Hush drought gripping in the Ogaden region,


The second largest town in the [Somali region] eastern Ethiopia and related territories in the Ogaden region border with the Somalia have affected to an untold serve drought, while the seasonal rain had missed, it was expected rain to drop in early July 2010. The water shortages and dryness spread out in six zones of the nine zones of the Somali regional state [ogaden].

The nomad people living in the Ogaden region are suffering huge famine for lack of water and food. Majority of the people in the region gets water in the dry season hand dig traditional wells, which now are become dryness, and grassland became dest. The nomadic inhabitant departed from their land, because they lost their animals.

Abdul Goh a local nomad living in Gode zone met with our reporter in the town told that he was travelled from a 70 Km rural area south of Gode to get a quarter sack of maize [25kg] for his family. Mr. Goh said I lost most of my vulnerable animals, such as old and young animals, and if we are not getting rain in February [20 days] I will lose half of my animal, and my family will not survive. He said “Wait for a raindrop in the drought”.

Still there is no sign of drought alert or active prevent mobilisation carrying on the government and the international humanitarian organisations. The region is a remote area without infrastructure and is not easy to get in information early for preventing the disaster ahead to the people in the region.

It’s a usual, drought re-cocurrent in the Somali region [ogaden] of Ethiopia due to the conflicts and the government commercial border restriction. Despite the government told it had reached peace accord two function rebels fighting in the region such as ogaden national liberation front [ONLF] and united western Somali liberation front [UWSLF], not a yet free movement in the region.

The famous Ogaden drought was an enough scandal to Ethiopia in 1999/2000, which killed a lot of people and livestock still is in the memory of the people in the region. The western communities implied that the Ogaden drought deliberately created by the Ethiopian government, because it was not alerted to its present to the international donors. It was too late while the bbc reporter aired throughout international media.

The drought in the ogaden region seems to a similar one happened in 2000, and it will be worsening if would have not intervened now.

Hussein Roble
freelance journalis