Ethiopia Hit by Flooding in North, South and East

At least 800 people are feared dead because of flooded rivers in several parts of the country. In the far north, thousands of people are battling floods along the Tegere River in Tigray province.

Some 364 people were reported to have died in southern Ethiopia, near the border with Sudan and Kenya. Flooding around the Omo River continues to spread, and authorities think that as many as 1,000 people may have died. More than 10,000 people have been displaced, and at least 30,000 are in need of emergency help.

On 6 August 2006, the Dechatu River burst its banks in the city of Dire Dawa near Somalia. Home to about 400,000 people, it is Ethiopia’s sixth-largest city, about 525 kilometers east of the capital Addis Ababa. Entire buildings were destroyed in some cases and sweeping away homes, trees and fences. More than 350 people are reported to have been killed and about 3,000 others displaced by flash floods. The death toll may climb higher with as many as 300 people missing. Altogether, the devastating floods left close to 20,000 people homeless in eastern Ethiopia.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned that the risk of flooding remains high because heavy rain continues to fall in the highlands outside Dire Dawa. United Nations relief agencies are rushing emergency food stocks and supplies such as buckets and water purification tablets.

Over the past two years flooding has afflicted several areas of eastern and southern Ethiopia, killing hundreds and displacing hundreds of thousands.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, “Horn of Africa: Appeal for Assistance as Flood Toll Rises,” IRIN News, 17 August 2006.
Link: www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=55157&SelectRegion=Horn_of_Africa&SelectCountry=HORN%20OF%20AFRICA.
“Hundreds Dead in Ethiopian Floods,” BBC News Online, 16 August 2006.
Link: news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4797415.stm.
UN News Service, “Annan Pledges Continued UN Aid to Victims of Ethiopia’s Deadly Floods,” New York, 15 August 2006.
Link: www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=19522&Cr=ethiopia&Cr1=.
UN News Service, “UN Food Agency Helps 10,000 Flood Survivors in Ethiopia,” New York, 11 August 2006.
Link: www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=19476&Cr=Ethiopia&Cr1=.
UN News Service, “Flash Floods in Ethiopia Prompt Humanitarian Response from UN Agencies,” New York, 9 August 2006.
Link: www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=19456&Cr=ethiopia&Cr1=.
World Food Program, “Ethiopian Floods Drag Whole Families from their Homes,” 9 August 2006.
Link: www.wfp.org/english/?ModuleID=137&Key=2203.