Apr 2017

Ethiopia Emergency Drought Relief 2017

Posted by Natacha Soto on Wednesday 19th April 2017

East Africa is in the grip of a critical humanitarian crisis which is spreading across Ethiopia. Many have died and millions more are at risk of starvation.

The Ethiopian Government has pledged $47.4 million and they are calling on the international community to help assist 5.6 million people whose lives, livelihoods and well-being are at risk.

In the last few weeks, our newest partner, the Afar Pastoralist Development Association (APDA), has identified 15,000 children under the age of five and 25,000 pregnant or breast-feeding women who are suffering severe malnutrition and are unable to reach the government’s aid distribution points. The situation is deteriorating rapidly and we need to act now to provide the emergency aid they so desperately need.  

While Ethiopia battles the continuing impact of last year’s El Niño-induced drought, again, failed rains in the southern and eastern parts of the country have led to new symptoms of drought. Many have been unable to rebuild their livestock herds, struggling to control disease outbreaks and remain reliant on water trucking. The crisis is deepening and we are asking you to help us scale up our efforts to protect those in vulnerable situation from starvation as the severity of drought has hugely affected the already meagre lifestyle of these nomadic vulnerable communities in Afar. 

APDA is responding directly to the crisis in three key ways: water trucking, the provision of health workers and veterinary care. 

€12 will cover veterinary care for the livestock of 14 households in Afar.

€55 will support one healthcare worker in the field and lifesaving provisions (malnutrition supplements and vaccines) for 30 people.

€240 will provide a water truck for one day to delivery 14,000 litres of water to 2,800 people.

Please consider supporting our emergency relief appeal with whatever you can afford.


Ethiopia Drought 2017 FAQ’s:

What is the Ethiopian Government doing?

The Ethiopian Government is calling on the UN and international community to assist 5.6 million people, whose lives, livelihoods and well-being depend on our support. The Ethiopian Government has pledged $47.35 million, leading the emergency response, but a total of $948 million is needed.

What happened to the goats Ethiopiaid donors bought last year?

Throughout the last year we have been providing our partner APDA with funds for animal feed and veterinary medicine to keep the goats alive and continuing to support the families and communities.

Why can’t wells be dug?

Running water pipes and drilling boreholes is extremely expensive and difficult. There is a lack of supporting infrastructure, such as roads, to bring in equipment and the geology of the land requires expertise difficult to find in Ethiopia. The government relies on foreign NGO’s to provide wells but with these projectscost often in excess of $1million, progress has been slow. Further issues with boreholes are also common, climate change can mean boreholes dry up and having the skills and finances to maintain wells is difficult.

Why do droughts keep happening?

Ethiopia is particularly susceptible to droughts being a landlocked country with a vast and, in many regions, difficult terrain. Although over many decades infrastructure has been put in place and has changed the lives of those living in those locations, many regions and lifestyles are severely vulnerable to climate change. Changes to traditional weather patterns, failed seasonal rains, El Nino and back to back droughts have lead to regions, such as the Afar, being on the brink.

Why do health workers travel on foot?

Many settlements in the Afar region are remote and dispersed. No roads connect the family dwellings and vehicles are expensive, unreliable and badly equipped for the landscape. Progress on foot is slow but more flexible and reliable.

Why don’t families and communities move to regions where there is water?

Over many decades Ethiopia seen much internal displacement, in times of drought and famine families and communities do migrate to other parts of the country and even cross borders in search of water, food and grazing land for livestock. However many people, the most vulnerable we are supporting, are not able to relocate. The elderly, disabled, pregnant women and young children are unable to make the long journeys, on foot, over the rough, hostile volcanic landscape, with no vehicles, food, money and even shoes. These families are often left behind while the men go in search of water, food and work.  The families are left to wait it out.

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