On 7 July 2018, the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC)-led Flood Task Force issued a joint Government and Humanitarian Partners National Flood Contingency Plan based on the National Meteorology Agency (NMA) weather forecast for the 2018 summer kiremt (June-September) rainy season. According to the forecast, heavy rains are expected to cause river or flash flooding in parts of northern, north-eastern, central, western, south-western and eastern Ethiopia, as well as in areas along the Rift Valley. Some 2.5 million people are expected to be affected, of whom 637,628 are likely to be displaced.
There is a high risk of water-borne disease outbreaks such as acute watery diarrhea (AWD) following flood incidents due to deteriorated sanitary conditions as well as the use of contaminated water sources. Animal disease outbreaks are also likely due to the contamination of pasture by flood water across the low-lying pastoralist areas. The Contingency Plan lays out possible mitigation activities in flood-prone areas, as well as anticipated sector-specific humanitarian needs to inform preparedness and response planning.
Subsequently, in early August 2018, the National Meteorology Agency issued a mid-season weather forecast for the remainder of the 2018 summer kiremt rainy season (August and September). Accordingly, the National Flood Task Force released a revised Flood Alert2 on 30 August, based on the mid-season forecast. The Alert outlines areas expected to receive heavy rainfall and potential risks of flooding, including overflows of rivers and dams. The updated Alert will inform Government and partners’ flood mitigation, preparedness and response measures.
The National Flood Task Force, which was reactivated on 19 April 2018 to coordinate flood mitigation, preparedness and response efforts, has been issuing Flood Alerts since April.