Commission Warns Flooding Risks in Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa, July, 24/2020(ENA) National Risk Disaster Management Commission (NDRMC) warned that intense seasonal rainfall could displace 434,000 people out of the two million people at risk in Ethiopia.

National Meteorology Agency, Basins Development Authority and NDRMC on Friday have held press briefing on seasonal rainfall risks.

During the briefing NDRMC Deputy Commissioner, Damene Damota said man-made and natural disasters posed risks in some parts of the country.

The recent unrest following murder of renowned singer Hachalu Hundesa caused loss of lives and property damage that left thousands of people homeless and displaced, he stated.

The spread of COVID-19 pandemic, desert locust infestations, flooding and landslide catastrophes are among the disasters the commission is dealing with, he noted.

“About two million people are expected to face risk of flooding and land sliding, and 434,000 of them could be displaced in this rainy season,” he warned.

He recalled that most of the 301,000 people displaced in the small rainy season have been returning to their domiciles though rehabilitation works are underway in collaboration with humanitarian partners.

National Meteorology Agency Director-General, Fetene Teshome, said intense rainfall in the rainy season could pose unprecedented flooding and land sliding risks in some parts of Ethiopia.

According to Fetene, the normal and above normal rainfall expected to continue until September could cause unprecedented flooding and landslide in parts of the country.

North West, South West and Central parts of the country are forecasted to receive normal and above normal rainfall in this rainy season, according to him.

Parts of Oromia, Tigray, Amhara, SNNPR, Afar, Benshangul Gumuz and Gambella are expected to receive normal and above normal rainfall, he noted.

Basins Development Authority Director-General, Adanech Yared stated that the intensified seasonal rainfall is sufficient for the filling of the ten dams despite risks of over flooding in four dams if prevention measures have not taken.

The authority is working with stakeholders to prevent flooding and minimize the risks in residents downstream of the dams particularly in Kesem, Tendaho, Koka and Tana Beles, which are in high risk of over flooding, she said.