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Ethiopia Afar region; Teru Woreda

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					                              W Charitable Foundation
                          Water for Africa Project: Water Report


Ethiopia: Afar region; Teru Woreda

                                            Country Level Information

                                            Economy
                                            Ethiopia is one of Africa's poorest countries
                                            with 83.8 percent of the 75,067,000 million
                                            population living in rural areas (Central
                                            Statistical  Agency,    2006).   Its   annual
                                            percentage growth between 1992 and 2003
                                            was 4.1 (FAO, 2005). The Ethiopian economy
                                            is sustained primarily through agriculture,
                                            coffee being the number one export.
                                            Subsistence farming engages 80.2 percent of
                                            the total population (Central Statistical
                                            Agency,     2005).   In   2003,    agriculture
                                            contributed about 42 percent of the national
                                            GDP (FAO, 2005).

                                              The national poverty head count in 2004 was
                                              44 percent (FAO, 2005; ADF, 2005).
According to ADF (2005), the continuous deterioration of Ethiopia’s terms of trade (in view
of the declining international coffee prices) and the depressed cereal prices, both of which
impacted negatively on rural household income and the poverty situation are among some
of reasons for the high poverty levels in the country.

Climate
Ethiopian climate varies according to the different topographical regions. The central
plateau has a moderate climate with minimal seasonal temperature variation. The mean
minimum during the coldest season is 6°C (43°F), while the mean maximum rarely
exceeds 26°C (79°F). Temperature variations in the lowlands are much greater, and the
heat in the desert and Red Sea coastal areas is extreme, with occasional highs of 60°C
(140°F). Heavy rainfall occurs in most of the country during June, July, and August. The
High Plateau also experiences a second, though much milder, rainy season between
December and February. Average annual precipitation on the central plateau is roughly
1220 mm (48 in). The Northern provinces receive less rainfall, and the average annual
precipitation in the Ogaden is less than 100 mm (4 in). The western most region of
Ethiopia receives an annual rainfall of nearly 2000 mm (80 in). Severe droughts affected
the country in 1982–84, 1987–88, and 1991.

Environment issues
According to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), the major cause of most
environmental problems is the rapidly growing human population. Meeting the basic needs
of all these people- food, shelter, heat, energy etc, places tremendous demands on
natural resources. Cutting down trees for firewood and land cultivation have led to much
destruction of the forests, which in turn affects rainfall. Over-grazing and cultivation on
slopes cause large quantities of top soil to wash away each year. Additionally, declining
soil fertility leads farmers to cultivate marginal land, putting it at risk of erosion (EPA,
2006).



  W Charitable Foundation, c/o 7 Old Park Lane, London, W1K 1QR. www.wfoundation.co.uk   193
                               UK Registered Charity no. 1111441
                               W Charitable Foundation
                           Water for Africa Project: Water Report

                                                    Regional Information: Afar

                                                    Located in the northeast of Ethiopia,
                                                    Afar region shares borders with Eritrea
                                                    and Djibouti. It is divided into five
                                                    zones, which are sub-divided into 29
                                                    administrative woredas. The region is
                                                    one of the poorest and least developed
                                                    regions of Ethiopia. The dominant
                                                    occupation in the region is pastoralism.
                                                    Afar region lies in the arid and semi-
                                                    arid climatic zone within the Great Rift
                                                    Valley of East Africa.

                                               Afar in one of the nine ethnic divisions
                                               of Ethiopia. Formerly known as Region
Location of Afar Region in Ethiopia           2, its current capital is Asayita; a new
capital named Semera on the paved Awash - Asseb highway is under construction.

Population
Based on figures from the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia (CSA) published in 2005,
Afar has an estimated total population of 1,389,004, consisting of 772,002 men and
617,002 women. 90.9 per cent of the population are considered rural inhabitants, while
9.1 per cent are urban. With an estimated area of 96,707 square kilometers, this region
has an estimated density of 14.36 people per square kilometer.

Climate
Afar region is one of the driest and hottest areas in Ethiopia. Temperature ranges from a
mean temperature of 42.50C in the area of Dubti woreda and mean minimum temperature
of 17.80C in the high altitude zone at Gewane. The region has moisture index of less than
0.25 and receives mean rainfall of 200mm (EEPCO, 2006). A severe dry season occurs in
May and June at the regional level. This season has the hottest temperature. The main
rainy season occurs between July and September, while short rain stays between March
and April. Rainfall ranges from 500mm on the western edges of the regional state to
200mm in the lava plains to the eastern part of the region (EEPCO, 2006).

Terrain
Varies from hilly escarpment to lowland plain land areas. Some areas lie below sea level.
The Afar Depression, also known as the Danakil depression, the lowest point in Ethiopia
and one of the lowest in Africa, is located in the north of the Region. The southern part
consists of the valley of the Awash River, which empties into a string of lakes along the
Ethiopian-Djibouti border.

Environmental issues
Desertification; floods; and recurrent droughts are all current issues. Meher season rainfall
performance was bad in some of the marginal lowland crop dependent areas of the east,
and areas bordering pastoral areas. Flash floods and river overflows inflicted serious
damages to livelihoods in many crop dependent and pastoral areas, especially in Afar
region. Poor livestock conditions reduced income and a sizeable displaced population (due
to floods) mean emergency food assistance is needed in these areas.

Despite the overall good performance of the season, south and south eastern lowland
areas and northern parts of the pastoral Afar region are facing serious water stress.
   W Charitable Foundation, c/o 7 Old Park Lane, London, W1K 1QR. www.wfoundation.co.uk   194
                                UK Registered Charity no. 1111441
                              W Charitable Foundation
                          Water for Africa Project: Water Report

Pastoralists in the northeast, especially Zones 2 and 4 of Afar Region, remain highly
vulnerable, as they continue to feel the effects of consecutive droughts and as the current
performance of rains is not promising.

Desertification
The vegetation cover of Afar in general is sparse and the area is prone to desertification.
Over 70 percent of the land area in Afar region is bare land (EEPCO, 2006).
Flooding
Some areas in the region are prone to seasonal floods especially along the Awash River
(Piguet, 2001).
Recurrent droughts
Drought is a common phenomenon in the region causing serious impairment to livestock
production, the main source of livelihood for the pastoralists in the region. In the last 5
years, the region was hit by two severe droughts: the 2002/03 drought in which all 29
woredas in the region were affected and the 2004/05 drought which affected most of zone
1, 2 and 4 (Oxfam International, 2005).


Community Information: Teru

Part of the administrative zone 4,Teru is bordered on the south by Aura, on the southwest
by Gulina, on the west by Yalo, and on the north and east by the administrative zone 2.
The woreda is inaccessible due to lack of roads (h). Pastoralism is the most important
source of livelihoods in the woreda.

Population
Teru’s population as at July 2006 was estimated to be 43,794. This population figure is a
projection of the October 1994 National Population and Housing Census result (a).

Climate and terrain
The climate is mainly hot and arid with low and erratic rainfall, terrain is predominantly
low-land.

Environmental Issues
Recurrent drought, and floods during the rainy season.

Problem summary
Water sources are scarce in Teru due to low and erratic rainfall and recurrent drought.
Because of the nature of the rains, the supply of water is irregular and unreliable. And, at
the time of drought when many water sources dry up, women and children suffer a lot in
water collection.

Water sources
The woreda is crossed by Megale, Awra and Gulina Rivers. However, the diversions of
these rivers for irrigation purposes are affecting the volume of water in these rivers.

Water problems
Teru is the most severely affected woreda in the region in terms of water shortage (e).
Most parts of the woreda have been exposed to critical water shortage due to the adverse
effects of the last recurrent droughts and the under performance of both the 2005 dedaa



  W Charitable Foundation, c/o 7 Old Park Lane, London, W1K 1QR. www.wfoundation.co.uk   195
                               UK Registered Charity no. 1111441
                                     W Charitable Foundation
                                 Water for Africa Project: Water Report

and the 2006 sugum1 rains (j). The woreda receives emergency water supply from the
regional water resources department and other development partners operating in the
region during periods of acute water shortage. However, because it is inaccessible due to
lack of roads, the emergency water can not be delivered over a wide area.

The woreda is an extremely problematic area to drill. Attempts were made at drilling for
water; however, the process was halted with the discovery natural of gas (e).

Water supply methods
Water supply methods in the region include rivers, ponds, stagnant water during rainy
season, springs, birkads2, hand-dug wells, motorized deep wells and elas3 (e).

According to an assessment carried out by UNICEF in 2003 on potable water supply
coverage in Afar region, it was found that Teru had no potable water supplies (e).

Aid agencies
During periods of acute water shortage, UNICEF and Cooperazione Internazionale (COOPI)
conduct emergency water trucking operations to mitigate water shortage in the woreda.

Civil conflicts
Security in Teru is reported to be very precarious following the competition over salt
extraction and the presence of uncontrolled gunmen (h).




1
  Refers to short rains from March to May.
2
  Birkads are underground concrete water reservoirs with corrugated iron sheet roof.
3
  Elas are traditional shallow wells.
    W Charitable Foundation, c/o 7 Old Park Lane, London, W1K 1QR. www.wfoundation.co.uk   196
                                 UK Registered Charity no. 1111441
                               W Charitable Foundation
                           Water for Africa Project: Water Report

References

(a) Central Statistical Agency (CSA), (2005), National Statistics.

(b) Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), (2005), The State of Food and Agriculture-
Agricultural trade and poverty: Can trade work for the poor?

(c) Central Statistical Agency (CSA), (2005), National Labour Force Survey Summary
Report.

(d) African Development Foundation (2005), Ethiopia Rural Water Supply and Sanitation
Programme: Appraisal Report.

(e) Oxfam International (2005), Livelihoods/Emergency Assessment in Afar Region.

(h) Piguet, F., (2003), Afar Pastoralists: Drought emergency not yet over: Overview and
perspective, February 2003. UN-Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia.

(j) United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), (2006),
Focus on Ethiopia monthly newsletter. June-July issue.

(k) Ethiopian Electric and Power Corporation (EEPCO), (2006), Universal Electrification
Access Programme: Environment and Social Management Framework.




   W Charitable Foundation, c/o 7 Old Park Lane, London, W1K 1QR. www.wfoundation.co.uk   197
                                UK Registered Charity no. 1111441

				
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