COVID-19 UPDATES: All the stories and commentaries on Coronavirus, in one place

With their clothes hiked up and most types of vehicles unable to traverse the path, residents trudge along despite the foot-high flooding that stands in their way.


With their clothes hiked up and most types of vehicles unable to traverse the path, residents trudge along despite the foot-high flooding that stands in their way. They do not have a choice - this is the only asphalt road that connects the town of Asaita to Semera, capital of Afar Regional State.

While not new to floods, the region has been hit by an especially heavy rainy season. The preparations and sandbag fortifications put up against possible flooding have been no match for the pouring rain and have left homes for 145,000 people submerged underwater. Around 59,000ha of land has also been destroyed and 17 weredas are currently in need of humanitarian assistance. Most likely to have long-term impacts was the blow dealt to one of the primary means of generating income - raising livestock - after the loss of an estimated 21,000 sheep, goats and camels.




"This is rainfall that we haven't seen in over 30 years," said Mohamed Husen, director of Afar Disaster Prevention & Food Security Coordination Office.

It is not just the Afar region that has been hit. Most of the country has, leading to the displacement of one million people. While any loss of life has still not been reported, there is a worry that there may be many unaccounted for.





The government has responded by rescuing people from flooded areas, setting up campsites and distributing essential items. But both the response and the preparation by the government, which was warned of the possibility of the higher than usual flooding as early as August, have been criticised.

"Flood risks are not new to us. It happens every year," said Tesfalem Bekele, who lost his house to flooding. "But every year the government comes a little too late."


You can read the full story here .



PUBLISHED ON Sep 19,2020 [ VOL 21 , NO 1064]



Editors' Pick



Editorial





Drop us a message

Or see contact page