Ethiopia: Floods Response Plan , Belg/Gu Season Floods (May 2020)
(reliefweb)—According to the National Meteorology Agency’s mid-season belg/gu weather forecast, the seasonal rainfall is expected to peak in May in most belg/gu rain dependent areas of the country. The rain producing systems are anticipated to be strengthened across most belg/gu areas in May. Heavy rainfall is also likely to occur in parts of eastern, southern, south eastern and south western parts of the country.
During the months of April and May 2020, heavy and prolonged belg/gu rains led to flooding and landslide incidents in Somali, Oromia, Afar, SNNP and Dire Dawa. Latest National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC) reports indicate that close to 470,163 people are affected and 301,284 people are displaced by floods across the country.
This National Flood Response Plan aims to provide directions and guidance at federal level, while providing the template and directions for the regional and sub-regional partners to adapt to local contexts and come up with their own response plan. The document also aims to serve as the basis for continued monitoring, preparation of relevant multi-sectoral operational plans as required at national level and will be shared to regions for contextualizing the plans, employ local warning systems and structures and for preparedness and emergency precautionary measures.
In addition, the plan will help clusters establish a minimum level of multi-hazard preparedness as well as build the basis for a joint Government and humanitarian partners response strategy to meet the needs of affected people for the period of 3 months (AprilJune 2020).
Government and partners are responding to the needs of flood-affected and displaced people in Somali, Afar, SNNP and Oromia regions, albeit with limitations. The Somali Regional Government requested the federal Government through the NDRMC for military helicopters which will help move supplies to flood-affected communities in the hard-hit and unreachable areas of Shabelle zone. Afar Regional Disaster Prevention and Food Security Coordination Office (DPFSCO) is supporting only half of the flood-affected households with food and non-food items from prepositioned relief items and made a request to NDRMC for more food and NFI to assist the remaining half of the needs.
So far, NDRMC has allocated and dispatched 3,038 quintal of food (wheat, oil and dates) and ES/NFIs kits (Blanket, Plastic sheet, cup, plate, cooking pot,) to the flood impacted areas in SNNP and Afar region. Whereas, WFP and operational partners are providing food and ES/NFIs assistance in Somali and Oromia regions.
UNHCR Ethiopia Weekly Operational Update: 22 May 2020
Update on COVID-19:
As of 22 May, Ethiopia reported 429 confirmed COVID-19 cases up from 272 reported on 14 May 2020. Overall, 128 patients have recovered while the number of deaths remains at five.
So far, a total of 73,164 people have been tested for COVID-19 compared to 45,278 on 14 May. There are now confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in all regions, except Gambella and Harar.
The refugee camps and other locations sheltering refugees and asylum seekers have so far been spared from the infections. The Agency for Refugees and Returnee Affairs (ARRA),
UNHCR and partners continue to intensify efforts to prevent and limit the potential spread of the corona virus among the over 761,000 refugees in the country. UNHCR is supporting local and regional authorities in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in parts of the country that have been affected by conflict-induced displacement situations.
Prevention and response:
ARRA, UNHCR and other humanitarian actors continue delivering protection and life-saving assistance and key services to refugees, in addition to helping to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Campaigns informing refugees to wash their hands with soap and practice physical distancing continue – along with efforts to increase the supply of water, soap and handwashing stations. In the Jijiga camps, ARRA continues to raise awareness using loudspeakers mounted on vehicles. Refugees in Aw-barre and Sheder camps are receiving on average 20.5 litres of water per person per day. Additional measures are being taken to further increase the provision of water in all three camps – with the installation of six water tanks provided by UNICEF.
In the Melkadida camps, over 27,000 refugees attended hygiene promotion activities during the week. So far, 9,207 handwashing facilities have been installed in households across the five Refugee Camps in addition to 102 that have been installed in communal structures. UNHCR, with its partners have also installed WASH facilities in the Dollo Ado isolation center and donated office materials to the Dollo Ado and Bokolmanyo Woreda administrations. In addition, UNHCR and ARRA handed over a rented vehicle to the woreda authorities to support their COVID-19 surveillance activities.
Isolation and quarantine centres: Temporary facilities have been designated in each camp to isolate suspected cases of COVID-19, pending their transfer to the Government designated isolation and treatment centers. As most of these spaces are within existing structures, UNHCR, ARRA and other partners have started construction of semi-permanent structures that meet the required standards. Two such facilities are being constructed in Melkadida and Hilaweyn Refugee Camps in the Somali Region with the other three camps expected to follow subject to availability of funds. Similar facilities are also being constructed in Aw-barre and Sheder camps while the one for Kebribeyah camp is in the pipeline. The new structures are being built with a long-term vision of transforming them into training rooms or as additional treatment centers after the COVID-19 emergency. In camps in the Tigray Region, a technical team from ARRA and UNHCR is currently assessing the camp-based isolation and quarantine facilities to identify their capacities, including the number of beds, water and sanitation facilities and other materials that may be needed to adequately prepare for them to be functional.
Ethiopia Country Office – Humanitarian Situation Report (January to March 2020)
- Ethiopia’s humanitarian situation became increasingly precarious during the first quarter of 2020 due to a cholera outbreak, decimation of food crops by locusts, and the increasing threat of COVID-19. Simultaneously, the humanitarian response has become more difficult to deliver due to access constraints caused by insecurity and network connectivity challenges.
- There have been more than 2,725 cases of cholera in 2020 and 44 deaths. UNICEF is providing cholera treatment kits, rehabilitating water sources to make them safe for drinking and non-food items such as soap that reached 54,616 people in March. Some 44,334 people received water treatment materials.
- 5,361 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in cholera-affected areas in Guji benefited from installation of 1,372 pit latrines in February, and 6,279 people were provided with new and rehabilitated latrines in March to reduce open defecation.
- Ethiopia is experiencing its worst desert locust invasion in 50 years (FAO January 2020 Locust Update) that in a best-case scenario will make an additional 199,000 people food insecure. UNICEF estimates that the subsequent effects of the locust invasion will increase severe acute malnutrition (SAM) by approximately 70,000 children under the age of five (a 15 per cent increase in the SAM caseload).
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
The Ethiopia Public Health Institute (EPHI) had reported 29 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the end of March in Addis Ababa, Oromia, Dire Dawa and Amhara, with 314 probable cases and no deaths. On 16 March, the Ministry of Education announced the closure of all 42,000 schools due to the COVID-19 outbreak, leaving over 23 million pre-primary, primary, secondary students in need of quality educational services.
Since January, 2,725 cholera cases have been reported in SNNPR, Oromia and Somali regions, with 44 deaths.
Circulating Vaccine-Derived Polio Virus-type2 (cVDPV2) was reported from West Arsi Zone in Oromia Region with the onset reported from 23 February. The Vaccine-Derived Polio Virus-type2 (VDPV2) case reported from Shashemene Town is also classified as cVDPV2, making a total of six outbreak clusters in Ethiopia since May 2019. A total of 23 cVDPV2 and three VDPV2 cases from human samples (including contacts) have been reported in Somali, Oromia and SNNP regions, in addition to three cVDPV2 isolates from two Environmental Surveillance Sites in Addis Ababa. The nationwide measles and polio vaccination campaigns planned for April have been postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 outbreak, affecting approximately 17 million children. A yellow fever outbreak was reported on 5 March in SNNPR, with 85 cases and four deaths reported. Details of the subsequent UNICEF-supported vaccination campaign are provided in the health section.
As the dry season continues in many parts of Ethiopia, water shortages remain critical across some regions affecting 1.2 million people including an estimated 685,620 children. There is a need for safe drinking water, water treatment materials, and water tanks to prevent potential cholera outbreaks.
The unstable security situation due to intercommunal violence in areas of Benishangul-Gumuz, Oromia (Bale, Borena, East Guji and East Hararghe zones), Somali (West Imay and Kebridehar woredas) and SNNPR (Bensa Woreda) is hampering emergency assessments of conflict and potentially creating new displacement sites. Humanitarian operations in boundary areas between Guji and Borena zones are heavily constrained by insecurity. Clashes in Gumi Eldelo are reported daily, while in Liban, few kebeles are accessible and others inaccessible since mid-2019. Limited access has compounded critical humanitarian activities such as malnutrition screening. Projects in health, nutrition, WASH, and NFI distributions in Gora Dola, Gumi Eldelo, Liban, and Saba Boru woredas are temporarily suspended, impacting thousands of IDPs (23,000 in Gumi Eldelo, 18,000 in Liban, 5,000 in Gora Dola, and 3,000 in Saba Boru).