UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
21 September 2000
NEWS AND DEVELOPMENTS
Security Council Authorizes Troops for UNMEE
On 15 September 2000, the UN Security Council passed a resolution, authorizing the deployment of up to 4,200 troops, including 220 military observers, for the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE). This resolution expanded the mandate of UNMEE and will cover an initial six-month period to carry out a range of verification tasks, including monitoring the ceasefire between the two countries. This new mission will be responsible for helping to ensure that the parties adhere to their security commitments and will monitor the redeployment of troops on both sides. The Mission will also monitor the Temporary Security Zone and provide technical assistance to mine action activities.
Military Observers Arrive in Ethiopia
23 military observers arrived in Addis Ababa as part of UNMEE. A simultaneous deployment of 23 military observers occurred in Eritrea. The observers will undergo a four-day training prior to deployment to their operational positions along the front lines.
Saudi Arabia Imposes Ban on Animal Imports from the Horn
An outbreak of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) in Saudi Arabia, causing the first ever deaths outside of Africa, has claimed 42 lives so far, while 16 more people have contracted the disease, the Saudi government reported this week. Due to this situation the Saudi government has announced emergency measures to curb the spread of the disease, including a ban on imports and exports of animals from and to African countries like Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya and Ethiopia which are sometimes stricken by the mosquito-borne disease during the rainy season. This could be devastating to the economy in the Somali National Regional State, which is only now beginning to recover from the impact of the drought.
Prime Minister Meles Attends UN Millennium Summit
Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, attended the UN Millennium Summit held in New York earlier in September. During his visit to the USA, the Prime Minister met with the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, senior US government officials, other heads of state, heads of international organizations working in Ethiopia and spoke at Harvard University. Discussions with the UN Secretary-General included the deployment of military observers as well as the proposal by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to include a human rights body in the UN peacekeeping mission.
USD 59.7 million World Bank Loan for HIV/AIDS Programme
The World Bank has approved a US $59.7 million loan for Ethiopia as part of an initial US $500 million in rapid funding for the next three years under a multi-country HIV/AIDS Programme (MAP) for Africa. The loan will help finance the 2000-2004 HIV/AIDS strategic plan for the Ethiopian Government. World Bank President James Wolfensohn stated: "the ultimate impact of the MAP will be to avert millions of HIV infections, alleviate suffering for tens of millions and help preserve the development prospects of entire nations".
Meeting Held to Determine Support to HIV/AIDS Activities
A meeting, hosted by the Embassy of Norway, with participants from UNAIDS, NGOs and the National Aids Council in Addis Ababa, was held on 15 September 2000 following the announcement by the World Bank of the US$ 59 million loan to Ethiopia for HIV/AIDS programmes. This meeting was organized to assist the Embassy of Norway in planning its support to the national response towards the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Ethiopia. According to the Norwegian Ambassador at this meeting, Norway had decided to join the global effort in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Attending organizations presented their activities and indicated ways in which Norway might be able to help them and others in the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia. Participants at the meeting were informed that most of Norway's support would be provided through the Ethiopian Multi-sectoral AIDS Program (EMSAP) and that Norway would be happy to complement the Government HIV/AIDS activities in the country through non-government initiatives.
268.5 Million Birr Raised to Aid War Victims
The DPPC reported that 268.5 million birr, or an estimated US$ 33.5 million, was raised to assist IDPs and other war-affected Ethiopians as well as for national defense. Ethiopians, friends of Ethiopia, foreign embassies and local and foreign NGOs contributed these funds between August 1998 and August 2000.
Reduction in Meningitis Cases in Addis Ababa
Since the beginning of the recent outbreak of menigococal meningitis, the total number of registered cases in Addis Ababa has risen to 1,000. However, after a mass vaccination campaign in the capital, which covered about 70% of the population at risk (those between the ages of 2-30 years), the number of cases declined from a total of 172 cases per week at the time of immunization to seven cases per week by the 18th of September 2000.
In case of further outbreaks, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has activated the national epidemic preparedness and response committee and also advised regions to strengthen their surveillance and response mechanisms. WHO Regional Office for Africa has supplied medicine for the management of cases and is currently trying to replenish the strategic stock of meningitis vaccines at central level.
Additionally, the ministry in collaboration with WHO, has revised the national guidelines for meningitis control and is also working on the preparedness plan for the coming dry season to control outbreaks in the historical meningitis belt areas. Since the last major outbreak in the country occurred some 12 years ago, it is expected to occur in some of the regions of Ethiopia during the dry season.
Second Plane for WFP Airbridge in Somali Region
Civil Aviation permission has been granted for an ECHO donated plane to operate in support of relief operations in the Ethiopian Somali Region. The aircraft, which arrived in Addis Ababa on 18 September, is already operational and will be used by WFP for field monitoring and to transport NGOs, donors and UN staff in the region. The Abyssinian Flight Services aircraft currently under charter by WFP will also continue to be used in Somali Region.
UNICEF Assessment to Afar
UNICEF emergency staff visited Afar, one of Ethiopias poorest regions, to conduct a rapid assessment of the disaster preparedness and prevention system and to discuss possible additional technical support to the DPPB and other local authorities in strengthening the overall management of the emergency response. With a population of 1,106,383 in its five zones, Afar has been serious affected over the last years by drought, conflict and, more recently, by floods. At the end of July a volcano erupted in Didigsala, however, no casualties were reported. The majority of the population of Afar is pastoralist. The region, in the eastern Rift Valley, is mostly arid crossed by two perennial rivers, the Awash and Mille.
According to official estimates, a total of 272,704 people were affected by the lack and the late onset of rains in the last two years and are entitled to food assistance. DPPB distributed a 12.5 kg ration of wheat in July, and a new distribution was taking place during the UNICEF visit. Due to the lack of funds for unloading the food items, however, beneficiaries had to contribute to the cost.
Over 30,000 people have been displaced in Afar by the conflict with Eritrea. IDPs have settled in 4 weredas of Zone 2. Approximately 2,300 Ethiopians have also returned from Eritrea to the Afar region, and the Social Affairs Department of DPPB is reviewing the situation of unaccompanied minors.
Serious floods started in mid-August as result of heavy rainfall in the highlands of Eastern Shewa and North Welo. Over 30,000 people were affected in nine kebeles (neighbourhoods) around Dubti and Asaita.
Although the current rains have been generally beneficial, the cumulative effect of the different emergencies in Afar has weakened the already poor regional infrastructure. There is a general lack of capacity in managing crisis situations both in the DPPB and sectoral bureaux. In addition to food, the need for non-food items - shelter, cooking utensils, and clothes - are high. Water-born diseases and malaria, endemic to the region, have increased and the much-needed extended programme of immunization (EPI) is not in place in several zones due to dysfunctional cold chains. UNICEF has procured and delivered essential drugs for people affected by the floods, however, more drugs are needed. UNICEF is planning to support EPI activities, complementing WHO, who procured generators and have provided training on cold chain management as part of the recent polio campaign. USAID is also supporting EPI activities in Zone 2 where microplanning has been conducted and immunization activities are expected to start in mid-October. Another important area that needs immediate attention is the establishment of a functioning early warning mechanism. Only a few weredas have early warning committees, and resources (transport, communication, skills) are minimal. UNICEF is looking into providing more technical assistance.
UNICEFs Water Activities in Lowlands of Borena, Oromiya Region
In addition to support to the rehabilitation of 29 water schemes in lowland Borena (August/September 2000), UNICEF is planning to drill 20 new wells to alleviate the structural lack of water in the area. Currently, UNICEF emergency water and sanitation (WES) staff are working, together with the Oromiya Water, Mineral and Energy Resources Department in conducting the hydrological assessment, geophysical investigation, including the vertical electrical sounding, to select appropriate sites for the drilling of new wells. 10 wells are expected to be constructed in Yabello, Teltelle, Arero, Moyale and Dire weredas in Borena.
UNICEF/WHO/CDC Consultants Present Database for Nutritional Surveys
One nutritionist seconded by WHO to OCHA and two Center for Disease Control (CDC) epidemiologists seconded to UNICEF by the USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), presented the results of their five-week stay in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Nutrition Surveys Database (ENSD) summarizes the nutrition and health data by wereda of 139 nutrition surveys conducted in the drought affected areas of Ethiopia between November 1998 and July 2000. The database will allow the mapping of nutritional data, analyze trends over time, compare with food distribution and identify where nutrition and health organizations are working.
The two consultants gave recommendations on how to improve the quality of nutritional surveys by presenting the lessons learned from the survey analysis. They also gave specific recommendations on nutrition survey sampling techniques, drawing on their own field experience in Burji, where they conducted an assessment and trained health workers in collaboration with World Relief and Kale Hiwot Church (KHC).
RELIEF FOOD, LOGISTICS AND PLEDGES
A mid-meher season crop assessment undertaken in late August/early September was led by DPPC, with WFP and UN-EUE participation in the four teams which visited the eastern and southeastern parts of the country. Expectations for long cycle meher crops are poor in the east and southeastern parts of the country. Predictions for rainfall for the remainder of the season in northern, western and central parts of the country are that it will be average to above average. As planting of long cycle crops was delayed in many of these areas, the rains will have to extend to end September to ensure maturation of crops.
Internally Displaced due to Border Conflict (Tigray/Afar)
WFP personnel monitoring Ethiopians returning from Eritrea report that the situation has stabilized, with an apparent slowdown in the number of people crossing the border.
With IDPs beginning to return to their home areas, the issue of landmines in the border area continues to be a primary concern, with a reported increase in the number of deaths and injuries over recent weeks. A preliminary survey of the landmine situation by the UK-based NGO, HALO Trust, is scheduled to begin in late September, with funding provided by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).
Almost 53 mts cereals, pulses, vegetable oil and salt has been transported to a distribution site 12 kms north of Shiraro to provide a one month ration to an estimated 3,000 Eritrean refugees in need of assistance. This operation is a joint WFP, UNHCR and ARRA initiative. It is expected that support will continue for some months and the numbers may increase by an additional 5,000 people.
WFP have contracted a fleet of 140 short haul trucks to help facilitate food deliveries in several regions of Ethiopia. These trucks, which arrived in Djibouti in mid-August, have now been cleared by Ethiopian Customs and are proceeding to a number of operational hubs. The short haul trucks are specifically designed to travel on rough terrain surfaces, found in many remote areas throughout Ethiopia. Seventy of the trucks are two by fours with a capacity of 7.5 tons, while the remaining 70 are four by fours with a larger capacity of 9 tons; together, both sets of trucks provide a total nominal uplift capacity of 10,000 tons per month. The fleet will be deployed to five localities: Wag Hamra Zone, Amhara Region; North and South Omo zones, SNNPR; Bale Zone, Oromiya Region; and, Fik and Afder zones, Somali Region. The trucks are expected to be fully operational in delivering food by the end of September. Food has already been pre-positioned at five hubs. Seven moveable warehouses have been erected in Gode, one of the operational hubs, while eight warehouse units are being erected in Hargele in Afder Zone, where a new UN field unit is being established.
The WFP-chartered helicopter moved from Dire Dawa to Gode on 1 September to begin security and needs assessments in selected locations in the south and east of Somali Region. Eleven new locations were visited. The helicopter is currently operating out of Dire Dawa.
The Caravan aircraft under contract to WFP continued to serve as an airbridge into Somali Region. In addition to transporting passengers, the aircraft has been facilitating needs assessment missions of WFP monitors to Chereti, El Kere, and Warder in the south and southeastern parts of the region.
Donor Response Towards the UN Appeal for IDPs
Donors have started to respond to the total US$ 30.4 million in food and non-food requirements contained in the UN Country Team (UNCT) Updated Appeal for the Rehabilitation and Recovery Programmes for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Ethiopia. The Government of Japan has pledged a total of US$150,000 through UNICEF, including: US$50,000 for gender and development activities and US$100,000 for plastic sheeting, blankets and transportation of these items. The Population, Refugee and Migration (PRM) Bureau of the US State Department has announced that it is supporting several priority interventions for both the IDPs and newly arriving Ethiopians from Eritrea in response to the UN Country Teams Updated Appeal. This pledge, amounting to US$1,150,000, will be channeled through WFP, UNICEF and WHO. US$650,000 of this pledge is for the reconstruction and supply of heavily damaged or destroyed health facilities, rehabilitation of old water schemes and construction of new water schemes, training of pump operators and water caretakers, and provision of plastic sheeting and blankets for those Ethiopians returning from Eritrea. The remaining US$500,000 of this pledge will be used for the purchase of an estimated 850 mts of pulses, which will cover a two-month ration of this commodity for WFPs operation with the IDPs. In addition, WFP has received a pledge of 907 MT of pulses from Canada, which will cover a further two-month ration. Although a high priority in the UN Country Team Updated Appeal for the IDPs, there has been no response thus far for assistance towards the humanitarian mine activities, besides a contribution of just over UK Pounds 460,000 (approx. US$646,000) by DFID to the HALO Trust for survey work in the proposed Temporary Security Zone and adjacent areas announced prior to the launch of the Appeal.
While for most main season (meher) cropping areas of the country the onset of the long (kiremt) rains was generally normal, in many northeastern, eastern and southeastern areas of the country the rains were delayed by up to a month following which the season was marked by prolonged dry spells and poor coverage. This was markedly the case in July for areas of East and West Haraghe, Arsi, Bale and northern areas of Borena in Oromiya, and areas of Konso, Derashi and Burji in SNNPR.
In the major grain producing areas in the northwestern, western and central parts of the country, however, the rains have been generally good and are expected to continue to the usual time of cessation (end September/early October) with only slightly less than normal intensity predicted. Overall prospects for the main season, meher, harvest in these areas is currently expected to be normal to slightly above normal.
In the northeastern, eastern and southeastern areas of the country where meher crops are also grown, the marked deficiency in rainfall is expected to result in another poor harvest. As detailed above, these include the marginal mid- and lowland cropping areas of Arsi, Bale and Borena that are traditionally vulnerable and have suffered a moisture deficiency for two to three consecutive years.
Current situation in cropping areas of Arsi, Bale and Borena
The current kiremt rains play an important role in determining the total annual precipitation, crop production and household food security in all the main season cropping areas of Arsi, Bale and Borena of Oromiya Region. The lower-lying weredas in Borana and Bale zones receive the rains only in the upland parts of their territory while the rest receive short season rains, locally known as hagaya, after mid-September.
The impact of the irregularity in the behavior of the kiremt rains in this part of the country this year, especially the delay in onset, interruption and, duration of below normal intensity, grows in significance with declining elevation. While the impact is perhaps insignificant in terms of national crop production, in terms of local food security another poor season in these areas is worrying. On the other hand, livestock condition and production in these zones is currently considered to be favourable.
Long cycle crops, mainly maize, planted in April/May mainly survived the delayed and below normal belg rains (locally called ganna) and are generally performing well in most of the areas benefiting from the current rains. If the rain extends to at least the end of September, the harvest is generally expected not to be significantly less than the long-term average. However, a very high loss in the long cycle crops in midland weredas of Borena zone (A/Wadera, O/Shakiso, G/Abaya, H/Mariam) is considered very likely. These parts of the region depend 60-100% on the ganna rains, which is their main season. The ganna rains this year were significantly below normal and those long cycle crops that survived are now nearly all lost due to the poor ganna and the non-occurrence of the sorro (a heavy mist that helps in moistening the soil) to help the crop endure until the coming hagaya season.
Prospects for the Forthcoming
Short Season Rains in Lowlands of Borena and Bale
Also worrying is the situation in the lowland pastoral and agropastoral weredas of Borena and Bale zones, where the situation could take a turn for the worse should the upcoming short-season (hagaya) rains fail.
The hagaya rains are characterized by their highly erratic, patchy nature with a total precipitation allowing only for a very short growing period for crops even when occurring normally. The main contribution of the hagaya is mainly for pasture re-growth and replenishment of surface water sources. The forecast on these short hagaya rains, expected towards the end of September in the mid- and lowland weredas of Borena and Bale, is not optimistic and an unfavourable performance may once again make the coming year even worse for the pastoral population.
The emphasis should now be on preparing for the possibility of a further deterioration of the current situation should the hagaya rains be insufficient.
FOCUS ON SOMALI REGION
The Somali National Regional State, with a population of 3.4 million, is located in southeastern Ethiopia, divided into 9 administrative zones and characterized mainly by arid and semi arid climates. Chronically drought stricken, Somali Region has suffered again from drought this year resulting in the heavy loss of livestock, widespread water-shortage, hunger, disease and malnutrition. In the early part of 2000, as the severity of the drought became apparent across Somali Region, the international community responded to the humanitarian crisis by targeting those hardest hit by this disaster.
While the situation varies from zone to zone, currently, most humanitarian agencies agree that the emergency situation has subsided due to the generally favourable gu rains in May benefiting mid to southern Somali Region and the rainfall in recent months in the northern parts of the region. Yet, if the upcoming short-season (deyr) rains are unfavourable, the situation may deteriorate once again. The deyr rains are important for reviving pasture and will be significant for replenishing water sources. Following the favourable gu rains, a number of NGOs terminated their emergency water activities, while continuing to be proactive in longer-term water initiatives.
The nutritional status of children depends heavily on the supply of camel milk, which in many areas has improved in the past few months. However, those children remaining in temporary settlements where the drought displaced gathered will benefit less from the improved camel milk production. Several therapeutic feeding centers are being closed by NGOs working in the region due to the decrease in the levels of severe malnutrition. Supplementary feeding continues, although the number of children enrolled is decreasing and most centers are providing dry take home supplementary food.
A meeting of NGOs, UN agencies and the donor community took place 7 September under the auspices of the DPPC to share information, reassess the situation in Somali Region and to discuss continued interventions. Even though the emergency situation appears to have abated somewhat, it was agreed that food distributions should continue until a joint assessment of the situation in late October/early November.
As a result of this meeting, an operational review of the current situation by all actors in Somali Region has been proposed by the DPPC, with the Office of the UN Regional Humanitarian Coordinator acting as the focal point in terms of organizing the study, liaising with concerned organizations and in compiling the report. As part of a multi-agency effort that will include participants from WFP, UN-EUE, UNICEF, FAO and WHO, the study will also look at the types, and possible shifts, in interventions required over the coming months. It will further investigate scope for rehabilitation and recovery programmes, and while recognizing the need for continued relief interventions, will also study potential development initiatives.
Elections in the Somali Region
The second multi-party elections in the Somali National Regional State were held on 31 August 2000 following a postponement of three months due to the drought and certain logistical constraints. Three political parties and 57 private candidates competed for 23 seats in the House of Peoples Representatives and other positions in Regional State Council.
It is now confirmed that the current ruling party, the Somali Peoples Democratic Organization (SPDO) has won the majority of the seats. The SPDO was established in 1998 following the merger of the political wing of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) and the Ethiopian Somali Democratic League (ESDL). It appears that the election was free and fair, although there were allegations from opposition groups that there were inconsistencies in the election process. According to the Regional Election Board, half of the voters were women.
With regard to future expectations, sources close to the Regional State Council say that there will be changes in the leadership of the State Council and other senior regional positions. It is expected that priority areas of attention of the new State Council during its term of office will include the task of taking measures towards institutional development, peaceful settlement of border disputes between Oromiya and the Somali Region, consolidation of regional peace and security, improved food security of the region and enhanced socio-economic development activities in close co-operation with the Federal Government, the private sector and donors.
Local NGO Profiles
Ogaden Welfare Society Active in Seven Zones in Somali Region
The Ogaden Welfare Society (OWS), a national NGO, was established in 1992 in response to the effects of the recurrent drought in Somali Region. Their objectives are to improve the socio-economic well-being of marginalized communities in the Ethiopian Somali National Regional State. Areas of interventions include both emergency relief and integrated development programmes. Currently, they are active in seven of the nine zones in Somali Region working out of two area offices in Gode and Jijiga, but have future plans for activities in Liben and Afder.
As part of their relief activities, OWS has been contracted by WFP to monitor all food aid distributions in more than 40 weredas and 150 distribution centers. From this monitoring, monthly distribution reports are submitted to WFP. In addition to their food monitoring activities, OWS is currently providing supplementary food to 2,000 malnourished children in three supplementary feeding centers in Gode Town. As of 10 September, they have also started supplementary feeding for malnourished children and complementary feeding targeted towards women and the elderly at four centers in Degehabour and Fik zones in Aware, Gunagado, Degahabour and Garbo for a three-month period. The complementary feeding acts as a supplement to the grain distribution and consists of oil and sugar. OWS is also involved in emergency water supply to the most affected areas. From April to June 2000, OWS delivered water from the Wabe Shebelle River to 4,000 people in East Imi and Gudis in Gode zone. Additionally in these zones, OWS distributed 19,800 liters of cooking oil to 9,900 beneficiaries.
Looking towards the future, OWS undertook an assessment in July 2000 to identify ways to better link relief to development activities. Gode and Korahe zones were selected as sample sites for the assessment. Findings highlighted agricultural support, pastoral restocking and community water supply as the three most appropriate areas for interventions. From this assessment, a pilot programme in these two zones targeting some 77,000 beneficiaries was designed and will commence as soon as possible pending adequate funding.
Complementing their relief activities, OWS is involved in extensive integrated development programmes. Although the majority of OWS activities concentrate on water supply projects, they are involved in many health, education and capacity building activities. As part of their health interventions, OWS has constructed health centers, a veterinary clinic and provided drugs and medical supplies to hospitals in Gode and Degahabour. They have also conduct training for traditional birth attendants (TBAs), teachers, and senior regional government officials and have recently concluded a workshop on conflict resolution.
PCAE Dedicated to Assisting Pastoralists in Afder and Liben
Pastoralist Concern Association Ethiopia (PCAE) is a national NGO committed to working with all Ethiopian pastoralists, but currently working in the remote areas of Afder and Liben zones in Somali Region. Their objectives are to promote rehabilitation and development projects, conduct action-oriented research on social, economic and anthropological aspects of pastoralist communities in order to make proper evaluations of their impact on the living conditions of the pastoralists and to advocate Ethiopian pastoralist development issues to influence national and regional policies. Although they are traditionally a development organization, the current drought in Somali Region has forced PCAE to concentrate on emergency activities the past six months, with support from Intermon Spain, Islamic Relief, and Oxfam Canada.
PCAEs emergency activities have centered on food distributions, emergency water and health activities, and the provision of non-food items. In addition to their supply of general food and supplementary food to six weredas in Afder and Liben zones, they have one supplementary feeding center in Hajasuftu. Before the May rains, PCAE was involved in water tankering to these zones from the Genale and Dawa rivers. To improve water storage efficiency, they have also constructed under ground concrete water storage facilities and have provided more than 28 plastic water tanks. Additionally, PCAE supplies basic drugs to the zonal health department and has vaccinated some 9,500 children against measles. To further assist the livestock dependent pastoralists, PCAE supplied basic livestock drugs, vaccinated over 150,000 animals and treated over 70,000 against livestock diseases. PCAE also supplied blankets, plastic sheeting and cooking utensils to the drought-affected.
Afder and Liben zones are very remote and difficult to access with hardly any roads. Despite this, PCAE is involved with many monitoring activities, including monitoring the distribution of WFP food. As of March 2000, they also started to provide early warning information to WFP, DPPB and NGOs. This information consists of various statistics including food and market prices. The remoteness of these areas also make it difficult for the population to access medical facilities.
PCAEs major development partner is Save the Children US. Their development activities consist of water programmes, both human and livestock health, and education, including a small home schooling pilot project for girls and capacity building schemes for women.
PCAEs emergency activities are now winding down and they are undertaking assessments to determine appropriate rehabilitation programmes especially in water, livestock health, income generating and irrigated farming. PCAE is convinced that there is not enough attention to irrigation systems, which could alleviate the water shortage for livestock and humans as well as create employment opportunities.
Hope for the Horn Uses Innovative Dams to
Provide Pastoralists with Water
Hope for the Horn (HFH) was established in 1996 in response to the drought and other related problems of the pastoralists in the Somali Region. They are mandated by the Federal Ministry of Justice to work in Harshin Wereda in Jijiga Zone, and Aware and Gashamo in Deghabur Zone, but hope to expand their operations to neighboring zones and regions in the future. Their objectives are to provide pastoralists, who total over 70% of the population, and their herds access to potable water, promote the protection of the environment, obtain primary education and basic health services, introduce mixed farming systems, and assist the regional government in the identification of priority areas of intervention. Currently, the majority of HFHs activities are in response towards the chronic water shortage in the region.
HFH has prepared environmental protection seminars aimed at teaching the principles of natural resource management. For the past three years experts in the environmental protection field from Arizona, a naturally arid US state, facilitated these seminars together with professionals from regions throughout Ethiopia. HFH also works in three refugee camps in Aware in coordination with and support from UNHCR. Within these camps, UNHCR has constructed large haffir dams that offer controlled inlets and outlets. These dams allow for people and animals to collect water and water from each reservoir is being used for the cultivation of some 72,000 tree seedlings. UNHCR has assigned the maintenance of the haffir dams and the nurseries to HFH. Currently, there are plans for building three new haffir dams, of which one is now under construction, using funds provided by OFDA/USAID through the International Rescue Committee (IRC). For the maintenance of the haffir dams and rehabilitation of existing earth dams, HFH are using a bulldozer and loader purchased with funds provided by the Governments of Britain and Japan. HFH has also been able to deploy 55 water tankers for the delivery of emergency water supplies to six weredas, an operation in which the regional DPPB has been acknowledged for their assistance. Within these six weredas, HFH was able to assist 250,000 persons and 900,000 animals. This life saving operation was funded by NOVIB, a Dutch Development and Cooperation Organization.
In the education sector, HFH has piloted alternative education activities to support pastoralist children including the use of mobile teachers. As these programmes were costly, they initiated a pilot stationary day school, which has been a great success. This school is located in a remote area of Gashaamo Wereda and now assists over 150 students, who will join a boarding school to be constructed soon in the area.
Guardian Emergency Drought Operations
Due to the emergency in the last quarter of 1999, a large number of drought-affected pastoralists migrated to the Wabe Shabelle river basin area. In response to this drastic situation, Guardian, a national NGO, requested support for emergency food and non-food items to assist 56,667 IDPs in the Kelafo, Mustahil and Ferfer districts of Gode Zone in Somali Region.
Menschen für Menschen Foundation responded to this appeal and donated 60 mts of famix, 15 mts of edible oil and 72 medical kits to an Italian NGO, Comitato Collaborazione Medica (CCM), that works closely with Guardian in the Kelafo area. German AgroAction also reacted to this request by donating pulses, oil and maize and non-food items including cooking utensils, water containers, soap and plastic sheeting for 8,800 IDPs in Kelafo district.
Guardian has established the "Beyond Relief Program" to ensure a quick recovery for the IDPs and agriculturalists who have been improverished due to the cumulative effect of the three years of rain shortage. The main objective of the program is to support these groups that need rehabilitation to re-integrate into the normal production system. Components of the program include: capacity building of local administration, health, education, water, agriculture and women and gender equality. A task force was formed, consisting of Zonal Departments, Secretariat and the Guardian zonal Liaison Officer, to promote coordination with ministries and funding agencies and exchange of information, provide technical support to zonal administration and documentation for the preparation of a consolidated appeal.