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Ethiopia Afar Region; Yalo Woreda


									                                  W Charitable Foundation
                               Water for Africa Project: Water Report

Ethiopia: Afar Region; Yalo Woreda

                                                Country Level Information

                                                Ethiopia is one of Africa's poorest countries
                                                with 83.8 percent of the 75 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; ADF1, 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.

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).

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 in terms of food, shelter, heat, and energy, 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).

    African Development Fund
     W Charitable Foundation, c/o 7 Old Park Lane, London, W1K 1QR.   198
                                  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.

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.

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).

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.
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                                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.

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).
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: Yalo

Yalo is located at the base of the eastern escarpment of the Ethiopia highlands. It is
bordered on the south by Gulina, on the west by Amhara Region, on the north by the
administrative zone 2, and on the west by Teru. Pastoralism is the main form of livelihood
for the people in the woreda.

Yalo’s population as at July 2006 was estimated to be 25,494 persons. This population
figure is a projection of the October 1994 National Population and Housing Census result

Climate and Terrain
Yalo has a semi arid to arid climate, the terrain ranges from highland to low-land.

Environmental Issues
Recurrent drought and consequent soil degradation are issues.

Water problems
Most parts of the woreda have been exposed to critical water shortages due to adverse
effects of the last recurrent droughts and the under performance of both the 2005 dedaa
and the 2006 sugum rains (i). As a result of this, livestock stress, and five hour treks
between grazing and watering locations have been reported (h). During periods of acute
water shortage however emergency water supply is carried in the woreda by the regional
water resources department usually with support of other development partners like

Water supply methods
Bore hole and open wells (birkas) are some of the water supply methods in Yalo woreda.
The only bore in the woreda is located in Gubedora, the woreda town. There are 12 open
wells at Yalo market place, but only 3 are in use. The rest have been abandoned for
various reasons including drying up, bad smell, or hot temperatures. The water table of
these open wells range between 8-10m deep. There are no other water supply schemes in
the woreda (e).

  W Charitable Foundation, c/o 7 Old Park Lane, London, W1K 1QR.   200
                               UK Registered Charity no. 1111441
                              W Charitable Foundation
                          Water for Africa Project: Water Report

Aid agencies
UNICEF is working to improve access to safe water in the woreda by supporting the
activities of the regional water resources department like bore well drilling and
rehabilitation. Also, the Japanese government through JICA is supporting a project on safe
water in the woreda which involves the rehabilitation of the water supply scheme in the
town of Gubi Dowra.

Civil conflicts
There are tensions among Afar clans due to access restrictions to pasture (h).

  W Charitable Foundation, c/o 7 Old Park Lane, London, W1K 1QR.   201
                               UK Registered Charity no. 1111441
                               W Charitable Foundation
                           Water for Africa Project: Water Report


(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

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

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

(f) Central Statistical Agency (CSA), (2004), Ethiopia Welfare Monitoring Survey. (Note:
Values for Afar region).

(g) Central Statistical Agency (CSA), (2000), Ethiopia Welfare Monitoring Survey. (Note:
Values for Afar region).

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

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

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                                UK Registered Charity no. 1111441

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