- Government of Ethiopia initiates mass water trucking operations in areas of consumption of less than 5 litres per capita a day.
- Humanitarian actors call for more support for teachers, to reduce lack of school attendance as a result of the drought.
Ethiopia is responding to an El Niño-caused drought emergency:
The El Niño global climactic event has wreaked havoc on Ethiopia’s summer rains. This comes on the heels of failed spring rains, and has driven food insecurity, malnutrition and water shortages in affected areas of the country. A well-coordinated response is already underway and expanding rapidly, although the scale of the developing emergency exceeds resources available to date. Given the lead times necessary for the procurement of relief items, the Government and its international partners have called for early action to this slow onset natural disaster.
Strengthening Emergency WaSH Interventions through real time data collection
The Government of Ethiopia is initiating mass water trucking operations in areas where consumption is less than 5 litres per capita per day following information gathered through a real time data collection process implemented by humanitarian partners. Weekly real-time information is being collected from operators and users of water supplies using AkvoFLOW, software developed for data collection via mobile phones. Data is being collected from more than 5,000 water sources.
The Government of Ethiopia, in partnership with UNICEF and two International NGO’s;
Oxfam GB and World Vision Ethiopia initiated the 3 month Emergency WASH Monitoring Project in 30 of 209 affected woredas last month. Data collected so far has included quantity of water consumed (lpcd), percentage of functional and non-functional water points, reasons for non-functionality and distance of water points from households. Per capita use indicates that 78 per cent of communities in one region use less than 5 liters/person/day while 21 per cent of the population uses 5-15 liters/person/day and the remaining 1 per cent use more than 15 liters/person/day.
According to the 2016 Humanitarian Requirement Document (HRD), an estimated 5.8 million people require emergency water supply and sanitation in Ethiopia. To address this, the Government of Ethiopia and its partners are undertaking extensive emergency response activities. The three month real time data collection process is assisting the Government and its partners to monitor the impact of these responses.
School attendance affected by current drought; partners call for more support for teachers
Humanitarian partners are concerned about the increasing school dropout rates as a result of the current drought. According to the Education Cluster, children are missing out on up to 3 days of school a week as they support their families by fetching water from long distances, taking care of younger siblings while their mothers fetch water, or taking livestock to areas in search of water sources. More than 200 schools have closed due to pastoralists moving with their children in search of water and pasture.
To encourage school attendance, humanitarian actors are calling for more support for teachers, including in the provision of water for drinking, personal hygiene and cooking, and learning materials. Schools can also serve as key platforms for other humanitarian interventions including WaSH, health, nutrition and child protection – for example by spreading life-saving information about preventing diseases, providing school feeding, and teachers referring to child protection, health or nutrition services.
The Education Cluster is currently planning the implementation of Mobile Needs Monitoring which will involve school Principals reporting on the availability of water and school feeding programs in the school and attendance rates.
Ethiopia has made remarkable progress towards universal primary education. Partners are calling for more increased interventions in the education sector to protect the gains made from Government and donor investments in the Education Sector through years.