Somali Regional State: Highlights of Physical and Socio Features

The Somali Regional State is located in southeastern part of Ethiopia lying between 4 degree and 11-degree north latitudes and 40-degree to 48-degree east latitudes. It occupies a total area of 279,252 km square. It shares boundaries with Oromia in west, Afar in northwest, Djibouti Republic in far north, Kenya in south and with Somali Republic in southeast and northeast.
In 2007 the population of the regional State is estimated at 4,439,147, consisting of 2,468,784 men and 1,970,363 women; urban inhabitants number 621,210 or 14% of the population based on the 2007 CENSUS conducted by Central statistical Agency(CSA).

Soil wise it has a predominately desert soils. Climatically the region is divided principally into semi-arid, arid and desert. It has a) annual rainfall of 600 and below, b) length of crop growing period stretching from 1 to 119 days and c) average annual temperature ranging from 20 o C to 45 o C. The wet seasons are March through May and September through November while the dry season runs in December –February and June and august. Reliability of rainfall, as percentage departure from normal, ranges from 30 to 40 in eastern and northern and 25 to 30 in southern and western parts (Atlas of African Agriculture, FAO).

It has four major rivers: Wabishebelle, Genalle, Weyb and Dawa. Administratively Somali Regional State is one of the constituencies that form federal democratic republic state of Ethiopia. It is structured into nine zones and fifty-three woredas. Jijiga is the capital city of the Somali region and Somali is the official working language of the region.

The average household is traditionally informed and thus relies heavily on rain and extensive animal husbandry as the main stay of economic activity supporting principally subsistence livelihood system. Crop cultivation is only taken as complementary activity where the prevailing technology, knowledge and organization capacities of institutions, communities and associations allow. Over 85 % of the population is thus pastoralist living in district rural areas. Specific clans inhabit specific areas with seasonal movement in search of better pasture and water without detachment from their respective base areas/habitat.

The region is endowed with livestock, forest, agricultural, water irrigable land and mineral resources. According to the 2007 Census conducted by the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia (CSA), the Somali Region has livestock numbering:

Cattle 6,000,000
Goats & Sheep 17,000,000
Camels 2,000,000
Asses, Mules & Horses 2,500,000

And yet the great majority of the population is not at the thresh-old of the escape from the various forms of grinding social and economic problems the consequences of which have been growing human discomfort and unhappiness.

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  • CORE Group Polio Project

    Donor: Core Group USAID.

    Project Type: Development

    Location: Warder, Danod, Daratole, Galadi, Bokh, Gode, Kalafo, Mustahil, and Fer-Fer.  

    Project About: The current national potential health service coverage stands very low and the availability and quality of health service provision is generally poor, with significant regional disparities in access to basic health care service. The situation of Somali region is worst when it is compared to the other regions of Ethiopia due to pastoralist life style with lack of supporting policy, pastoral populations that move from place to place with their flocks, creating a challenge to provide health service for the population in general and for children and mothers to reach immunization services in particular.

    The heath extension program is the flagship of the health delivery system in Ethiopia. The HEWs are the core of the HEP to work in collaboration with community health promoters. Community health promoters extend the reach of HEWs into communities, focus on improving household health practices by serving as role models, and negotiate with caretakers on doable actions.

    The government recently designed a new approach to extend health promotion and disease prevention services through the Health Development Army (HDA). One individual, especially female, is responsible for taking care of five households to lead the momentum of utilizing existing services and can directly influence care-seeking practices at the household level.

    Malaria, acute respiratory infections, and diarrheal disease remain the most common diseases in Ethiopia, the threat of vaccine-preventable diseases such as polio, Measles, and NNT is very significant. In August 2020, Africa declared its polio-free status, but the region is affected by repeated outbreaks of cVDPV. It needs more robust surveillance and outbreaks responses to maintain the gains achieved.

    The project focuses on eradicating polio through mass vaccination campaigns (SIAs), strengthening immunization systems, and community-based surveillance.  The vast experience and geographic presence provide an excellent opportunity to synergise the detection and notification of priority zoonotic diseases.  In 2019, CGPP received additional funds to support Ethiopia’s health security program by integrating community-based surveillance for three priority zoonotic diseases – Anthrax, Rabies, and Brucellosis. In this connection, CORE Group Polio – Global Health Security (CGP-GHS) Project has been working on three VPDs and three PZDs to enhance community-based surveillance through one health and community-centered approach.

    Based on the guideline provided by WHO, Ethiopia has adapted the four strategies to eradicate polio. These are achieving high routine immunization coverage, supplemental immunization activities, Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) surveillance, and mop-up campaigns.

    RATIONALE of the project.

    Ethiopia is sustaining wild polio free status for the last more than six years. To sustain its polio-free status, communities play an important role in preventing, detecting, and responding to infectious diseases and disease threats. A community can help contain and control infectious disease threats, limiting the geographic spread, and saving lives. The CORE Group Polio Project builds upon its existing community-based polio and immunization programs to strengthen community capacities to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats.

    OWDA believes in expanding and extending its vast community-level intervention to other national public health priorities. Hence, it integrates Priority Zoonotic Diseases (PZDs) into its existing Community-Based VPD Surveillance system that can contribute a lot to the national surveillance system, particularly in the hard to reach pastoralist and along the international borders of the countries. Moreover, the existing community-based intervention, such as newborn tracking for polio birth dose and immunization activities, will continue in this FY.

    STRATEGIES: The community is key to outbreak and epidemic preparedness. CGP-GHS Project will build upon its existing, community-based polio and immunization programs to strengthen and expand existing community capacities to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats in Ethiopia. CGP-GHS project activities overlaid on as many of the CORE NGO programs in-country as feasible while playing a leading role in Community Based VPD Surveillance. There will be no stand-alone CGPP or GHS grants; all will be add-ons to existing NGO efforts. Recognizing that an effective ‘last-mile’ supply chain is crucial for a rapid, efficient response, the Global Health Security component under the CORE Group Polio Project and GHS programs will also collaborate with other USAID GHSA partners in Ethiopia.

    BENEFICIARIES: OWDA is committed to implement the full component of polio eradication and PZD Surveillance activities in 134 Kebeles in 10 Woredas in Somali region. The project will target a total population of 1,243,909 in a duration of five year of which 658,025 are under fifteen 154,444 are under five, and 43,829 are under one; and years old.

ORGANIZATION FOR WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT IN ACTION A/C No: 003 Wegagen Bank, Meskel Branch Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Or Contact: Tel: +251 921 5932 Fax: +251 153 7051 E-mail: Donate - Payment Method
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