The Crisis Continues

The Crisis Continues


Addis Tribune June 23, 2000

By Our Staff Reporter


Despite favourable, if somewhat unseasonable, rainfall in Addis Ababa, the rest of the country is still struggling with the drought

and its aftermath.


The formerly drought-stricken areas are drought-stricken again.


After 15 days of good rain in the lowlands of Somali and Oromia regions in April, rain has been sparse or non-existent since.

As the normal rainfall pattern for this area is that the major rains are in February to April, the rain started late and finished on

time. These areas can't expect additional rain until the small rains, which normally run from September to November, but last

year failed almost completely.


In the highlands of the centre and north of Ethiopia the small 'belg' rains were also late, at the beginning of April instead of

February. They also have stopped in the last month, with scattered exceptions, leaving the millions of people dependent on

these rains for a crop needing another year of food assistance.


The food deliveries so badly needed for those affected by the drought have been moving better since the beginning of June, but

problems continue to plague food deliveries. Delays in the arrival of ships laden with grain at Djibouti mean that several berths

are empty instead of unloading grain. The part of the system which seems to be working well is the long haul trucks from

Djibouti to the main warehouses, which are keeping ahead of the unloading in Djibouti. The movement of smaller trucks from

the main warehouses to the distribution sites is chaotic, with many agencies vying for the limited number of small trucks, and

confusing bureaucratic processes