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News: Flood kills 33 people in Somali region, causes unprecedented crisis across Ethiopia

A startling 65% of the land area in the Somali region’s Dasenech district has been inundated, making emergency teams’ tasks more difficult (Photo: Somali Fast Info/Facebook)

Addis Abeba – Ethiopia is currently facing an unprecedented crisis as an alarming 760,000 individuals endure the devastating impact of heavy rains and floods. A recent report from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) highlights the loss of 33 lives in the Somali region.

In the Somali region alone, more than 611,000 affected people remain a major concern, with a mere 8% receiving crucial assistance. Relief efforts are being hindered by the inaccessibility of numerous flood-affected areas, primarily due to the extensive damage inflicted on routes and bridges, as noted by OCHA in its report.

In the Dasenech district of the Somali region, a staggering 65% of the land area has succumbed to flooding, intensifying the challenges faced by response teams.

With over 67,000 affected individuals, the Oromia region is grappling with limitations in governmental and partner capacities, which further hinder an effective response. The Afar region is also bearing the burden of this crisis, witnessing the displacement of 2,225 households from two districts due to river floods.

This adds to the already dire humanitarian situation. Authorities and humanitarian organizations are facing immense obstacles as critical routes and bridges remain destroyed, making many flood-affected zones inaccessible and complicating relief efforts. The magnitude of this disaster demands urgent and coordinated action to alleviate the suffering of those affected and prevent further loss of life, according to OCHA.

Another report by Save the Children also revealed that the entire Horn of Africa has experienced scenes of devastation over the past week, with flash floods claiming the lives of at least 111 individuals, including 16 children. The relentless rainfall has resulted in the displacement of over 770,000 people, with no signs of relief from the continuous downpours in sight.

Save the Children teams in the Gambella, Afar, and Somali regions of Ethiopia report ongoing heavy rainfall, leading to flooding, landslides, and displacement.

Kenya, in particular, is severely affected by the wrath of nature, facing incessant rainfall in its northern counties and the capital city, Nairobi. Widespread flooding has displaced approximately 36,000 people and tragically caused the loss of 46 lives in less than a month since the start of the rainy season.

Various humanitarian organizations are actively engaged in providing aid and support to the affected communities. However, Save the Children stressed that the scale of the situation necessitates a unified response and heightened measures to mitigate this ongoing catastrophe.

Ethiopia, along with neighboring Kenya and Somalia, is predicted to continue experiencing heavy rains and flooding between October and December, affecting millions of people in the Horn of Africa. AS

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