Ethiopia – 144,000 Displaced by Awash River Flooding in Afar Region

The government in Ethiopia reports that unprecedented flooding caused by the overflow of the Awash River has displaced more than 144,000 persons in Afar Regional State.

According to state disaster officials, the overflow of Kesem, Tendaho, and Koka dams on the Awash River were the cause of displacement of more than 144,000 people.

Flooding in the state has affected 240,000 people, demolished 105 schools, 200 rural roads, 6 bridges, and killed over 21,000 domestic animals. Flooding has also damaged around 60,000 hectares of crops and farmland.

Over 1 Million Affected by Floods Since July

Unusually heavy Kiremt season (June to September) rainfall triggered flooding in Ethiopia from late July. By early August the UN reported 30,000 people had been displaced, with many of them in the Afar region after the overflow of Awash River. The regions of Gambella, Oromia, SNNP and later Amhara were also affected.

In a report of 06 September UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said “heavy summer season (June-September) rains continue to cause flooding in many parts of the country. Some 500,000 people were so far affected, including some 300,000 displaced.”

The most recent figures from the country’s National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC) indicate that close to 1,017,854 people are affected by flooding and 292,863 people are displaced across the country. As many as 447,565 people are affected in Oromia, 144,490 in Amhara, 140,892 in Somali, and 90,121 in SNNP.