Situation of internally displaced persons in Shire, NW Tigray

Report prepared by a well-informed person (NGO worker) in NW Tigray in January 2021. Received by Jan Nyssen on 5 February 2021

In Shire town only, there are tens of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs). Most came from Western Tigray, from where they had been expelled by Amhara Regional Forces and militia. Many IDPs shelter with their relatives. There are 3 IDP sites in Shire town, namely the Shire campus of Aksum University, the Shire Preparatory School and the Primary School.


IDPs at the Shire campus of Aksum University

  • total population of more than 40,000 IDPs with around 6000 under five
  • presence of pregnant and lactating mothers (more than 400)
  • there are more than 800 people with chronic illness: diabetes, hypertension, epilepsy,
    bronchial asthma or HIV. Seven of them have died.
  • there are around 200 persons with disability and around 600 elderly people

At the IDP site

  • no organization or UN agency to coordinate and support the people
  • only 20 kg of wheat per family was supplied for the last 3 months (supplied to the family heads)
  • poor sanitation facilities with large-scale open defecation and many people with diarrhea
  • there is treated water supplied by one partner but its amount is below the SPHERE Standard
  • mobile clinic in place, organized by volunteer health workers; there is severe shortage of medicines
  • not provided are non-food items such as mattress, sheets, water bucket, mosquito nets
  • there is a critical challenge related to nutrition (severe acute malnutrition rate = 2.9; moderate acute malnutrition =10.00) with no program to support these children with malnutrition problem and no supplementary feeding program to children, pregnant and lactating women, people with disability and elderly.

MSF-Holland and ICRC support the nearby hospital but it is insufficient.

PHOTOGRAPHIC REPORT
(these photos are available for journalists at high resolution, on request)

Situation of internally displaced persons in Shire, NW Tigray (January 2021)

Situation of internally displaced persons in Shire, NW Tigray (January 2021)

Situation of internally displaced persons in Shire, NW Tigray (January 2021)

Situation of internally displaced persons in Shire, NW Tigray (January 2021)

Situation of internally displaced persons in Shire, NW Tigray (January 2021)

Situation of internally displaced persons in Shire, NW Tigray (January 2021)

Jan Nyssen is full professor of geography at Ghent University (Belgium). Besides numerous scientific publications mostly related to Ethiopia, he published two books: “ካብ ሓረስቶት ደጉዓ ተምቤን እንታይ ንስምዕ”? “What do we hear from the farmers in Dogu’a Tembien”? [in Tigrinya] (2016), and “Geo Trekking in Ethiopia’s Tropical Mountains, the Dogu’a Tembien District”. Springer GeoGuide (2019).

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