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Over 33,000 Flee Mozambique’s Restive Region – IOM

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IOM reports over 100 migrants missing off Libyan coast

Tens of thousands of people are continuing to flee insecurity in Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique, challenging the ability of the government and its humanitarian partners to respond with adequate shelter, food and other assistance.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM)’s latest Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) data released on Tuesday shows more than 33,000 people have moved south in the last week, including many forced to flee the latest security incidents.

According to IOM, there has been a four-fold increase of displaced people in the area to more than 355,000 from some 88,000 earlier this year.

“Reports from northern Mozambique of violence against civilians are deeply disturbing,” said IOM Mozambique Chief of Mission, Laura Tomm-Bonde.

“IOM staff are assisting thousands of families, including many with young children, to survive their ordeal of displacement. In cooperation with the Government of Mozambique, IOM, as part of the UN, is providing immediate humanitarian assistance. But the resources available do not cover the extensive humanitarian needs of families who arrive with nothing following their displacement.”

Security concerns have prevented the Organization from reaching several northern and coastal districts. Nonetheless, IOM’s over 100 staff remain committed to delivering assistance to those who have been displaced in the eight districts where IOM is able to work.

From 16 October to 11 November, over 14,400 internally displaced people arrived at Pemba’s Paquitequete beach by boat. Boat arrivals to the provincial capital peaked with 29 in a single day in late October. No new vessels have arrived since last Wednesday, an indication IOM staff say of less instability in areas close to the coast.

“When the attack happened and our community in Macomia was set on fire, we were in our planting area,” said Salimo Nvita, whose family of seven adults and 11 children is receiving assistance from IOM. “We fled with only the clothes that we were wearing. We lost everything.”

Shelter is one of the most pressing needs, especially with the imminent rainy season. Hundreds of displaced families continue to take shelter with host families in Pemba, which is currently hosting 100,000 internally displaced people (IDPs), many in precarious conditions. The resources of host communities are stretched, and host families do not have enough and adequate space for all arriving IDPs.

Other urgent needs include emergency health, protection and psychological support, access to sanitation and water and food.

IOM has responded with distributions of non-food items, emergency shelter, mental health and psycho-social assistance, and is working with local authorities to prepare relocation sites and support temporary resettlement sites.

East Africa News

Ethiopia, Tigray Forces Claim Victory As US Wades Into Crisis

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Tents belonging to Ethiopian refugees fleeing from the ongoing fighting in Tigray region, are seen at the Um-Rakoba camp, on the Sudan-Ethiopia border, in the Al-Qadarif state, Sudan November 23, 2020. Picture taken November 23, 2020. REUTERS/MOHAMED NURELDIN ABDALLAH/FILE PHOTO

Ethiopian government has said Tigrayan forces are surrendering in the face of an advancing country army. The TPLF forces has however rejected this and said they are on course for victory in their battle against Ethiopia, revealing they struck an important army division.

The Ethiopian government and Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) have had daggers drawn for almost a month.

Hundreds, comprising Ethiopians and Tigrayans have died since the conflict started. According to Reuters, at least 41,000 Ethiopian refugees are in Sudan.

The crisis has seen the African Union calling for a quick resolution between the warring parties.

On Monday, Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed gave the TPLF forces 72 hours to surrender or suffer a wreck. The UN in an instant reaction warned Ethiopia that it has the responsibility of protecting civilians and aid workers in the country.

FILE PHOTO: Debretsion Gebremichael, Tigray Regional President, attends the funeral ceremony of Ethiopia’s Army Chief of Staff Seare Mekonnen in Mekele, Tigray Region, Ethiopia June 26, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

Mekelle, the Tigrayan capital has about 500,000 inhabitants and they have been threatened with shelling if the TPLF forces fail to surrender.

TPLF leader Debretsion Gebremichael on Tuesday argued against the government version that Mekelle is encircled at a roughly 50km (31 mile) distance. He said it was plan of the government to run for cover when struck.

The United States has now reacted to the ongoing conflict and has advised that both parties sheathe their sword and embrace an amicable resolution. The US has also backed planned mediation of the African Union in the matter.

Abiy Ahmed has been accused of ethnic bias against the northern Tigray people. Ahmed, a Nobel Peace Prize winner comes from the Amhara group and has denied claims by Tigrayans linking his leadership to ethnic preference.

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Eight Die, 70,000 Displaced In Somalia As Cyclone Gati Rages

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Tropical Cyclone Gati, which made landfall on 22 November in Puntland’s Bari region in Somalia, has displaced 70,000 people, the UN says.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in news dispatch that the heavy rains and strong winds triggered flash floods along coastal and inland areas.

The hardest hit were 13 villages in the region.

Through its media wing, Reliefweb, the UN agency quoting local authorities, said eight people have been killed and an unknown number injured.

In Xaafuun and Hurdiya villages, about 15,000 people have been displaced to higher grounds within their neighbourhoods.

Massive damage to property and roads is reported. Telecommunication services have also been affected, especially in Xaafuun, Hurdiya and Baarmadowe.

In addition, shipping and fishing activities along the coastal areas of Bari and the Gulf of Aden have been disrupted, Reliefweb said in a situation update.

An estimated 30 fishermen who were at sea before the cyclone alert was issued were yet to be accounted for by Monday, 23 November.

The FAO-Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM) warned that the severity of the storm could increase as it passes over Somalia.

According to SWALIM, the storm poses an immediate threat to the shipping lane that links Somalia and the Gulf states.

Rapid assessments are being planned to determine actual needs and humanitarian partners are mobilising prepositioned stocks to assist affected people.

Local authorities and humanitarian partners are mobilising resources to assist people who have been hardest hit by the storm.

Humanitarian partners and Puntland authorities are planning responses beginning with a rapid assessment of needs in the affected areas.

In Somaliland, the National Disaster Preparedness and Food Reserve Authority has circulated precautionary messages and coastal guards are on stand by in case of evacuation.

In the coastal areas of Galmudug, local authorities and humanitarian partners are monitoring the situation.

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How Kenya is Leading Africa’s Geothermal Energy Production

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For any economy to reach maximum potential, energy production has to be optimum.

Its importance is depicted by the huge sum of money countries spend on producing energy for businesses, households and to power the nation.

No nation thrives without energy and that made Kenya’s ambitious target nine years ago a welcome idea.

In six years, Kenya has moved closer to seeing all its households have electricity supply through optimal geothermal energy production.

Since that same period, production has been three times higher than its previous best. From a previous figure of 198 Megawatts (MW), the country has produced 672MW and has provided electricity for 500,000 households.

The Menengaï Geothermal Development Project, with $108 million in funding from the African Development Bank, has helped to add another 105 MW of geothermal production capacity to the national electricity grid, with three private companies involved in the process.

For the project, 50 wells were targeted for the generation of maximum steam to produce more than 100 MW. Also, 49 wells had been drilled through the end of November 2019, generating a capacity of 169.9 MW.

Kenya is aiming higher than its estimated capacity and the results have been overwhelming. In addition to the wells and energy , CO2 emissions are expected to be reduced by 600,000 tonnes from 2022.

The Menengaï Geothermal Energy Project saw 94 staff members receiving training in drilling, contracting and financing, as well as health and safety management.

Women Powering Kenya’s Energy

Not less than 44% of trained members are women. In addition, 249 staff members of the Geothermal Development Society, including 93 women, received group training. The construction of the power plant benefits about 500,000 Kenyans, including 70,000 in rural areas of the country, as well as businesses and industries. More than 600 jobs have been created.

“The ultimate goal of the project was to help Kenya overcome severe electricity shortages caused by variability of hydropower generation, which forced the country to resort to expensive backup thermal production between 2011 and 2012, and which continued through 2018,” according to a Bank project completion report.

The dream, which was conceived in 2011 is on its way to becoming a reality and the country hopes to soon power its neighbouring African countries.

The adoption of the Low-Cost Electricity Development Plan for 2011-2031 was seen as a very ambitious plan for the country but work has gone into the belief.

The development plan was updated in 2017 as power generation capacity rose from 1,227 MW in 2010 to 3,751 MW in 2018.

While the nation is yet to meet its local demands, it is charting an exemplary course in the generation of geothermal energy.

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