Flood Displaces over 92,000 People in Ethiopia's Afar, Oromia Regions

By Staff Reporter

Awash-River-FloodSeptember 2, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- More than 92,000 people in Ethiopia's Afar and Oromia regional states have been displaced by floods as the Awash River flows out of its riverbank due to heavy rains.

Head of the Afar Region’s Disaster and Risk Management Commission Mahi Ali told local media that 14 districts in the region are hit by the flood as the river runs out of its scheme.

According to the head, the flood has affected at least 120,000 people and displaced more than 72,000 of them.

The head, however, affirmed that human fatalities did not occur as a result of the ongoing flood, which was exacerbated by the torrential rains in the rivers’ tributary areas.

The Awash River is among the biggest rivers in Ethiopia whose course is entirely contained within the boundaries of Ethiopia. The river is also one of the highly irrigated throughout its riverbank along the southeastern part of Ethiopia until it ends its course on a small lake located on the Ethiopia-Djibouti border.

Even though swift measures helped local communities avoid human injuries, the floods have caused the death of animal lives and loss of harvest in some parts of the affected areas.

“The flood has destroyed tomato, onions. Maize crops that were planted on 21,000 hectares of land, Mahi said.

The federal government along with the regional states and NGOs is providing emergency food and non-food assistance to the affected people in Asayita, Afambo and Dubti zones in the region.

He said efforts are underway to rescue victims who are surrounded by water in Gelealo district and Debel and Gefremo localities using boats and helicopters.

According to Mahi, there are high risks of flood in Awash Fentale, Gewane, Gelalo, Amibara, Dulcha districts due to the high volume of water being discharged from Koka and Kesem dams and heavy rain in the high lands of the country.

The same flood hit the worst Metehara and Wonji towns in the east Shoa zone of the Oromia region.

Mayor of the Metehara town Tadele Dirirsa said the flood is the most severe ever occurred in the towns.

No casualty reported yet in Oromia towns too due to the flood which caused the death of cattle and severe property damage

The flood displaced an estimated 20, 000 people who are being relocated to the neighboring Oromia localities.

Ethiopia is prone to recurrent floods every year during the major rainy season, particularly between June and September, which threatens the lives and livelihoods of thousands of people.

The Afar and Oromia regional states Disaster and Risk Management Commission and other government agencies have urged communities that are prone to flooding to keep vigilant as Ethiopia’s rainy season continues.

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