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Ethiopia: new ICRC office in the south-east

05-03-1997 News Release 97/08

Following several preparatory missions, a team composed of two water/sanitation engineers, a health delegate, an administrator and two field officers has now opened a new ICRC office in the town of Gode, in south-eastern Ethiopia. This part of the " Somali National Regional State " is suffering the effects of a potentially severe drought, and is also the scene of frequent population movements due to continuing tension on both sides of the border between Ethiopia and Somalia.

The team's tasks will include helping to rehabilitate wells in several woreda (districts), developing a programme to monitor the health of essential livestock, and introducing simple technology for tsetse control. After close study of the way in which the area's predominantly nomadic and tribal society functions, the ultimate aim will be to define medium- and long-term measures to support and strengthen traditional survival mechanisms.

The team was accompanied by the delegate in charge of the ICRC subdelegation in Harar, who had talks with representatives of the woreda administration and with the Ethiopian Defence Forces based in the area to secure acceptance of the ICRC's presence and to explain its working procedures.