Some 33 people have died due to floods in southeastern parts of Ethiopia since October this year, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).
“Floods, since rains started in October, have affected at least 763,100 people across several regions and 33 lives lost in the Somali region alone, and immense damage has been brought to health, transportation, school infrastructure and livelihoods,” the UNOCHA said in an Ethiopia flash floods update issued late Thursday.
Noting that resources and the response capacity are limited, the UNOCHA said the current response in flood-affected areas is not meeting the scale of demands for lifesaving assistance.
“Urgent mobilization of resources and scaled-up response are required,” it warned.
It said only 8 percent of over 611,000 affected people in Ethiopia’s Somali region were reached. It said many flood areas remain inaccessible and hard to reach as multiple routes and bridges are damaged.
In the Somali region, most public facilities, amounting to thousands, including schools, health clinics/posts, community centers, water intakes, wells and others, have been damaged or destroyed by the flood in the most affected areas.
The most urgent needs are evacuation operations mainly for those stranded, emergency shelter, food, health and water, alternative care options for unaccompanied and separated children, and other protection services, as well as water, sanitation and hygiene response.
The months of October to December constitute an important rainfall season contributing to 20-70 percent of the annual total rainfall, particularly in the equatorial parts of the Horn of Africa.
The UNOCHA warned that there is an exceptionally high forecast probability of experiencing wetter than normal rainfall conditions in southern Ethiopia. It said elevated rainfall during the season is already contributing to flooding in areas prone to floods.