18 August 2006

Ethiopia: Awash River Overflow Displaces 15,000 People, Washes Away 80 Animals

Addis Ababa — The overflow of Awash River that flooded three kebeles in Zone Three of Afar State Wednesday displaced more than 15, 000 people and washed away 80 domestic animals, the Amibara Woreda Administration said.

Woreda Deputy Chief Administrator Ibrahim Omer said the flood has also damaged cotton, maize, onion and sesame plantation grown on 400 hectares.

He said the defence forces, the community, civil servants as well as Awash Basin workers are undertaking preventive works against the possible expansion of flooding into eight kebeles and efforts are being made to assist the flood victims.

Awash Basin Director General Aseffa Herpasa said on his part that utmost efforts are being made to prevent the possible destruction of cotton, fruits and other developed on 20 hectares and belong to the government, investors and farmers.

Aseffa also called on the society, governmental and non-governmental organizations operating in the locality to reinforce preventive activities.

Meanwhile, the Dashen Brewery Share Company has donated 100,000 birr in support of citizens affected by the overflow of the Omo River.

The company has also expressed deep sorrow over the death of the flood victims.

Similarly, the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD), one of the opposition political parties, expressed sadness over the death of over 364 people due to the flooding.

CUD also called on the Ethiopian people to provide assistance to the victims of the overflow of the Omo River just like that of the flood victims in Dire Dawa City.

Pastoralist Forum-Ethiopia, a non-governmental organization, has also donated 60,000 birr to flood victims in various parts of the country while its workers decided to contribute 10 per cent of their monthly salary for the same cause.

The forum has expressed sadness over the loss of life caused by the flooding.

The forum told ENA yesteday that it is ready to deploy a team of professionals to the area.

The forum said it would further continue providing assistance to the victims if needed.

Similarly, various segments of the society have continued providing support for flood-displaced people.

Accordingly, two town administrations and 10 woredas of the Gujji Zone in Oromia State pledged to donate over 44,000 birr.

Similarly, the Gobba Town Administration in Bale Zone of the Oromia State handed over 10,000 birr to the Federal Disaster Prevention and Preparedness agency in support of the flood-affected people.

Workers of the Gobba town administration also pledged to donate 10 per cent of their monthly salary, while members of the towns' police force pledged to contribute three per cent of their salary.

Meanwhile, Central Health College pledged to donate 10,000 birr in cash and kind to the flood victims.

The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) has also decided to provide 250,000 birr to flood displaced citizens in South Omo Zone of the SNNPS.

CBE would provide the donation through the Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Agency.

Similarly, workers of the Office of the Prime Minister decided to donate 10 per cent of their monthly salary in support of the flood displaced citizens in various parts of the country.

According to a statement sent to ENA, the workers agreed to grant following a discussion on the issue same day.

The workers also expressed sadness over the loss of life due to the flooding in various parts of the country, the statement said.

Meanwhile, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) would further strengthen its support for the flood victims, its director said.

Glenn Anders has met and discussed with Mayor of the Dire Dawa City Interim Administration Abdulaziz Mohammed after visiting the magnitude of the accident in the city.

Anders stressed on the occasion that the US government through its various organizations would further enhance providing the necessary assistance to the flood victims, he said.

Mayor of the city on the occasion thanked USAID for the support it has provided so far and called on other international organizations to follow suit.

Participants of the joint discussion forum of the House of Federation and the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Council also expressed deepest sorrow over the death and displacement of people in various parts of the country due to over flooding.

In a statement the House of Federation sent to ENA yesterday the participants of the discussion wished solace for victims who lost their family and property in the flood accident that occurred in Dire Dawa City and South Omo.

Similarly, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Abune Paulos expressed his deepest sympathy over the death and displacement of people in South Omo Zone due to the flood caused by the overflowing of the Omo River.

In a statement Office of the Patriarch sent to ENA yesterday, Abune Paulos said as the accident was not anticipated, many people particularly children, mothers and the elderly are highly affected.

There is a religious and humane obligation to provide immediate assistance to the flood victims, he said.

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has been doing its level best to provide the necessary assistance to the victims and it would further strengthen the support, the Patriarch said adding the public should keep on assisting the flood victims.

The Patriarch wished solace to the bereaved families of victims, the statement said.

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