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Ethiopia: ACT Alliance Urges Global Response For Drought In Afar

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1.    Brief description of the emergency and impact 

The current drought in Afar National Regional State, Ethiopia, occurred as both the Karma (main) and Sagum (small) rains received all over the region was poor. As a result, the pasture condition has become very poor, the volume of rivers is reduced, and the water table of ponds and ground water has become very low.

Currently, the entire region is facing a very severe shortage of livestock feed. Serious water shortages have been reported from those areas known to be affected by chronic water deficit. The livestock body condition is very poor due to the poor availability of pasture and grazing land, and water for the last three months. There are reports of a high number of livestock deaths due to drought conditions in Zone 1 (Mille), 2 (Dallol), 3 (Buremudaytu, Gewane, Awash Fentale) and 4 (Awra, Teru, Yallo). 

There has been migration of livestock within and out of the Region in search of feed and water. Milk from cows, goats, and camels is the major component of nutrition of the affected community and at this critical time these animals are not able to give milk because they have no feed or water. Therefore, children, mothers, elderly people and the community as a whole are at risk. 

2.    Why is an ACT response needed? 

The livelihood of the pastoralists and agro-pastoralists in Afar region is seriously affected by the current drought. Therefore, urgent emergency response is critically needed to avoid further loss of livestock which are the livelihood source of pastoralists. Rapid intervention is needed to respond to the current situation in order to minimize livestock loss, and prevent possible deterioration of the nutritional situation for the communities reliant on livestock for food.  

3.    National and international response

The Regional Government has brought the issue to the attention of development and humanitarian actors operating in the region including EECMY-DASSC in order to avert the situation before the situation becomes catastrophic. Currently the government is supplying water to affected communities (Elida’ar, Kori, and Dubti). A multi-disciplinary team from EECMY-DASSC-NCES BO has conducted rapid assessments in the most affected communities in order to have first-hand information. 

4.    ACT Alliance response

EECMY-DASSC as member of ACT Alliance Forum in Ethiopia has conducted assessments and has project proposal at hand to respond.

5.    Planned activities

Based on initial rapid emergency assessment, EECMY-DASSC plans to respond by the provision of feed (hay/straw, and concentrates) in order to help livestock keep their body weight and productivity in terms of milk and meat. Drugs (antibiotics and anthelmintics) will also be provided to livestock in order to maintain their health.

6.    Constraints

The main constraints to an effective response include the huge amount of resources the project will require, coupled with poor infrastructure and logistics in the Region.

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Any funding indication or pledge should be communicated to the Head of Finance and Administration, Line Hempel (Line.Hempel@actalliance.org).