Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia

(December 6-19, 1993)

 By Admassu Haile Yesus, Assistant Field Officer



September/October Rainfall
The September and October rains of this year were not as in a normal year. They started in September after planting and there was no rain in October. The maize and haricot beans are at present at flowering stage. However, the performance of maize is very poor due to lack of sufficient moisture. Most of the planting is done east of Moyale where the majority of the Geris are living.

Relief Food Distribution

Food distribution which used to be supplied by WFP in Moyale Woreda for returnees and internal displaced people has been discontinued due to the shortage of sufficient relief food stocks in both EECMY and RRC stores. According to the local WFP Food Monitor the remaining relief food stock as of 9/12/93 was as follows:

Wheat grain
64.09 MT
White beans
23.638 MT 
Vegetable oil 
14.35 MT 
Vegetable oil
7.894776 MT
Butter oil
3.43099 MT

A total of 225 MT cereals, 6.75 MT oil and 13.50 MT white beans arrived in Moyale for Kenyan refugees on 8/12/93. In general, the demand for free food distribution in Moyale is very high. However, according to Dr. Kifle Mariam's information given during a meeting held at Moyale on 11/12/93, RRC has decided to stop the free food distribution and carry on distribution activities under food for work (FFW). However, no preparatory works such as identification of development projects suitable for FFW have been undertaken.

New Influx of Kenyan Refugee (Adjurans)

Up to July 1993, a total of 7240 persons were admitted and known as refugees in Kedaduma, 90km east of Moyale, in Aroahole 18km east of Moyale and in Ketema 64km east of Moyale. In early July UNHCR in collaboration with WFP undertook food distributions to these new comers. Each received 15kg of Wheat and 1.5kg of white beans per person. The total amount of food which was distributed as an emergency ration was 90.5 MT wheat grain and 10.86 MT of white beans.Blankets, plastic sheeting and cooking materials were also distributed. Additionally, on 28/10/93 another 1600 persons crossed into Moyale from Korondile (Kenya) which is located 50 miles from the border and settled near Ketema. MoH and MSF(F) jointly were vaccinating and treating sick people. 2800 Ajurans arrived as of 28/10/93 and settled nearby Dokiso 40km east of Moyale.

The livestock condition in the Wereda is very satisfactory. The September rain apparently contributed a lot for an improved pasture. Good quantities of cow and camel milk is coming for sale daily to Moyale from Tuka which is located west of Moyale where the majority of Borenas are living.

Contacted Organizations

a) Moyale Woreda Administration
The administrator of Moyale Woreda, Ato Ibrahim Abdi was contacted. According to his information, at the moment the problems of the Moyale woreda are lack of sufficient food and water. The food which was allocated by WFP to the refugees and internal displaced people was not coming regularly even before the discontinuation of the distribution in August 1993. A major water problem was reported in the following kebeles: In Chamuk and Melebi 20km from Moyale there is a major water problem, in Elgobe the water is not sufficient and in Ardaolla there is no water at all.

b) Ministry of Agriculture (MoA)

According to the woreda administration, the population of Moyale Woreda is at present 185,808 persons. The three main activities the population is involved in are: complete pastoralist, Agro-pastoralist and Semi Agro-pastoralist.
The ecological classification of the woreda is 10% mid-highland and 90% lowland. The total farming area in the woreda is 6649 hectares and the average land holding capacity is 2 hectares. The short rain planting season is from September to November and the long rain is from March to June. The major crops planted in both the seasons are maize, teff and haricot beans. The area is suitable for sorghum but it has not been practiced so far. There is a plan to give extension advice by the Woreda Ministry office regarding planting of sorghum.

c) Southern Rangeland Development Unit (SORDU)

According to the information obtained from the officials in Moyale woreda, the animal disease 'CBPP' was reported from Moyale, Mega, and Yabelo in April 1993. Accordingly, vaccination was given and the disease was controlled immediately. SORDU does not have shortage of medicine at the moment. However, in case of any further out-break there will be logistical constraints.

d) MSF France

MSF (F) has two supplementary feeding centres and one therapeutic centre in Moyale, one supplementary feeding centre in Chilango and one in Kedaduma. According to a survey carried out in September 1993 the malnutrition rate was 11.5% out of which 3.4% was severe. Hence, the organization has planned to close the feeding centrescording to the schedule, the operation was supposed to start on the 13th of December 1993. Endale, which is located 125 km from Moyale, is determined to be the Ethiopian reception centre. According to the Moyale Task Force, all preparations for the repatriation are completed. The total population to be repatriated is 18,000 and all are going to be settled finally in Wackily and Udet. The operation is expected to be completed within one month.


Contacted Organizations

a) Negele Woreda Administration

The administrator, Ato Mesfin Beriso indicated that there is a shortage of food in the woreda. RRC is at present not distributing food for the returnees and internally displaced people due to shortage of sufficient stocks. People are coming daily to the administration office and are asking for assistance. The demand for food is very high in the whole woreda. The Red-Cross used to distribute food for the returnees and internally displaced people. However, this was also discontinued as of October 1993 after the Red-Cross handed over the activity to RRC.

The September and October rains did not materialize at all. Therefore, the current situation needs the attention of the concerned bodies (the Woreda Administration, RRC and NGOs).

A committee organized by the Prime Minister's Office is currently carrying out an assessment in all 12 woredas of Borena Zone. The purpose of this assessment is to finally decide which woredas would belong to Region 4 and which to Region 5.
b) Oromo Relief Association (ORA)

ORA is carrying on FFW activities in 17 kebeles in Liben woreda. The association is involved in the following construction activities.

The food supply for the FFW is coming from various sources and NGOs. A big store funded by CRDA is under construction. The capacity of the store is expected to be 500 MT. The association has also a plan to commence an irrigation project along the Genale River in 1994 for returnees and drought affected people. The project will be funded by The Norwegian Church Aid (NCA).

c) Save The Children Federation (USA)

Save the Children Federation is implementing four different activities in Liben woreda. These are:

(i) Animal Health - Under this sector veterinarian scouts selected from the local farming community are trained. Medicine and veterinary equipment are also provided under the basis of a revolving drug fund.
(ii) Human Health - Community health agents are trained mainly as traditional birth attendants.
(iii) Agriculture - improved seed and hand tools are provided for returnees. Additionally, a horticultural site is opened along the Genale river.
(iv) Water Development Construction - A hand pump has been installed 22 km north of Negele at a place called Bitata. In Harekelo, 32 km north of Negele, an animal dipping bath is under construction.



The Dollo Odo Woreda Administration is organised by Region 5 and started working as of October 1993. Hence, the direct contact of Ugases (traditional leaders) and zone leaders with the UN field office and MSF (H) has been discontinued. According to the Deputy Administrator, Ato Ahmed Roba, their contact with region 5 is very weak due to communication problems. He said that the planting for the September and October rains was done along the Genale and Dawa river in August, but due to unexpected heavy rain, the Maize and Sorghum plants were washed out completely by the river flood. It was therefore replanted again in October but the same thing happened. The demand for food is very high in Dollo and its surroundings. The price for commercial food is increasing from day to day. Maize is coming from Negele once a week for sale at the Dollo market for birr 180/quintal. The price of wheat has increased from birr 40 to birr 160/quintal.

Relief Food Supply

The food supply from WFP was discontinued after the last distribution in August 1993. All RRC stores are empty expect 100 bags of CSB in the MSF (H) store which is kept foremergency cases and Therapeutic feeding. Ittihad (Islamic Fundamentalist) started distributing boiled white beans for the refugees at Dollo Gedo along the other side of the river Somalia. One tin of boiled white beans is the ration for one person/day.


According to Dollo MSF (H), the health and nutritional situation is satisfactory in Dollo and its surroundings. The malnutrition rate in Bare which was 8.4% during the closing down of the feeding centre in August 1993 has now increased. According to a recent survey made by MSF (H) the malnutrition rate in Bare at present is 18.9% out of which 6.1% are severely malnourished. From the severely malnourished population 66% is reported to be suffering from Kwashikor. Hence, MSF is planning to send 18 bags of CSB, 3 bags of sugar and 1 drum of oil to Bare MOH clinic for one month therapeutic feeding. In addition to this, MSF has been supplying vaccination drugs to Dollo, Suftu, Bare and Woldia.

Seed Distribution

50 MT of seed was distributed by Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) in November 1993 for Dollo, Sede and Woldia. About 14 MT of this was purchased from the local market. According to the information obtained from MSF (H), the church also has a plan to distribute seed for the next planting season and to start a restocking programme in the woreda in 1994.

Livestock Condition

The livestock condition in Dollo Odo Woreda is satisfactory. The pasture improved following satisfactory rains in September and October. There is plenty of milk available in the market for a low price. Animal diseases like black leg and anthrax were reported. Accordingly a request has been sent to the regional veterinary office in Gode for the necessary drug supply and vaccination.

Repatriation Programme for Somali Refugees

A total population of 2139 Somali refugees were repatriated voluntarily from Dollo to Luuq (Somalia) in October 1993. Additionally over 4000 refugees requested voluntary repatriation to Luuq. The list of the refugees has been sent to the Mandera, Kenya repatriation field office of UNHCR. Due to food shortages, the Mandera field office suspended the cross-border relief programme for a while.

New Arrival of Refugees

A total population of 52 Yemeni refugees crossed to the Ethiopian side and arrived in Dollo Odo on 10 December 1993. The refugees came from Afgoye, 20km West of Mogadishu. They requested transport to go to Addis to contact the Yemen Embassy. A group of 230 Ethiopian Somali refugees who were in Kenya, have been expelled by the Kenyan Government from Wajir district 80km south of Mandera. Sixty of them arrived in Dollo Odo and the rest scattered in Suftu and Sede.



The September and October rains materialized in Ginner only for one week after the planting was done in October. The major crops in the highland of Ginner are barley, wheat and oil seeds and in the lowlands, mainly sorghum followe$ by eaize. According to Ginner Woreda Ministry of Agriculture, September and October is traditionally the major planting season. Crop prospects in both ecological zones are presently very poor. Maize and sorghum in the lowland has failed completely. In the highland, an average yield will be expected in a few pocket areas. In view of the insufficient September and October rain, the market price for commercial food has increased. According to market a quick assessment, the price for a quintal of wheat increased from birr 80 to 160, teff from birr 80 to birr 150, maize from birr 50 to birr 100 and barley from birr 40 to birr 85.

Livestock Condition

The livestock condition is marginal at the moment due to very poor pasture. Animal diseases, black leg and anthrax were reported but medicine was not available in the Woreda. Hence, a request has been sent to the zonal veterinary department in Robbe. According to a market assessment the price of an oxen has dropped from birr 900 to birr 600 and of a goat from birr 80 to birr 50.

Relief Food Supply

The deliveries of relief food from WFP was discontinued as of August 1993. Small amount of food is coming from RRC Robbe for returnees. However, the supply is not on a regular basis.

Health Situation

Common diseases in the area are pneumonia and relapsing fever. However, at present, the health situation in the whole of the Woreda is stable. According to a Ginner Ministry of Health Official, one suspected cholera case was reported in early November 1993. Direct microscopic examination was made after taking a sample and the bacterial shape was suspected to be cholera. The man who was affected by the disease was a mobile merchant.


No security problem was reported in all the woreda visited.

Population Movement

No internal displacement of people was observed or reported in the woredas visited.


The designations employed and the presentation of material in this document do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever of the UN concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

UN-EUE  Tel.: (251) (1) 51-10-28/29 
PO Box : 5580  Fax: (251) (1) 51-12-92 
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia  Email: undp-eue@telecom.net.et