Around 1,000 IDPs from Wollega arrive in Gojjam daily
A preliminary estimate places the cost of the resources needed to rebuild the war-affected areas of the Amhara regional state between 700 billion and 800 billion birr. The preliminary research estimates the overall cost of the war in the area at almost 731 billion birr.
The extensive census, which will likely become official in the coming weeks, included all the regions of the Amhara regional state that were impacted by the two years of fighting between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in northern Ethiopia.
The census, according to Abate Getahun (PhD), director of the Amhara region’s war-affected areas Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Fund Office (ARRFO), was attended by all regional bureaus and offices, academic researchers, and foreign consultants.
“The preliminary result of the survey indicates that between 700 billion and 800 billion birr in damage was incurred in the Amhara regional state during the whole period of the war. This is a preliminary result, not an official figure. Some surveys are not finalized for some areas. Once it is finalized, we will officially disclose the exact figure,” the director said.
The last round of battle between the federal government and the TPLF had a significant impact on the regions of Kimant, Wollo, Welkait, and Ataye.
A study of the damage in North Gonder and North Wollo is currently being conducted with the assistance of consultants.
The war had three intervals. A thorough evaluation of the first phase of the conflict was carried out by the Amhara regional state.
The damage caused during the previous rounds of war was estimated at 292 billion birr, according to the first damage assessment survey made public by the Amhara regional government before the third round of hostilities erupted in August 2022.
In the Amhara regional state, 945 kebeles in seven zones and three significant towns were covered in this survey.
In the previous study, 850 industries, 1775 investments, 3476 agricultural institutions, 31 hospitals, 1156 schools, five teacher colleges, and three federal public universities (Wollo University, Woldia University, and Mekdela Amba Universities) were among the subjects studied. South Wollo suffered the most loss at this time, totaling 126 billion birr.
The most recent complete census, according to Abate, has close to 4,500 scholars participating.
Five months ago, the office formally began operations. Six strategic pillars were introduced, and 18 sector offices participated. Humanitarian aid, rehabilitation, resource mobilization, and coordination are some of these pillars, along with physical, physio-social, and cultural rebuilding.
In the presence of senior officials and the regional president, Yilikal Kefale (PhD), the project office in Wello began operations two weeks ago.
For the opening of the project office, the regional government allotted one billion birr, which will be used mostly for women and children’s priority recoveries. After the thorough survey is completed, the office intends to start resource mobilization to fill the gap in funding for the area’s reconstruction.
After the thorough survey is done, the office plans to start gathering resources to make up the difference in funding for rebuilding the area.
“We expect much from our people—to contribute and give back the livelihoods of people affected by this war. Every Ethiopian, in Ethiopia and abroad, is expected to contribute. People have died, lost their livelihoods, or been displaced from their homes. Most of the property in the region is damaged, looted, or malfunctioning,” Abate said.
The only option, Abate says, is to reconstruct what is damaged. “The destruction in the Amhara region was massive because it came from all directions. It is deep and wide,” Abate said. However, the director says the crisis in the region is still not over.
Some 1,000 individuals are currently arriving in Amhara after being displaced by the unrest in Oromia, Abate says. “Every day, he said, people are pouring into Gojjam. They are running away from the fighting in Wollega. Gojjam is under pressure from the IDP inflow that comes from Wollega. The region is still experiencing a significant socioeconomic strain as a result of this.”