Ethiopia’s Drought: Challenges and Responses (Part I)

 

 

 

sorghum-bags

Sorghum bags being dispatched from Jijiga to drought affected areas. Support provided by USAID and other donors is helping WFP to provide food assistance to 1.5 million people in the Somali region.

Even with the herculean efforts being made by the Ethiopian Government and the international community to mitigate the humanitarian impact of the current drought — 2016 will be a tough year. Fortunately, experts are predicting that the all-important long, summer meher rains will likely be normal this year in the areas now suffering most from drought, but there is no doubt that the long-term impact of the El Niño weather phenomenon will continue to be felt in Ethiopia even after the meher crops are harvested.

The most pressing concern right now is meeting the nutrition needs of the population. According to the 2016 Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD), prepared by the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) together with international humanitarian donors, 10.2 million Ethiopians will require emergency food assistance this year. This number is in addition to the eight million chronically food insecure people who are already being supported through the Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP).

Fortunately, predictive technology like that used by the U.S. Government-supported Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) helped ensure that this crisis did not catch the GoE and the international community unawares. Additional food supplies for Ethiopia began arriving in the first half of last year, and we have met subsequent updates to the HRD with robust responses. Since October 2014, the U.S. has provided more than $435 million in humanitarian assistance to Ethiopia and other traditional donors are digging deep in their pockets to help out, while the UN is also mobilizing all of the resources it can muster. Even so, additional funds will be needed to ensure that nutrition needs are met.

The impact of drought, however, goes well beyond failed crops and subsequent food shortages.

Water is life

With water in short supply, people are being forced to walk greater and greater distances for their household needs. In many cases, children are being pulled from school by their parents to go with them to fetch water. With less water, people aren’t washing as frequently and hygiene suffers. When hygiene suffers—health suffers, illnesses spread. Livestock have been dying in the hundreds of thousands because their traditional grazing lands are barren, watering holes have dried up and feed is in short supply.  For those households dependent on the sale of their (healthy) animals to cover the costs of their needs, losing livestock is devastating. When education, health and household economic security suffer, long-term development gains are put at risk.

Fortunately, there is widespread consensus between the Government of Ethiopia and its international development partners that efforts must also be undertaken to ensure that development gains are not reversed. For its part, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has been working for years to build community and household resilience in drought prone areas and it is now pivoting some additional activities to address critical gaps in areas like health, education and household economic security.

Join us next week, as we look at what has been done to build household resilience and what is being done now to help Ethiopia withstand this drought, start the recovery process and further strengthen future resilience.

በኢትዮጵያ የተከሰተው ድርቅ፡-ተግዳሮቶች እና እየተሰጠ ያለው ምላሽ (ክፍል 1)

ድርቁ ምክንያት የተከሰተውን ሰብዓዊ ቀውስ ለመቋቋም መንግሥትና ዓለም አቀፉ ማኅበረሰብ በሰፊው ቢረባረቡም የተያያዝነው አዲሱ የአውሮፓውያኑ ዓመት (2016) እጅግ አስቸጋሪ ይሆናል፡፡ በእርግጥ እንደ መታደል ሆኖ ባለሙያዎች የዘንድሮው የክረምት ዝናብ በድርቁ በተጠቁ አካባቢዎች መደበኛ ሆኖ እንደሚቀጥል በመናገር ላይ ናቸው፡፡ ይሁንና በድርቁ ምክንያት የሚፈጠረው የረጅም ጊዜ ተፅዕኖ የመኸር ምርቱ ከተሰበሰበ በኋላም ጫና ማሳደሩን እንደሚቀጥልም ይጠቁማሉ፡፡

ለአሁኑ ግን አንገብጋቢው ጉዳይ በድርቁ ተጎጂ ለሆነው የኅብረተሰብ ክፍል የምግብ እርዳታ የማቅረቡ ሥራ ነው፡፡ የኢትዮጵያ መንግሥትና ዓለም አቀፍ ለጋሾች በጋራ ባወጡት የ2016 የሰብዓዊ እርዳታ መጠየቂያ ሰነድ መሠረት በዚህ ዓመት ብቻ 10.2 ሚሊዮን የሚሆኑ ዜጎች አስቸኳይ የምግብ እርዳታ ያስፈልጋቸዋል፡፡ ይህ ቁጥር እጅግ ድሃ የሆኑና በሴፊቲ ኔት መርሀ ግብር አማካይነት እየተረዱ ያሉትን 8 ሚሊዮን ዜጎችን አይጨምርም፡፡

በአሜሪካ መንግሥት የሚደገፈው የረሃብ አደጋ ትንበያ ሥርዓት (FEWS NET) የኢትዮጵያ መንግሥትም ሆነ ዓለም አቀፉ ማኅበረሰብ የተከሰተው ሰብዓዊ ቀውስ ዱብዳ እንዳይሆንባቸው በማስቻል ረገድ ከፍተኛ አስተዋጽኦ አበርክቷል፡፡ ተጨማሪ የምግብ እርዳታ ወደ ሀገር ውስጥ መግባት የጀመረው ባሳለፍነው የአውሮፓውያኑ ዓመት አጋማሽ ላይ ነበር፡፡ ይህን ተከትሎም በየጊዜው በወጡ የሰብዓዊ እርዳታ መጠየቂያ ሰነዶች መሠረት ጠንካራ ምላሽ ስንሰጥ ቆይተናል፡፡ ከጥቅምት ወር 2008 ዓ.ም. ወዲህ የአሜሪካ መንግሥት ለኢትዮጵያ የ435 ሚሊዮን ዶላር እርዳታ ያበረከተ ሲሆን፤ሌሎችም ለጋሾችና የተባበሩት መንግሥታት ድርጅት የበኩላቸውን ለማበርከት አስፈላጉ የሆኑ ግብዓቶችን በማሰባሰብ ላይ ይገኛሉ፡፡ ይሁንና አሁንም የምግብ እርዳታው በበቂ ሁኔታ መቅረብ መቀጠሉን ለማረጋገጥ ተጨማሪ ድጋፍ ያስፈልጋል፡፡

በድርቁ ምክንያት የተከሰቱ ችግሮች ግን ከመኸር አዝመራ አለመስመር እና ከምግብ እጥረት መኖር በላይም ናቸው፡፡

ውሃ ሕይወት ነው

ከፍተኛ የሆነ የውሃ እጥረት በመከሰቱ ሰዎች በየቀኑ የዕለት የውሃ ፍላጎታቸውን ለማሟላት የሚጓዙት ርቀት ከጊዜ ወደ ጊዜ እየጨመረ ነው፡፡ ወላጆች ልጆቻቸውን ከትምህርት ቤት በማስቀረት አብረዋቸው በውሃ መቅዳት ሥራ ላይ እንዲሰማሩ የሚያስገድዱባቸው በርካታ አጋጣሚዎች አሉ፡፡ የውሃ እጥረቱ ሰዎች በሚፈለገው መጠን የግል ንጽህናቸውን መጠበቅ አልቻሉም፡፡ ይህም ሲሆን ሰዎች የጤና እክል ይገጥማቸዋል፤በሽታም የመዛመት ዕድል ያገኛል፡፡ የግጦሽ መሬትና የውሃ ጉድጓዶች በመድረቃቸውና በቂ ግጦሽ ባለመኖሩ በመቶ ሺዎች የሚቆጠሩ ከብቶች ለሞት ተዳርገዋል፡፡ የሚያስፈልጋቸውን ወጪዎች ለመሸፈን በነዚህ እንስሳት ሽያጭ ሕይወታቸውን ለሚመሩ አባወራዎች የዚህ ዓይነቱ የከብቶች ሞት በጣም ልብ የሚሰብር ነው፡፡ ትምህርት፣ ጤና እና የቤተሰብ መተዳደሪያ አደጋ ላይ ሲወድቅ፤ የረጅም ጊዜ ልማትም አደጋ ላይ ይወድቃል፡፡

በዚህ ረገድ በኢትዮጵያ መንግሥትና በዓለም አቀፍ አጋሮቹ መካከል የልማት ትሩፋቶችን የማቆየት ሥራ መሠራት እንደሚኖርበት ስምምነት ላይ መደረሱ መልካም ነው፡፡ ከዚህ አንጻር የአሜሪካ ዓለም አቀፍ ልማት ኤጀንሲ ላለፉት በርካታ ዓመታት በድርቅ ተጠቂ አካባቢዎች የሚገኙ ማህበረሰቦችንና አባወራዎችን አቅም በመገንባት ላይ ያተኮሩ ሥራዎችን ሲሠራ ቆይቷል፡፡ አሁንም በጤና፣በትምህርት እና በቤተሰብ የመተዳደሪያ ዋስትና ዙሪያ የሚታዩ ክፍተቶችን ለመሙላት ተጨማሪ እንቅስቃሴዎችን በማካሄድ ላይ ይገኛል፡፡

በሚቀጥለው ሳምንት የቤተሰብ መተዳደሪያ ዋስትናን በማጠናከር፣ በድርቁ ላይና እና ኢትዮጵያ ድርቁን እንድትቋቋም፣ከችግሩ የምታገገምበትን ሂደት በምትጀምርበት ሁኔታ፣ እንዲሁም በቀጣይ ተጠናክራ ተመሳሳይ ክስተቶችን መቋቋም በምትችልባቸው መንገዶች ዙሪያ ስለምንሠራቸው ሥራዎች የምናቀርበውን ጽሑፍ እንዲያነቡ ከወዲሁ ግብዣችንን እናቀርባለን፡፡

 

2 thoughts on “Ethiopia’s Drought: Challenges and Responses (Part I)

  1. Reblogged this on agituwodajoblog and commented:
    “The impact of drought, however, goes well beyond failed crops and subsequent food shortages.”
    From my experience working with the NGO I formed in Ethiopia to empower women who fled the 1974-drought, the drought goes beyond its impact unless stopped. The U.S. government’s FEWS NET predicted the current draught early enough and has provided more than $435 million in humanitarian assistance to Ethiopia since October 2014. While I don’t know what preventive measures are being taken, I would like to give my views as follows:
    1. Replicating Arizona’s irrigation model to end Ethiopia’s recurrent-draught. The first dam on Colorado River turned the Yuma County of Arizona’s big desert that receives less than three inches of annual rainfall into one of the most efficient irrigation—for vegetable production in the world and third in the nation. The 230,000 acres of desert land utilized for agriculture in Yuma County are irrigated with Colorado River in which the Yuma Siphon delivers water through a huge tunnel built under the riverbed. Yuma County’s annual gross economic return is $3.2 billion, which is more than one-third of Arizona’s annual total of $9.2 billion. (http://www.visityuma.com/agritourism.html)
    Ethiopia is blessed with water resources—12 Rivers, that I believe could help in ending centuries-long cycles of draught if Arizona’s model of irrigation dam is implemented in areas prone to draught. It is my assumption that the Awash River, just 257 Kilometers from the Afar region, could be used for irrigation. For example, the Koka Dam on the Awash River, was completed in 1960 for energy production. Although information on water-use is not available there are sources revealing that the 2003 agricultural development in the Awash Valley is mainly dependent on water releases from Koka Dam. I think it is high time to give priority for irrigation dam. I am aware that this is very expensive but also believe that it is not greater than the money spent on humanitarian assistance toward the recurrent draughts.
    2. Strategize property rights in regards to land tenue. My comment in this from my book: The Secret to finishing Well : Quest for Authentic Leadership:
    “This is not to say that the ideology of the early settlers was socialism, that “they had all things in common.” With one heart and one accord, those men learned from the tyrannical rule of the past and said no to mixing even a drop of the old with the new. The old government’s system emphasized the divine right of kings and used religion to retain absolute power, but the new system with its new laws said each man was king of his own private property. The new did not assume kingship in order to gain lordship over all the land or to own land. As a result, property rights were instituted, entitling the people to land ownership and lordship over their own land. Although that is what made America the most successful nation on earth, the situation was not the same in Ethiopia. This was a country that tried to sustain the new on the old, even when trying to make reforms, and the old always persisted.” (Page 211 -212)
    “Land ownership remained critical to the Ethiopian government because of its economic and political importance. Emperor Amde Tsion’s fight for territorial expansion to the south in the fourteenth century was aimed at gaining control over the fertile land of the south. His strategies to achieve his goal were shrewdness, cleverness, and military power. Giving rewards in return for assistance was part of his cleverness in gaining power, and it worked better than mere military might. For example, Emperor Amde Tsion gave loyalists gult rights (land) in return for service. Emperor Menelik II paid large tributes to Emperor Yohannes in return for autonomy over Showa, which earned him the throne and made his territorial expansion successful. Abba Jifar paid Emperor Menilek II tributes and tax revenue in return for autonomy, and on and on it goes. The tributes always came from exploitation of the conquered south.” (Page 221)

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  2. Long live America!!!! The rest Rubbish!!!Long live America!!!! The rest Rubbish!!! MUST LISTEN this potbellied guy says he has no idea about Ethiopia when he was asked about “140 death” being UN having “base” in Ethiopia!! What an IRRISAPONSIBLE guy? EMBARRASSMENT FOR THE WORLD!!!! Long live America!!!!

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