Millions of people need humanitarian support in Ethiopia due to the El Nino and climate change effects, currently. The drought is the worst of the kind the country experienced. Yet, the drought impact is not as serious compared to those of similar emergencies in the past as the country has been growing resilient during the last 30 years. Nonetheless, shortage of water as well as human and cattle food are affecting communities in different parts. The Ethiopian government plays lead role in addressing needs of the people affected. Six of the 15 ActionAid Ethiopia intervention areas are among those affected by the drought.
Accordingly, ActionAid has been responding to the need in affected areas. For example, it is distributing drinking water for people and cattle in Janamora woreda of the Amhara Regional State. Actionaid with the support of Ayuda en Accion and in collaboration with the Woreda Government, is also engaged in developing shallow and hand dug wells as part of the long term solution.ActionAid allocated a total of 3.3 million birr for the clean water supply in six affected kebeles in Janamora beginning two months ago. So far, a total of 1,203,050 birr has been used availing drinking water to 9,300 people and their cattle. The amount includes the cost of 160 donkeys and 360 Jeri cans distributed to community members located in areas inaccessible for tracks distributing water.
ActionAid, the woreda government and Concern World Wide joined efforts to address the water, food aid and supplementary food distribution respectively.
Fenta Teshager and his four friends traveled 12 hours from their village of worke kebele to Mekane Birhan town to collect Jeri cans supplied by ActionAid. In addition, Fenta, a father of three, said that he and other young people in his village support the elderly and weak people in fetching water from distant water sources.
In response to how serious the water shortage is, Fenta said, “water shortage had been a problem in our area even before the drought. We used to travel two to three hours to find water before the draught, now we spend up to 12 hours to and from the nearest water sources in the area. Sometimes, people cannot return home with the water until sun set. We used to fetch water with heavy traditional pots made of mud. This would have been unmanageable doe to the distance now. Also thanks to ActionAid’s support of donkeys people no more carry water from the distant water sources.”
In areas accessible to tracks, ActionAid placed water tankers that are filled twice a day. Teguada Mekonen, 20 is in charge of supervising the water tracking here. She said,” this location made collecting water easier for students who put their Jeri cans in the line in the morning and go back home with water after class.”
Janamora is one of the food insecure woredas in North Gonder Zone of the State. As a development partner of the Janamora community, ActionAid intervened supporting the peopoe and their organizations in building capacities against poverty for the past ten years. Working in collaboration with the Woreda Government, ActionAid has been supporting the community in parts of the woreda to access clean water, health, education and other service facilities.