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Cablegate: 2007 Belg Season Pre-Harvest Assessment In

VZCZCXRO0413
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHDS #2636/01 2390501
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 270501Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7568
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 2972
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 4014
RUEHC/DEPT OF INTERIOR WASHINGTON DC
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ADDIS ABABA 002636

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

USAID/W FOR A/AID
DCHA/AA WGARVELINK, LROGERS
AFR/AA LPIERSON, KALMQUIST
DCHA/OFDA GGOTTLIEB, KCHANNELL, LPOWERS, PMCCABE
AFR/EA KNELSON
DCHA/FFP WHAMMINK JDWORKEN, TANDERSON, PBERTOLIN
STATE DEPARTMENT FOR A/S AF FRAZER, DAS AF JSWAN,
AF/E, AF/PDPA, OES, A/S PRM SAUERBREY, PRM
USDA/FAS FOR U/S PENN, MCHAMBLISS, RTILSWORTH, AND
LPANASUK
NAIROBI FOR OFDA/ARO JMYER, RFFPO, REDSO/ESA
ROME FOR AMBASSADOR, OHA
BRUSSELS FOR USEU PLERNER
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH, RMA
NSC FOR CHUDSON AND JMELINE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID SENV EAGR ET
SUBJECT: 2007 BELG SEASON PRE-HARVEST ASSESSMENT IN
ETHIOPIA

1. SUMMARY. The Disaster Prevention Preparedness Agency
(DPPA) led multi-agency teams that conducted a pre-
harvest and needs assessment of the 2007 Belg season
between June 24 and July 14, 2007. This involved 15
teams visiting all Belg producing and pastoral areas
in the country. The purpose was to assess the
outcome of this season and its impact on food
security in the cropping and pastoral areas. The
assessment teams consulted with all relevant offices
at all levels to obtain pre-harvest yield estimates,
livestock performance, pasture and water
availability, market price trends and human health
conditions. Taking into account all sources of food
and income, the teams provided a comprehensive
picture of the prospect of food security for the
coming one year. The teams reported their findings
to the National Early Warning Working Group, DPPA
and donors on July 17, 2007. The assessment teams
were delayed in access to conflict areas of Somali
Region and the preliminary reports have only been
presented on August 13, 2007 (will be reported
SEPTEL). END SUMMARY.

2. In general Belg rainfall performance in Afar,
Amhara, Oromia and Tigray Regions was rated as poor
although pocket areas have received normal rainfall
in all four regions. The poor performance of the
2007 Belg season in much of the Afar Region has
caused shortage of pasture and water. The physical
condition of livestock has also deteriorated. In
other Regions, the late onset and early cessation of
the rains, excessive rains, flood and hailstorm
damage have caused production losses. Vulnerable
households are not able to compensate for the crop
and livestock production losses with other sources
of income. The assessment teams estimate that
relief intervention for approximately 600,000 people
will be required during the period of August to
December 2007, in addition to the 7.2 million
chronically food insecure assisted by the Productive
Safety Net Program (PSNP). This estimate does not
include Somali Region for which the assessment
figures have not yet been released.

---------------------------
Weather and Crop production
---------------------------

3. The performance of 2007 Belg crop production was
rated as below average in Amhara, Oromia and Tigray
Regions due to poor performance of the rains.
However, the crop production performance is
promising and bumper harvest is anticipated in the
Southern Nation Nationalities and Peoples (SNNP)
Region. Belg crop performance is poor especially in
lowlands of Oromia Region. Major crops affected by
weather adversities are maize, haricot bean, wheat,
barely and teff. Factors that have attributed for
poor crop production are moisture stress, shortage
of farm inputs, incidence of crop pest and diseases.
There was a report of crop damage by disease (rust)
and pest (bollworms) at vegetative, flowering and
fruit setting stages on wheat and barley and pulses
in Oromia Region. Furthermore, the excess rainfall
may have a negative implication on the performance
of the crops associated with disease, flood and land

ADDIS ABAB 00002636 002 OF 003


slides.

-------------------
Livestock Condition
-------------------

4. As a result of the poor performance of Belg
rains, grassland and browse conditions deteriorated
rapidly in most areas except the seasonally flooded
kebeles along the Awash River in Afar Region. Tree
locust infestation in Zone 5 and Zone 2 further
aggravated the scarcity of pasture for livestock.
The team estimated 40,000 - to 60,000 livestock are
concentrated in the Cheffa Valley in search of
pasture and water. The assessment team reported
that the Belg failure has been the cause for
shortage of water and pasture. As a result, the
drought claimed about 5-10 percent of the livestock
population in Afar Region.

5. In Oromia Region, availability of pasture and
browse is poor in the Lowlands of Borena and Guji
Zones. Due to a shortage of pasture, early
migration of livestock takes place in lowlands of
Borena and Guji Zones. There is a concern that
pasture availability is decreasing as a result of
expansion of farm land in Bale Zone. Livestock
physical condition is below normal in pocket areas
of Borena, Guji, West Arsi and North Shewa Zones.
An unidentified camel disease outbreak was reported
in the Borena Zone of Oromia Region. There is no
vaccine or treatment that can cure the disease.
Affected animals die without showing any symptoms.
Besides, an unusual incidence of sheep-pox has
affected many sheep in West Arsi.

6. In SNNP region, adequate water and pasture is
available and no unusual livestock diseases
reported; however, trypanosomiasis is reported from
Dawuro Zone.

-----
Water
-----

7. As result of the 2007 Belg failure in most parts
of the Afar Region, a significant decline in yields
and in some cases a complete drying up of the water
sources are reported. Serious water shortages were
also reported, mainly in those woredas known to be
chronically water deficit (Eli dare woreda), which
were supported with water tanks for a number of
years have now discontinued. Availability of water
is poor in Lowland Borena and Guji Zones.

------
Market
------

8. The price of staple food and livestock is still
high in all regions. However, the team that went to
Afar Region reported that due to poor physical
condition of the livestock, prices are below normal.

------------
Human health

ADDIS ABAB 00002636 003 OF 003


------------

9. Except in Tigray, Gambella and Benshangul
Regions, acute watery diarrhea (AWD or cholera) is
on the rise in all parts of the country. In 17
woredas of Afar Region, a total of 9,005 AWD cases
were registered, of which 335 people reported to
have died since April 2007. The Tigray Regional Health
Bureau observed an "unidentified disease" in Alamata
woreda in recent months. Malnutrition problems were
reported from Bale, Arsi, East Shoa, East and West
Hararghe Zones of Oromia Region. A nutrition survey
in Bona woreda of SNNP Region showed 16.4 percent
global acute malnutrition. Two thousand five
hundred refugees from Kenya are also experiencing
serious food shortage problem in Dire Woreda of
Oromia Region.

--------------------------------------------- ----
Food Security Prospects For July 2007 - June 2008
--------------------------------------------- ----

10. The food security prospect of Belg dependent
woredas is rated as below normal with the exception
of SNNP Region. Due to late onset and early
cessation of the rains, excessive rains, flood and
hailstorm damage production losses are expected.
Most of the losses could not be compensated by the
other sources of income. As a result, the
assessment teams estimate that relief intervention
for approximately 600,000 persons in the assessed
Belg dependent areas will be required during
August to December 2007.

YAMAMOTO

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