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VOA Amharic - Worsening Hunger Leads to Deaths of People and Animals in Wag Hemra Zone


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


VOA Amharic - Worsening Hunger Leads to Deaths of People and Animals in Wag Hemra Zone


June 17, 2024

Aster Misganaw


During the 2015/16 EC harvest season drought has led to worsening hunger in Sehala-Seyemt Woreda of Wag Hemra Zone, where over the last week two people have died in Bilaza Kebele says the kebele administration.


The woreda administrator explained to Voice of America that the drought situation has been worsening saying over 5,000 animals have died.


The administrator said more than 46,000 people are in need of emergency food assistance in the woreda, he added that drivers carrying assistance grain for those in need have been unwilling to travel to the area due to the ongoing security problem, and that the broken Tekezze dam not being fixed has worsened the problem.


The Wag Hemra Zonal administration said they have been tasked with following the road problem while the Amhara Region Emergency Prevention and Food Security Commissioner Deacon Tesfaw Batabel says they are prepared to send the relief grain as soon as the problem is resolved.


During the 2015/16 EC harvest season drought in Bilaza Kebele of Sehala-Seyemt Woreda in the zone resulted in drought which has worsened in its impact, and now people continue to lose their lives as a result, says administrator Ato Malede Birae.


Last Tahasass (between December 11, 2023 - January 9, 2024) in an interview with Voice of America Zonal Emergency Prevention and Food Security Commission Coordinating office head Ato Mihret Melak told Voice of America that during the last harvest season the zone faced a significant rainfall shortage which led to hunger and deaths of six people and more than 10,000 domestic animals.


At the time the official said more than 400,000 people live in 26 woredas of the zone, that these people need emergency grain relief, that more than 1.2 million animals face shortage of fodder, and that the zone is not receiving sufficient assistance.


Sehala-Seyemt Woreda administrator Ato Sisay Birru explained to Voice of America that today although the woreda has a significant number of animal wealth, the drought has substantially reduced their numbers. Recently, thousands more animals have died, says Ato Sisay.


The administrator said worsening hunger has been caused by drivers transporting assistance grain for those in need being unwilling to travel to the area due to the ongoing security problem, and that the broken Tekezze dam has not been fixed.


The Amhara Region Emergency Prevention and Food Security Commissioner Deacon Tesfaw Batabel acknowledged that the relief grain had not been sent and said this obstruction was caused by the Tekezze bridge being broken. The commissioner said the zonal administration had called for the problem to be resolved and said they are prepared to send the relief grain as soon as the problem is resolved.


Efforts were made to contact Wag Hemra Zone administrator Ato Hailu on his mobile phone to add his response to the matter but the line was not working so it was not possible to add his views.


The European Union Ambassador to Ethiopia Roland Kobia told Voice of America last month that it has become difficult for international partners to reach citizens in need in various parts of the country.


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