The latest figures from the Ethiopian floods say nearly 640 people have been killed and about 200-thousand others affected. The relief organization ActionAid says there is also considerable property damage.
Dr. Retta Menberu is ActionAid’s country director. From Addis Ababa, he told VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua about the main health problem affecting those displaced by the floods.
“We don’t have as such a big epidemic, but we have another epidemic, which is acute watery diarrhea…it’s now in four regions of the country. And we have…130 people or thereabouts, who have lost their lives because of the diarrhea,” he says. The government, UNICEF, WHO and Doctors without Borders are among those dealing with the problem.
Asked how difficult it is to reach flooded areas, Dr. Menberu says, “Ethiopia is a relatively big country with very poor infrastructure by way of transportation and communication.” Aid in many cases must be transported hundreds of kilometers.