The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported on 09 May that almost 20,000 families have been displaced by “exceptional and extensive flooding across Ethiopia from the current Belg/spring rains.”
Flooding has hampered food distribution to those affected by the severe drought. Spring rains seriously hamper dispatching of food and nutrition supplies to the Somali region. Afdem, Liban and Sitti zones have been mainly inaccessible
Slow Onset Natural Disaster
OCHA blame the dramatic swing from drought to floods on the 2015-2016 El Niño.
“The El Niño global climatic event has wreaked havoc on Ethiopia’s summer rains. This comes on the heels of failed spring rains, and has driven food insecurity, malnutrition and water shortages in affected areas of the country. A well-coordinated response is already underway and expanding rapidly, although the scale of the developing emergency exceeds resources available. Given the lead times necessary for the procurement of relief items, the Government and its international partners have called for early action on this slow onset natural disaster.”
120,000 People Displaced
International Organization of Migration (IOM) say that around 120,000 people or 19,557 households have been displaced since the start of the Belg rainy season. The affected regions include Afar (671 households displaced), Amhara (420), Harari (287), Oromia (5,322), SNNP (2,972) and Somali (9,885).
A flood contingency plan, prepared by OCHA says that almost 500,000 people are likely to be affected by flooding during the Belg rainy season, with almost 200,000 expected to be displaced.
Deadly Floods and Landslides in South
At least 41 people have been killed when the heavy rain triggered a landslide in Kindo Didaye woreda (district), Wolaita zone, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) on 09, May 2016.
In Bale zone, Oromia Region, floods have killed at least 9 people and caused severe damage to livestock and crops.
Ethiopia’s National Meteorology Agency (NMA) reports that intensfied rains was observed across much of Oromiya, Amhara, SNNPR and other areas over the last few days. During a 24 hour period to 10 May, Gambela recorded 83.7mm of rain, Kachisi 63mm, Dembi Dolo 43mm, Cherecher 40.5, and Seru 39.5mm
NMA warn that further heavy rain is likely. In the forecast of 12 May, 2016, NMA said:
“The flow of moist air from southern Indian Ocean towards the country is expected to continue in similar strength across western half, central and eastern parts of Ethiopia. Therefore, there is an increased chance to enhance rainfall across the aforementioned areas of the nation. Hence, Oromiya, Amhara, Tigray, SNNPR, Gambella, Benishangul-Gumuz, Afar, Somali, Dire Dawa and Harai are expected to have isolated to fairly widespread rain showers with thundery heavy rainshowers…”
Reporting by Richard Davies, with additional reporting by Abdirashid M. Dahir.
B - Bale zone, Oromia Region
Eyl, Nugaal region - May 9 to May 10, 2016
Kindo Didaye, Wolaita zone, SNNPR
Bale zone, Oromia Region