[dehai-news] (AFP) 50,000 Somali region of Ethiopias displaced by floods


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From: Biniam Tekle (biniamt@dehai.org)
Date: Wed Nov 19 2008 - 15:05:42 EST


50,000 Ethiopians displaced by floods

6 hours ago

ADDIS ABABA (AFP) Dramatic floods in the eastern Somali region of Ethiopia
have killed at least three people and displaced more than 50,000 since the
start of the month, aid sources said Wednesday.

"At least 52,000 people have abandoned their homes in Ethiopia's Somali
region after the Wade Shabelle and Genale rivers burst their banks following
heavy rains," the United Nations' humanitarian news agency IRIN reported.

The agency said heavy rains fell on the region for six days from November 2.

The report said that "36,888 people were displaced and three killed in the
worst-affected woreda (a small district), Kelafo, in Gode."

Government officials said assessment teams had been sent to the affected
areas.

"The flooding is there, we have sent an assessment team to this area. Such
things are said, but we need to confirm. We are waiting for the report and
confirmation," agriculture ministry spokesman Taregne Tsigie told AFP.

Ethiopia, home to 80 million people, is chronically hit by floods and
droughts and is currently experiencing what UN and other relief
organisations have described as a critical humanitarian situation.

Meanwhile, thousands of people in northern Uganda have been displaced from
their homes because of floods caused by heavy rains.

The precise number of people displaced by flooding is difficult to estimate
because a large territory is affected, but the situation is undoubtedly
urgent, Minister for Disaster Preparedness Tarsis Kabwegyere told AFP.

"We need information so we can get assistance to them quickly," he said.

Uganda's Daily Monitor newspaper on Tuesday put the number of displaced at
15,000, based on reports from local leaders around Uganda's northern ring.

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