.
Hararghe Catholic Secretariat Activities
(Courtesy of HCS)
Hararghe Catholic Secretariat is providing emergency water to vulnerable pastoralists in Aiysha and Denbel weredas in Shinille zone. Both weredas are severely affected by the drought, which has greatly reduced available drinking water. Water tankering programmes provide emergency assistance to villages and settlements. Rehabilitation of existing water sources as well as the development of new water points has already been completed in collaboration with the regional water bureau. The approach of the program is to provide emergency water assistance, while supporting more sustainable development of water sources.
HCS has also launched several mobile teams, supported by four out-reach centers in Aiysha, Denbel, Erer and Babile weredas in Shinille zone to meet the health needs of migrated pastoralists. In response to increasing needs, two zonal livestock health teams began providing services to pastoralists. To support zonal efforts, HCS plans to increase the number of veterinary teams to three in Shinille zone and about thirteen in the five neighboring regions. Teams will conduct a coordinated campaign to avoid redundancy in cross boundary movement of livestock.
While needs in the Shinille zone have been identified as critical, reliable information on the malnutrition continues to be a major shortcoming of recent assessments. In an effort to better identify the most needy populations, HCS and UNICEF have organized a three-day training workshop for fifty-two health experts. DPPC is currently distributing supplementary food and DSM to the affected areas in the zone. Supplementary food provided to date is inadequate and efforts will not likely provide a nutritional benefit to those most in need. While supplementary feeding centers are planned to open in severely affected areas like Aydora and Asbuli of Erer weredas, rigorous nutritional surveys have not yet been completed.
Drought, lack of potable water, migration, inadequate distributions and suspected high malnutrition in the zone continue to result in high emergency needs among the most affected.
Further emergency assistance and capacity is urgently required to save lives and reduce suffering of the drought-affected pastoralists.
Light House in Shinille
Deniz Feneri (Light House), a Turkish based NGO started a fundraising campaign in Germany with the intention of distributing food to drought victims in Ethiopia. Once the NGO had successfully raised $100,000 it approached the DPPC who advised the team of five to assist the residents of Shinille zone.
Light House, as it is commonly known in English, purchased milk, white sorghum, sugar and oil from the local market and distributed the food to three kebeles (Askubi, Aydora, Gad) between 5 and 7 July 2000.
In light of the emergency situation in Ethiopia, Deniz Feneri
is actively pursing fundraising activities. Through its affiliation with
a private television station in Turkey, the NGO aims to raise an additional
$200,000 in funding for further humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia.