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DW Amharic - Cries of IDPs in a Shelter in South Wollo

Disclaimer: This is an English translation of an Amharic article taken from DW Amharic and is intended solely for information purposes.

DW Amharic - Cries of IDPs in a shelter in South Wollo

June 26, 2024 (Sene 19, 2016 EC)

According to internally displaced persons shortage of provisions has worsened especially after the government began pressuring displaced people to return to their homes. One internally displaced person (IDP) in the China camp located in Kalo Woreda of South Wollo who spoke to DW said assistance provided to IDPs has declined over time.

IDPs displaced to internal displacement camps in South Wollo, Amhara Region from various zones in western Oromia (in Oromia Region) have faced difficulties with provisions of food and water. According to the IDPs such shortages in provision worsened since the government began pressuring for the IDPs to return to where they came from. A source who spoke to DW from the China camp for displaced persons in Kalo Woreda of South Wollo said it has been 3 years since they were displaced from Amuru Woreda in Horo Guduru Wollega Zone in western Oromia. The IDP source said they are among the 190 households in this camp and that the level of provisions of relief has drastically decreased with time.

Reduced provisions for IDPs

They said “we would receive 15 kilos of relief which is divided among us every three months, and last month even that amount decreased to 12 kilos. More than anything what is troublesome is that water was shutoff which has caused us to be greatly troubled.” The source says the matter of water has become a very crucial matter for the IDPs explaining how the IDP camp’s water supply was cut off, and that they were not aware of the reason for the water being cut off. “They say drought has caused the water supply to be cut off. But in the town water does not get shut off, this only happens near us. We have been going from town to town in search of water.” The IDP who opted for anonymity out of fear for their security explained the reasons given for the shut off of water and decline in humanitarian relief as follows: “at various times the government had pushed for us to be relocated to our previous homes but the IDPs expressed their refusal to return due to ongoing insecurity in the area.”

Reduction of food and water provisions

Another IDP in the camp who was displaced from Shambu Woreda of Horo Guduru Wollega Zone in 2013 EC (between September 11, 2020 and September 10, 2021) says today the IDPs are facing lack of food and water provisions. “Today our greatest challenge is lack of food and water” says the source adding life saving humanitarian assistance was reduced from 15 to 12 kilograms. The IDP added this was provided once every three months and that oil and salt was no longer provided either. The IDP says the most troubling shortage of provision was the water. They explained they had to travel long distances to collect water from rivers which was difficult for them and that they would have to go to town to assess whether the water was safe to drink. According to the source, regarding relocation, “at one time especially in the month of January (Tir) the government began a relocation campaign however the areas of relocation are unstable which has forced the government to leave us for the time being.” They said “the matter of relocation especially for those displaced from Horo Guduru is scary for us due to the ongoing security situation. At this time those returning are the ones who came from the periphery of Nekemte in East Wollega and the Bako area.”

The severity of the problem for IDPs and the government’s approach

At various times conflict has broke out creating more than one million internally displaced persons in shelters and with host communities in Amhara Region. Efforts to contact the Amhara Region Emergency Prevention and Food Security Commission Bureau for comment regarding relief provisions however this was not successful for today. The Oromia Region Emergency Prevention Commission (Busa Gonofa) head Ato Moges Ideay previously told DW that work was underway in the region to allow for IDPs to be returned to their homes only with their consent. The Federal Emergency Prevention Commission spokesperson Ato Atalel Abohaye said “all regions are doing their part to help IDPs and unless things have progressed beyond their capacity this has been the response strategy on a national level.”

Seyoum Getu

Hirut Melese

Negash Mehamed


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