Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia

South West Ogaden Situation Report
February 1994



1. The purpose of the trip was to observe the present condition of livestock in the South West Ogaden and the general health and nutritional status of people.

2. The people of Dollo Odo, Chereti, Hargele and Afder are known to be mainly pastoralist. Given the shortage of perannual water sources, the few permanent settlements in the area are generally located along or close to the Genale and Weib rivers. Here people have some scope for small-scale irrigated agriculture.

3. Generally, the situation of irrigated crops along the Genale river is better than that of Dawa and Weib because these rivers are usually dry for at least three months each year.

4. Due to an absence of pesticide and a weak extension service, irrigated maize along the rivers is suffering considerably from various pest infestations, predominantly stalk borer.

5. To meet the objectives of the planned RRC rehabilitation programme for Region 5 (Somali), the support of social services should be given priority. In areas targeted for the reintegration of returnees, this will help attract people away from the camps and make for a smooth operation.

6. It was noted that veterinary extension services in the South West Ogaden are very weak, in fact non-existent in most areas visited. Consequently, most animals are heavily infested with both ecto- and endo-parasites, are in poor health and are of low economic value. The high price of animal drugs provided periodically by Sordu and SERP cannot be afforded by the local people who are generally very poor and have little access to cash.

7. Poor rains in October/November last year followed by the very rainless dry season is causing the deterioration of pasture in all areas visited. The success of the coming rains, due to start in March, will be vital to the longer term recovery of the pastural economy in this area.

8. Though the secondary season harvest last year was not satisfactory and grazing contiues to deteriorate, generally speaking, health and nutrition in the South West Ogaden is satisfactory at this time.

Areas visited

The irrigated maize which was planted towards the end of December 1993 along the Genale river up until Kilmissing PA looks very good and on its flowering stage. The farmers complained high plant infestation of stalkborer, shortage of fuel and spar ..... for their motor pump. The Dollo town elementary school was not functional.

Due to lack of basic school materials and lack of budget for teachers salary. The health and nutritional status of the community was satisfactory. The IPD and OPA was running by MOH clinic with having drug supply from MSF Holland Dollo.

The Dollo Odo Woreda Administration announced that not to conduct the registration of the camp people for the dispersal programme which was determined by the RRC team before having food for general distribution or Dollo and surrounding areas.


In Suftu representative of the town reported that 39 water pump were existing in Suftu PAs out of which 50% of the pumps were not operational due to lack of spare parts and expensive fuel. The irrigated maize plant along the Dawa river were suffering due to lack of sufficient water as the result of the carry out of river Dawa. The farmers strongly complained of high pest infestation and the absence of extension service from Ministry of Agriculture. The MOH clinic reasonably well stock with medicine. The clinic is getting drug supply from MSF Holland Dollo. The health and nutritional status reported to be satisfactory except periodical malaria case. The Ibrahim Foundation was running a feeding center for 1100 children in giving wet ration twice a day. Additionally the organization was conducting IPD and OPA programme in the town. There is a 1-6 classroom elementary school in the town. However, the school could not be functional due to the destructed doors and windows, lack of basic teaching materials and budget constraints for teachers salary. The condition of the livestock was satisfactory during the visit but the pasture area looks deteriorated. The farmers complained of common animal disease and the absence of vet. service in the area.


Fiko PA is about 40km west of Suftu. The irrigated maize plant in Nov. 1993 was on its maturity stage and will be expected to be harvested towards end of Feb. 1994. The farmers reported that they had a good maize harvest in Oct. 1993 and the land preparation for the rain fed area completed for the coming March planting season.


Dayatulle PA is located on 20km distance by the river bank of Dawa. The irrigated maize which was planted at the end of 1993 was on its maturity stage and harvest will be expected in March 1994. However, the maize highly affected by stockborer and the farmers requested pesticide. A total of 20 Mango trees were observed along the river and was reported by the PA chairman from 10-20MT of Mango could be harvested every year. Common animal disease and Gendi were affecting the livestock rampratly.


Sede PA is located 90km west of Suftu. Planting was not done during September and October due to the absence of the rain the irrigated maize plant which was observed along the Dawa river Sede was one of the PAs covered by the NCA rehabilitation programme seed and farm hand tools were distributed in late October 1993 by NCA. The church still have a plan to distribute seed and to donate one motor pump with one drum of fuel according to Dollo NCA field office information Sede PA was determined to be one of the NCA project area with more concentration.

The farmers reported that the rain fed area preparation was completed for the next March planting season and they have requested farming oxen and hoe with a blade. The livestock condition was satisfactory during the visit. However like the other places complaint about the absence of vet. service in the area was there. The MOH clinic in the town in getting a drug supply from MSF Holland Dollo. According to the health assistant information the health situation and nutritional status of the children is stable at the moment.

Melka Dida

Melka Dida is one of the PA in Dollo Odo woreda located 75km along on the west side of the Genale river. The PA used to be the RRC state farm during the Derg regime. The farmers reported that they had a good maize harvest in the last December 1993 from the irrigated 20 hectares of land. According to the chairman of the PA the land preparation of the rain fed area was completed. However, shortage of fuel, lack of pesticide and vet. service remained to be the problem of the area for a long time.


The PAs Boko/Mayo reported that planting was not done in September-October due to the absence of the rain. The land preparation for the next March planting season was on process. The major problem of the PA was reported to be potable water so the farmers requested a water well to be dug through FFW and Agricultural Inputs for the next March planting season.

Southwest Ogaden Chereti

The destructed houses in Chereti town during the clan war between Dawed and Afgab was rehabilitated completely. The woreda administration reported that the population of Chereti was increasing due to people who are coming from Hararghe due to water problem. 4MT of seed and 2464 different types of farm hand tools were distributed by Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) in October 1993. The distributed seed was planted in late October but it did not do well because of the absence of the rain. NCA is building a new office in Chereti to start rehabilitation programme with more concentration and in addition to that the church has a plan to donate one motor pump for Chereti farmers who are along the Weib river. The MOH Clinic health assistant reported that the health and nutritional situation of the community was satisfactory except malaria ......... cough. The clinic is getting drug supply from Kelel 5 Gode. The pasture area was deteriorating due to the absence of rain in September and October. However, the livestock condition during the visit was fairly satisfactory.


Hargele is 40km away east of Chereti. The major problem reported by the woreda administration was potable water. According to the woreda administration the community is ready to dig well through FFW if RRC could be able to provide the food. The MOH clinic is getting drug supply from Kelel 5 Gode and the clinic was well stock of medicine. The health assistant of the clinic reported that main cases in the area were pneumonia, malaria and TB.


The salt mining industry is becoming a means of income generating source for the woreda. The woreda administration charges Birr 200/truck from merchants who are coming from Negele and Kelel 5 Gode to collect salt. The main problem in Afder is lack of potable water. The water is coming from a place 7km away from the town and is sold at birr 4/20 litre jerican. Attempt was made by the woreda administration to dig 3 water wells in the town after they organized the community through FFW. But due to lack of food for the payment the activity was stopped after they dig only 3 metre deep. A 1-4 classroom elementary school was opened using a rented house by the woreda administration effort. However, due to shortage of basic teaching materials and budget constraint for teachers salary the practicality could not be materialized. According to the woreda administration hyenas and lions are attacking animals and human in the area.


A general food distribution was made for Bare town in late December 1993. The food was sent from Kelafo by Kelel 5 administration. The amount of food was 30mt of maize and 5 drums of oil. The woreda administration reported that there are 45 private hand dug wells, 2 hand pumps constructed by MSF and 1 motor pump constructed by UNICEF.

MOH hospital is getting drug supply from Kelel 5 Gode and MSF Holland Dollo. Hence, the clinic fairly stocked by medicine. In the hospital 3 Kwashikor 15 under weight children were observed under therapeutic feeding.


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