Ethiopia: THW completes its Operations
With the handing over of THW-equipment to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), THW’s operations in the Horn of Africa were completed in November. For four months, THW supported the UN in improving the living conditions of refugees in Ethiopia: At refugee camps, THW-volunteers repaired water supply equipment and set up sanitation.
In the region near Dolo Ado, a town in the border area to Somalia in the south east of Ethiopia, 130,000 refugees have lived in crowded refugee camps since summer. Financed by the Foreign Office, volunteers of THW‘s Standing Engineering Capacity (SEC) supported the United Nations (UN) in infrastructure measures, such as, e.g., the setting up and repair of electricity, sanitation and water supply as well as logistics.
On behalf of UNHCR, THW repaired vehicles, generators and water pumps of the UN and international relief organisations in a garage in Dolo Ado. In Ethiopia, THW cooperated not only with UNHCR, but also with the World Food Programme of the United Nations (WFP) and NGOs such as Oxfam. Together with the Swedish, Danish and Finish national disaster control organisations MSB, DEMA and CMC, which cooperate within the relief alliance IHP (International Humanitarian Partnership), THW set up the area of WFP.
In the refugee camps the volunteers installed water tanks and water distribution systems and repaired faulty lines. They contributed to the planning and building of latrines and sanitation. To support the population, the THW-volunteers repaired water distribution points and water kiosks in Dolo Ado.
In the summer, the most severe draught for 60 years in the Horn of Africa affected several million people. Hundreds and thousands of people had to leave their homes and fled to the neighbor countries. At the end of July, the first THW-volunteers traveled by air to Ethiopia and investigated relief possibilities. At the beginning of August, the first operational team followed. Due to the security situation, THW’s operations, which were originally planned to last until February 2012, had already to be completed at the end of November at the instigation of the German Federal Ministry of the Interior.
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