By Addis Standard Staff
Addis Abeba, October 16/2021 – Some 6,398 children, 9,078 women and 2,226 elderly people are among thousands facing severe health problems associated with malnutrition following drought caused by lack of rain in Borana, Oromia regional state.
The drought has also led to the death of 7,540 cattle, up from recent report, which put the number at 4,164. Currently, some 13,641 cattle are moving around with the assistance of humans because the drought has weakened them, according to Reeba Odda, Secretariat of the Borana Zone Administration.
Reeba further said that some 188,864 people have received food assistance; but more than 166,000 people are still in need food assistance. Around 539,679 people are facing water shortages of whom only 177,553 have access to water distributed using water tanks.
Abadir Abdo, Oromia Regional State Disaster Management Commissioner, on his part said that regular food support to the zone has been provided but confirmed that 166,136 people in the zone are still in need of additional food assistance due to the drought. Abadir said the Commission has requested the Federal Disaster Risk Management Commission to send the necessary additional food aid to the zone.
“…twice a year, in March and August, we used to get rain. Currently, we’re not getting enough rain which has caused the death of many cattle. In all woredas of the Borana zone, there is no rain, grass and the land is very dry. People are very terrified.”
Fukaro Goru a resident of Arero Woreda in Borana Zone told media early this week that “because it didn’t rain during the past few months, many cattle have been dying in many areas of the zone,” adding that “twice a year, in March and August, we used to get rain. Currently, we’re not getting enough rain which has caused the death of many cattle. In all woredas of the Borana zone, there is no rain, grass and the land is very dry. People are very terrified.”
Oromia regional state Water and Energy Bureau Head, Million Bekele, on his part said that the demand for water due to this year’s drought was higher than the current supply, and added that 12 trucks of water have been sent to the zone so far.
“…a committee composed of professionals was set up to research the type of fodder as well as suitable solutions.”
Amina Abdurahman (PhD), the head of Oromia regional state livestock and fisheries agency, confirmed the report and said that the regional government was aware of the drought in the Borana Zone. “The regional council has approved the budget allocated for fodder but the purchase is awaiting paperwork.” She added that, “a committee composed of professionals was set up to research the type of fodder as well as suitable solutions,” promising, “The process will be completed soon and fodder will be made available in less than a week.”
Late in September, residents of the Borena zone who spoke to Addis Standard said that food aid by humanitarian agencies was not consistently delivered for the past two years in the arid areas of the zone where the largely pastoralist community is suffering from food insecurity related to drought and shortage of fodder. An administrator of one of the woredas in the zone admitted to Addis Standard the obstruction of aid by local officials, “We investigated the issue and took measures against the perpetrators. We addressed the issue by holding responsible those who took part in obstruction.” AS
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