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ETHIOPIA: More support needed for flood victims

NAIROBI, 14 September 2006 (IRIN) - Ethiopian authorities have announced fundraising activities all over the country to help thousands of people affected by devastating flash floods last month, the Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Agency, said.

Despite a recent appeal for US $27 million to meet emergency and rehabilitation needs in affected areas, not enough had been provided, the commission said on Thursday. A committee had been set up to coordinate the fundraising, it added.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), large areas of cultivated land are still swamped. Lake Tana, in the northern highlands, for example, has expanded by 50 metres, increasing the risk of further flood damage.

Across the country, the number of people affected by the floods has reached 357,000, including 136,528 forced to abandon their homes, OCHA said on Thursday. Amhara region was worst hit, with 97,000 people affected, including 37,000 homeless. In total more than 600 people were killed.

In Oromiya Region, 77,000 people were affected, due to fresh flooding in eight districts in East Hararghe zone. A recent assessment in Somali Region found that in Mustahil the number had doubled to 45,000 while in Hargele woredas it had nearly tripled to 32,450.

Ethiopia experienced the worst floods in its history last month. In Dire Dawa city in the east, where the Dechatu River burst its banks on 6 August, thousands were made homeless. Sources said torrential rains killed another eight people Dire Dawa on Wednesday.

According to the Ethiopian meteorological department, normal to above-normal rainfall is likely to continue pounding the flooded areas in the coming days.

eo/mw

Theme (s): Natural Disasters,

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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