Humanitarian Aid Reaching Drought Affected Areas: Commission
ADDIS ABABA – The National Disaster Risk Management Commission in collaboration with the regional governments is supplying urgent humanitarian aid and fodder to the drought affected areas.
In an exclusive interview with ENA Commissioner Mitiku Kassa said the government is working to meet humanitarian demands in the affected areas that put the lives of 5.6 million people at risk.
“Taking into consideration of the coming two dry months in the drought affected areas, government has finalized preparations and begun supplying food and non-food aids,” Mitiku said.
Following the good rainy season in the months between June to September, the main crop season in crop growing areas, many areas have managed to ensure their food security.
This has led to the decline of number of people who seek humanitarian aid to 5.6 million from the 10.2 million in the previous year.
Now, the drought is mainly confined to pastoralist areas where the October to December rains, expected in the southeastern areas of the country, remain below normal.
A team of veterinarians from the Ministry of Livestock and Fishery and the regional bureaus are giving their full support in the drought affected areas while the food supply is in full momentum, Mitiku added.
Prevention of drought induced risks on animals is comprehensively going on by providing fodder, mobile veterinary services, as well as commercial and slaughter destocking centers, he pointed out.
“Government and the regional states up to the woreda level are providing proportional humanitarian response to the prevailing problem. On top of that, since the rain is expected to start on March in the areas, an integrated work is crucial in the coming two months,” he said
So far 148,000 bales of fodder have already been supplied by the federal and regional governments in South Omo Zone and five water tankers are also in service to providing potable water to the affected people.
Similarly, 50,000 bales of fodder, 10,000 quintals of nutritious food in addition to other food supplies have been supplied to the Ethiopian Somali region.
Taking into consideration of the current situation in the Ethiopian Somali region, in which nine of the 11 zones have affected by the drought, 100,000 bales of fodder and 45,000 kits of non-food item is on its way to the region, Mitiku added.
In order to effectively curb the drought, command posts for early warning; monitoring and evaluating humanitarian aid needs; and warehouses have already established close to affected areas.
In relation to the marketing link of livestock in the drought affected pastoralist areas, commercial and slaughter destocking is taken as a means to alleviate livestock loss.
Efforts are also being underway to keep children at schools in the affected areas through school feeding programs.
A drought assessment conducted on 54 zones in nine regional states, shows that the shows number of affected people has dropped to 5.6 million, which is a 44 percent reduction compared to last year.
The number of affected woredas that need urgent humanitarian response has also declined to 192 from the previous 216, showing a 12 per cent reduction.