Ethiopia camp arrivals fall, but UN expects refugee increase
Dollo Ado, Ethiopia, 8 September 2011
Ado Somali refugee assistance:
The number of new arrivals at the Dolo reception point has fallen significantly, but serious family health issues and gender based violence still have to be tackled.
The UNHCR has at the same time indicated that the number of refugees is likely to increase.
Those who arrive in Dolo Ado normally are afflicted with severe health problems. Thousands of children, especially those under the age of five, suffer from acute malnutrition,
Supplementary feeding and clinical therapeutic feeding have helped in saving lives with mobile clinics provided by UNICEF and MSF bringing health services to people rather than waiting for patients to come to them.
Cross border operations to assist mainly drought-affected people along the Gode crossing are allowed by the government.
The permission came after it was found that around 17,000 Somalis there were assessed as people who moved to Ethiopia due to severe drought at home.
There have reports of a great number of people suffering from the effects of drought inside Somalia, and the Ethiopian government granted permission to NGOs and UN agencies to provide vital support.
Water sanitation and hygiene:
The LWF has paid special attention to promoting environmental cleanliness and hygiene in the transit centre over the past week. There each person is allocated 20 liters of water daily.
The campaign involved educating and encouraging refugees to always wash their hands after using the toilet. It was a combined effort from several NGOs and UN agencies, due to the fear of the arrival of acute watery diarrhoea at the transit center and the camps.
Fortunately no incidence of such diarrhoea and related health hazards has emerged.
The LWF has installed a second borehole at Helawin camp and has now completed a total of five boreholes. A fault in the drilling machine has, however, developed, which is being dealt with.
It was reported on 2 September that the biggest and most pressing constraint in the drought response, at this point, is the budget shortfall.
While the budget requested is for three months intervention in the three districts, the received amount will cover only one month’s requirements. Preparation of the 2nd revision is underway for an extended period of one year.
This process was expected to be in Geneva by September 10, 2011. We hope the gap will be filled this time.
The WFP food support is fortunately distributed by the Government, while GNOs are requested to fill in the areas that Government could not reach.
Chinaksen is currently experiencing a shortage of rain while Dawe Kachen is not receiving any rain at all. Abaya, however, is on the other extreme; heavy and un-timely rain is creating difficulties – affecting accessibility as well as planting.
The LWF has secured a plot of land at Dollo Ado for an office base. Bush around the areas is being cleared and fencing has begun.
Community services – youth program
Regarding youth programs, the LWF has identified skills training needs, which include brickmaking, tailoring, and garnering plastics that fly around the camp for making baskets.
Land has been allocated to set up youth training centers in Kobe and Hilaweyn. Boys and girls will be selected for the program.
Challenges in Dolo
According to the UNHCR, gender based violence remains a serious concern.
The search for fire-wood takes women away from their camps and exposes them to danger. Evidence based reports indicate that there have been occasions that people from local communities have attacked refugees when they are collecting firewood. This has occurred at Hilaweyn and people were injured in these incidents.
The LWF has reviewed its environmental intervention during the week to include fuel saving stoves to contribute to lessening the risks of gender based violence against refugee women.
(This report received from Mr Lemma Degefa LWF/ Ethiopia Program)
Sept. 8, 2011