Thousands of people and cattle are dying in three regions of the country as a result of drought occasioned by lack of rain during1999, according to reports reaching here from various parts of the country.
The regions affected by the drought are Somalia, Amara and Oromia where famine and diseases are reportedly killing the people along with their cattle.
According to the Ogaden Welfare Association, over 300,000 people in the Gode zone of the Somali region alone are in dire need of emergency relief food assistance. Between the end of October and the end of November last year, famine had killed 85 people in the zone. The death toll is 5 per day on the average.
Ninety per cent of cattle and 65 percent of sheep had perished due to lack of pasture. Affected by the famine are zones like Jijiga, Gode and Dagahabour.
In the Oromia zone of Amhara, there are over 123,000 people in need of emergency relief food assistance for between three and nine months. According to government sources, 10,445 quintals of relief food assistance had been distributed to the needy during December. At the same time also, similar problems are manifesting themselves in Gondar and Wollo regions.
In Eastern Hararge, Arsi, Borena and Eastern Shoa of the Oromia region and in the Oromia zone of Amhara, 761,000 people have been exposed to famine. 95,283 quintals of emergence, relief assistance has been distributed to the needy in these places.
According to observes, the current famine is a serious problem that deserves utmost attention of the government.