By Staff Reporter
ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – The Disaster Prevention and Food Security Commission of the Amhara Region has revealed that the ongoing drought in eight Zones of the Amhara Region is expected to worsen in December 2023.
According to a report by the Amharic Weekly Reporter published on Sunday, communities and domestic animals in certain Woredas of North, Central, and South Gondar Zones, as well as North and South Wollo, Waghimra, and Oromo Ethnic Administrations, are facing problems due to lack of rainfall.
The most severely affected Zones, primarily located along the Tekeze River Basin, include North Gondar, Wag Himra, and North Wollo. Additionally, four Weredas in the North Shewa Zone are facing challenges due to bird infestations damaging crops,according to Deacon Tesfawe Abate, the regional disaster prevention and food security commissioner.
Tesfawe emphasized that over one million fellow citizens residing in these eight Zones urgently require food aid. A delegation from the Region will travel to Addis Ababa to coordinate aid collection efforts.
Furthermore, Tesfawe noted that the Deputy Chief Administrator of the Education Bureau and other leadership members will travel to Addis Ababa to gather resources and raise awareness among concerned entities with the aim of addressing the drought in a sustainable manner.
He mentioned that previously approved reserve aid from the government is being distributed, and they are in the process of procuring additional supplies using the approved regional government budget.
When asked about the estimated amount of aid needed to assist those affected by the drought, the commissioner stated that they are unable to provide an estimate at this time.
Tesfawe highlighted the dire impact of the drought on animals in the region and expressed concerns that if the situation persists, people may face the risk of starvation. Given the widespread nature of the drought across the Region, citizens have expressed fears of severe food shortages.
He explained that security concerns have impeded the regional government’s efforts to gather information and provide assistance, particularly in drought-affected areas.
In light of these circumstances, it is anticipated that the drought situation in the Zones will persist until December, necessitating continuous support from the community.
Atalel Abohai, a senior public relations expert from the National Disaster Risk Management Commission, commented that drought has affected the Amhara Region, with Wag Himra and Janamora areas being the hardest hit.
While these areas used to receive assistance from non-governmental organizations, aid provision ceased eight months ago, according to Atalel Abohai.
He mentioned that the government has provided aid to four million citizens, compensating for the discontinuation of aid by organizations, including those in the aforementioned areas.
In addition to the Amhara Region, aid has been dispatched to other drought-prone regions, which will distribute food supplies to those identified as the most vulnerable.
Atalel highlighted Janamora as one of the severely drought-affected areas in the Amhara Region, with 86,000 people urgently requiring food assistance.
Despite the regional government’s challenges in addressing the situation due to security crisis in the region, the National Disaster Risk Management Commission claimed that aid delivery has not been disrupted by the security crisis.
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