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News: More than 7,800 students dropout of school as impact of prolonged drought takes toll in Borana, Oromia region refutes drought related death

More than 800 people in need of emergency food assistance in Borana zone – officials, Photo: UNICEF

Addis Abeba – Education office of the drought hit Borana zone of Oromia region in southern Ethiopia said more than 7,800 students have been forced out of school as the impact of the drought gets severe.

According to the office, 174,000 students enrolled in 490 schools in the zone have been affected by the drought, resulting in significant decline of their results, FBC reported.

This is despite the regional government’s efforts of introducing dormitory and school feeding services to mitigate the impact of the drought by allocating 45 million birr.

Borana zone is one of the places harshly hit by the worst drought that has ravaged East Africa in 40 years, leaving more than 800,000 residents of the zone in need of immediate food assistance, according to local officials.

According to zonal administration, following consecutive failure of rainfall for five rainy seasons, more than 3.3 million cattles have died.

Oromia region communications bureau refuted a report of the death due to starvation of seven people in Taltale district of Borena zone, saying that “no one has died so far neither in Taltale district nor in the entire Borena zone in relation to the drought”.

The UN said in its latest report that the Oromia region recorded high rates of new admissions of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) with a total admission stood at 27,526 as of December 2022. The number of SAM cases in drought affected districts of Afar, Oromia, Somali and SNNPR regions has increased in 2022 by 21 percent compared to 2021 it added.

In a 18 January report UN OCHA said the drought impact is expected to further worsen after January 2023 across the drought affected zones as they enter the dry season, adding that, “severe water shortage” have been reported in ten drought affected districts in Oromia region. AS

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