September 9, 2006
Just got back from a trip to the flood-hit villages around Lake Tana (the source of the Blue Nile) in Ethiopia's central Amhara region.
Most of the coverage of the floods has focused on Dire Dawa and South Omo which were hit badly through August. But the rains are continuing to fall heavily around Lake Tana which is already badly swollen.
This is a part of Ethiopia which is relatively blessed the rest of the year with a ready supply of fish and lots of water for the fields. It is also stunningly beautiful and has the beginnings of a good tourism industry. Now whole villages are swamped in muddy torrents. People are either retreating to shelters on slightly higher ground or being taken to camps away from the lake edge, run by the government and supplied by the UN and NGOs.
The relief effort seems to be running relatively smoothly - although there was a shortage of blankets in villages around Gorgora on the northern bank of the lake.
The real worries will start when the drama of the flood fades. Farmers told us they needed seeds to replace their ruined crops. And long term, the pools of water that will remain after the flood retreats will make ideal breeding grounds for malaria-infected mosquitoes.
See more photos on Flickr.
Posted by aheavens at September 9, 2006 6:53 AM