Widespread floods have affected more than 240 000 people in the Afar region of Ethiopia, resulting in many losing their homes and cattle, an official has said.
The flood occurred after the region’s main waterway and sources, Awash River and Koka and Tendaho dams, had burst their banks after heavy rains in the highlands of the country. The region’s Disaster Prevention and Food Security Coordinating Office Head, Mohammed Hussien told journalists on Sunday, 20 September 2020, that the flood hit more than 80 localities which are located within 17 districts.
Hussien said 144 000 residents of the region were displaced due to the flood, which also damaged crops on 41 000 hectares of land. At least 21 000 cattle have been washed away by the floods, which authorities described as the worst ever the region has seen.
More than 1 000 people were stranded by the flood, and are still inaccessible, while at least 48 000 people, including 20 000 children, have lost their homes and are currently unsheltered. The flood has left 123 763 people in need of emergency food assistance, amounting to 18 560 quintals, while another 84 000 mothers and children are requiring medicines.
According to Hussien, 21 624 quintals of food aid has been distributed to 116 662 flood-stricken people. He said the regional and federal governments, as well as various NGOs, are providing support to the affected people, but have only managed to meet 40 percent of the total demand.