Disaster in Borena zone could worsen unless emergency aid reaches the area
By Staff reporter
ADDIS ABABA – Drought in the Borena Zone of Oromia Regional State threatens lives of over 800,000 people and over 2.3 million livestock have so far perished due to the natural catastrophe, sources said.
Sources indicate that people in the zone are suffering from lack of water for failing to get rain for the past five rainy seasons.
The situation that exposed millions of people to face the threat of starvation is said to require emergency response.
Livestock are hit hardest in the area and over 800,000 people are in need of emergency relief aid like food, safe drinking water and medical care, according to sources.
Some are expressing concern that due attention has not been given to the issue by the government and relevant bodies. Some people and opposition parties are voicing concerns regarding the drought in that part of the country.
The Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice, said in its statement that though regional and federal governments are making efforts to respond to the devastating humanitarian consequences of the drought in Borena, sufficient attention, which considers the number of compatriots affected by the catastrophe, has not yet been given.
A joint statement of the UN World Meteorological Agency and humanitarian partners (that embraces OCHA, WFP, Climate Hazards Center, UK-aid, Mercy Corps, IOM and others) has alerted countries about efforts needed in response to draught in the Horn of Africa. The joint statement released on February 16/2023 states that the Horn of Africa is facing an unprecedented, three-year drought, with catastrophic humanitarian impacts.
The alert further stated that the consequences of the multi-year drought will continue in 2023, leaving communities in urgent need of assistance. “Seasonal forecasts suggest a reasonable chance that the upcoming March–May rains will again underperform which, should it occur, would be an unprecedented sixth poor season. …Communities will need years to recover from this historically severe drought.” Therefore, the statement warned governments that regardless of seasonal performance, humanitarian needs will remain high in 2023, and multi-sectoral assistance must be scaled up in order to save lives.
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