Addis Ababa February 16/2017 Humanitarian assistance to the drought affected areas is being pursued in accordance to the plan and no challenge has so far been encountered in providing food aid, said Mitiku Kassa, Commissioner of Disaster Risk Management.
In an exclusive interview with ENA, the Commissioner said except to the additional costs that are being incurred to reach the dispersed number of people in the stations no challenge has so far been encountered in providing food aid.
The Commissioner said, “Food and non-food responses to the drought affected areas are prudently underway by dispersing the budget allocated while the regional states, business persons, private sector and the general public are playing a key role.”
But the dispersed pastoralist settlements make the task of supplying water difficult, which he said, forced the government to search for other mechanisms.
The government is working to meet the water demands of pastoralist communities through rationing as a temporary measure and excavation of water holes to resolve the problem permanently.
Gathering the pastoralists and their livestock temporarily at center points and relocating them to places where water and grass is available is applying to effectively meet their water demands, he added.
As water facilities are not proportional with the number of people who need access, excavating massive water holes in the nearby areas is one of the directions set and is under implementation.
As pastoralist communities own a large number of livestock and it is challenging to supply adequate fodder and water for all, destocking has been used as a means to minimize animal loss.
The destocking of animals has been underway in two ways, by supplying the animals directly to the market, and slaughter the animals and supply the meat to universitie, institutions and mega projects that comprise a larger number of employees and communities.
In addition to supplying to the institutions, local communities in the Ethiopian Somali regional state have started to use the meat as supplementary food.
“for instance, more than 2,000 goats are being slaughtered where the meat is being dried and supplied to the people as a supplementary nutritious food every day, which is a good thing that the other regional states should share”, Mitiku said.
The government has allocated 47 million USD to mitigate drought in pastoral areas that left 5.6 million people depend on aid. The country needs 922 million USD to provide humanitarian aid for the stated number of affected people.
The governments of Sweden and Canada are among the first that has pledged 10 million Euros and 16.1 million USD respectively for the humanitarian response intervention.
Mitiku said that the government will continue to play its leading role in curbing the drought by allocating huge amount of money and mobilizing resources, as it did in last year’s El Nino induced drought.