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News: Drought wrecks havoc in Tigray’s Abergelle Yechila and Atsbi districts, claims 190 lives

At least 132,000 hectares of farmland in Tigray, covering the south, southeast, and eastern zones, have been impacted by drought (Photo: Tigrai Television/Facebook)

Addis Abeba – The severe drought has resulted in the deaths of 190 people in two districts: Abergelle Yechila in the Central Tigray Zone and Atsbi in the Eastern Zone of Tigray.

Getachew Tafese, acting head of health at Abergelle Yechila district, in an interview with Addis Standard, conveyed the urgency of the situation, highlighting the outcomes of a critical survey conducted by professionals and a committee established by the district.

Getachew reported a distressing toll, indicating the loss of 83 lives and an additional 297 individuals in critical conditions, teetering on the brink of severe health deterioration. Moreover, he emphasized that over 95,000 people are currently at significant risk and urgently await essential humanitarian aid to avert further tragedies.

During an interview with state media, Gebrehiwot Gebregzabher, the Commissioner of the Disaster Risk Management Commission of Tigray, addressed the severity of the crisis resulting from the severe drought. He underscored that the dire situation has affected three zones in Tigray—the south, southeast, and eastern Tigray zones, encompassing 12 districts. Furthermore, specific areas within the western and central zones of Tigray have also grappled with this profound challenge.

Gebrehiwot further indicated that comprehensive surveys are currently ongoing across 19 districts in Tigray. Teams comprising professionals from both federal and regional governments have dedicated a month to meticulously assessing the gravity of the situation and its far-reaching implications.

Last week, Addis Standard reported about the devastating impact of the drought in Atsbi district. Birhane Gebre, head of the economic cluster of Atsbi district, confirmed the devastating impact of the drought, revealing that at least 107 individuals succumbed to hunger-related complications, underscoring the severity of the crisis in the region.

At least 132,000 hectares of farmland in Tigray, covering the south, southeast, and eastern zones, have been impacted by drought, endangering a crucial harvest in a region already devastated by war. Tigray Interim Cabinet allocates 50 million birr for emergency life insurance. Gebrehiwot called on entrepreneurs, Tigrayan diasporas, and other concerned bodies to provide urgent support.

According to Eyasu Abrha, the head of the Tigray Agriculture Bureau, out of the total 1.3 million hectares, only about 660,000 hectares were cultivated in the region, mainly due to persistent drought. AS

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