Addis Abeba – Heavy flooding in Ethiopia’s Gambella region has displaced thousands of residents and caused extensive property damage, the region’s communication bureau reported on Tuesday. Floodwaters from overflowing rivers have impacted nine districts across the region, including the regional capital Gambella city.
Umod Umod, the representative of the regional president and deputy head of the regional peace and security bureau, stated that most residents of the region live along the rivers, and the overflowing of the Baro, Alwero, Gilona and Akobo rivers due to heavy rainfall in the highlands have caused the flooding.
According to Umod all the five districts in the Nuwer zone including the regional capital Gambella have been highly impacted by the floods. Residents in 01, 02, 04 and 05 kebeles which were inundated when water flooded parts of the city reported losing livestock and possessions that were swept away by floodwaters. The rising of the Baro river continues to pose a threat of further damage, residents said, calling on the government to provide temporary and long-term solutions.
The city’s disaster prevention and preparedness office head Klane Tut said various efforts are underway to shelter evacuees and appealed to humanitarian groups to assist government relief efforts.
Umod pointed out that evacuees from the flooded districts have been temporarily sheltered in dry areas, and said efforts are underway to assess the extent of the disaster to provide emergency assistance to the displaced. Noting the risk of greater damage, he urged the public to take precautions, and called on governmental and non-governmental organizations to support the flood victims.
Last year, 79,631 people (15,927 households), according to the UN, were affected by flooding that occurred across 12 Woredas as well as in the capital city of the Gambella regional state following heavy rains from early August to October. AS