IRC Helps Communities Hit by Floods in Western Ethiopia
The flooding, which started at the end of July, is reported to have affected more than 94,000 people and displaced almost 36,000. Many people whose homes have been flooded have been forced to stay in local schools or with nearby relatives.
The IRC is distributing 2,498 blankets, 2,928 cooking pots, and almost 17,000 other basic kitchen utensils to vulnerable households living in Abobo, Gambella, Itang and Akobo.
Mamo Dessie, the IRC’s emergency rapid response coordinator in Ethiopia, says, “Distribution remains difficult as people have been displaced over a wide area and the flooding has made many roads impassable. The only means of transport to areas such as Akobo, for example, is along the Baro River by boat.”
The flooding now seems to be subsiding but the IRC continues to monitor the situation closely. We are in constant communication with fellow aid organizations and are coordinating distributions with ZOA Refugee Care and the Ethiopian Red Cross Society’s Gambella branch.
Flooding, and in particular flash flooding, is a perennial problem in Gambella because rains from the western highlands of Ethiopia flow down to Gambella causing local rivers to burst their banks.
The IRC has therefore set up an emergency response fund, allowing our teams to intervene immediately if and when disaster strikes. The fund – supported by the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance – will also be used to respond to other emergencies such as potential outbreaks of acute watery diarrhea or malnutrition across Ethiopia.
Mamo explains, “The emergency response fund ensures that the IRC can respond immediately and effectively when disaster strikes; we can get help to those who need it when they need it without delay.”
The IRC has been working in Ethiopia since 2000. We currently assist 335,000 Ethiopians with services including water, sanitation, agricultural activities and health. Our teams also provide aid to 56,000 refugees in six camps, including education, water, sanitation and health.How to Help
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