Update by Dr. Lemma Degefa (LWF Country Rep Ethiopia) & Michael Hyden (LWF Africa Emergency Officer)
I would like to give you all a short quick update based on reports I have received today from Lemma Degefa our Country Representative in Ethiopia, who has just been visiting the Dollo Ado refugee camps (Southern Ethiopia and near Mandera Kenya). Lemma`s mission is part of an overall LWF`s assessment to respond to the drought and Somali refugee crisis in the region.
As of 25 July, the total number of Somali refugees in the Dollo Ado area stood at 114,539. Of these, 101,315 were in the three Dollo Ado camps of Bokolmanyo, Malkadida and Kobe (similar to Dadaab). A fourth refugee camp, Halowen is planned to open in the coming two weeks and site planning and construction is currently taking place to accommodate 40,000 refugees. Another 14,000 Somali refugees were being registered in the Dollo Ado Transit Centre during Lemma`s visit before being moved to the 4th refugee camp. There are also 411 Somali refugees today being screened at the reception centre close to the border. Lemma reports that the arrival rates of new refugees from Somalia has dropped to 400 each day, down from as high of 2,000 people a day in the previous weeks, with no clear explanation for this sudden drop. The Ethiopian Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA), UNHCR and WFP continue to provide food to all sites while hot meals continue to be provided at the Reception and Transit Centres.
Lemma reports that literally everything is in short supply, and there is still some confusion between the agencies on the ground as to who works where, and does what?
What LWF Ethiopia is currently doing:
* Since the middle of July, LWF E has been trucking 80,000 litres of water (daily) to the transit centre receiving new arrivals for the past 2 weeks.
* The LWF WASH team is on site and has done some upgrades and repairs to existing solar powered water well pumps (in the transit camps).
* Working with other partners (ARRA, IMC, NCA, Christian Aid, UNHCR, PWO (Pastoralists Welfare Organisation), LWF E is planning to begin work in the environment sector, community based psycho-social support, nutrition, construction of new schools to accommodate a growing numbers of pupils, and livelihood and skills enhancement targeting the youth segments in the camps.
* LWF E is setting up a base in Halowen Camp, were it will join other implementing partners of UNHCR, and they will also be setting up an additional base in Dollo near the reception and Transit centres.
* LWF is sending a seasoned staff member from its Asia program with expertise in Camp Management who arrives in Addis today (27th July) and will be joining the team in Dollo Ado shortly.
* NCA in Ethiopia has provided LWF E with one of its drilling rigs to use in the camps, for drilling bore holes. This rig is currently being prepared to move into the area.
Based on discussions with members of the ACT Ethiopia forum, they have all agreed that this component of the work in Dollo Ado refugee program will be included as part of a revision into the Ethiopia drought appeal Eth 111 which was issued on 11 July 2011. The appeal is currently being worked on at the moment and will be issued on Monday 1st August next week to the ACT Sec. LWF E is also exploring funding from UNHCR and OCHA in partnership with Christian Aid.
If you need further details on the LWF Ethiopia planned response, please contact:
1. Dr Lemma Degefa Country Representative in Ethiopia
2. Duane Poppe, the Program Officer for Ethiopia in Geneva
LWF is a member of the ACT Alliance