from ADANE BIKILA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA, (CAJ News) – FLOODS have left 45 people dead in Ethiopia as East Africa bears the brunt of climate change.
More than 35 000 households are displaced, over 23 000 livestock perished and more than 99 000 hectares of farmland destroyed in the Somali region alone.
Floods have caused widespread destruction and displacement in Afar, Oromia, Somali Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples’ as well as South West Ethiopia Peoples’ regions.
The flooding has deepened the vulnerability of populations whose resilience is already highly affected by the impact of a prolonged drought in 2020, as the areas most affected by flooding and drought overlap.
“The floods have also exacerbated health risks, including cholera,” said a spokesperson of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).
Cholera has claimed the lives of 94 people since the outbreak began in August last year.
This is rated the longest cholera outbreak that is spreading unabated.
Meanwhile, measles outbreak in drought-affected areas and rising malaria cases in flood affected areas are additional health risks challenging the overstretched health response.
The short rainy season between February and April has come as a double edged sword.
While improving the drought conditions in terms of agricultural activities, availability of water supply for humans and livestock, and pastures, it has also caused loss of life and livelihoods, destruction of homes, schools, health facilities and thousands of farms with crops washed away, increased health risks and contamination of water sources.
“The floods also disrupted children’s education as they are forced to stay out of school,” the UN humanitarian spokesperson stated.
– CAJ News