GOAL is responding to massive floods that have affected over 67,000 people in the Afar region of north-eastern Ethiopia. The flooding was caused by excessive rainfall in the highland areas of Amhara and Tigray regions flowing downstream into the Awash river.
GOAL’s Flood Task Force in Ethiopia has recently deployed a team to provide immediate assistance to the Afar region of Ethiopia, following widespread flooding which has affected thousands of families. GOAL’s task force is now working in conjunction with local and regional authorities within the area. The flooding has already caused severe damage to land, property, crops, livestock and local infrastructure.
The emergency has now affected more than 5,000 households in the Afar region, with more than 3,000 households displaced from their homes. There are currently no available accessible roads to the flooded areas and helicopters are being used to airlift stranded residents that have become marooned and cut off by flood waters. The displaced families are being temporarily housed and sheltered in schools around Asayita town. The needs of the displaced are urgent, with the main priority being food, water, shelter, blankets, and non-food items. As people are now forced to gather at these sheltered sites, there are real fears that these floods could further exacerbate the spread of COVID-19.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March, GOAL has already reached more than two million people in Ethiopia with key messages on preventing the spread of the virus.
GOAL is responding to the crisis by supporting the immediate food needs of the displaced, with resources from our donor ECHO. GOAL has already distributed a four-week food ration, enough to feed 1,250 very vulnerable families.
Lifesaving interventions, including distribution of food, non-food items and multi-purpose cash transfers, are seen as vital to address the multiple needs of this now very vulnerable community.
Dinkneh Asfaw, Country Director for GOAL added, “We are very grateful for the immediate support from ECHO. Yet there are many more displaced communities who require immediate assistance. The Afar region has been suffering due to multiple effects of drought and natural disaster. The Desert locust have also infested many areas, as heavy rains create favourable breeding conditions. GOAL would call upon humanitarian partners and donor to support the victims in providing immediate life-saving and recovery assistances for the most vulnerable groups.”
GOAL has been operating in the Afar region for a number of years, supporting refugee and host communities in the north of Ethiopia.