The conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region claimed the lives of over 3,846 teachers and students, reveals Ethiopia’s Institution of the Ombudsman.
Ongoing damage assessments paint a grim picture of devastation to schools and educational facilities.
The report, presented on May 25, 2023, revealed that the war in Tigray had taken the lives of 2,146 students and 1,700 teachers over two years. The substantial loss of life threatens to severely disrupt learning for a generation of Tigray’s youth.
Six months after the Pretoria Accord ended the fighting, over 2.8 million Tigrayans remain displaced from their homes.
The findings emerged a week after internally displaced persons and Tigray residents staged massive protests demanding the withdrawal of Eritrean and Amhara forces occupying parts of Tigray.
Officials from the Tigray Interim Administration stated that as long as these troops remain, internally displaced persons cannot return to their former livelihoods – including schools left shattered in the conflict’s aftermath.
One million of the 2.8 million internally displaced persons are from northwest Tigray, which reportedly remains under the control of Eritrean and Amhara forces.
However, even near the regional capital Mekelle, over 419,000 internally displaced persons remain, as well as 299,000 in central Tigray, 256,000 in eastern Tigray, 195,000 in the southwest, and over 45,000 in the south.
The internally displaced persons are also not receiving adequate aid and support, according to Adane Belay, director of abuse prevention at the Ethiopian Institution of the Ombudsman. The institute conducted the research between April 30 and May 10, 2023.
Adane stated that during the war, 96 percent of student desks, 95 percent of blackboards, 88 percent of student classrooms (both completely and partially), 63 percent of textbooks, and 31 percent of administrative buildings were destroyed in the Tigray region.
Damage to healthcare facilities is estimated at 65 billion Ethiopian birr, while damage to electricity infrastructure is estimated at three billion birr, telecommunications infrastructure at 1.3 billion birr, and water infrastructure at 489 million birr.
Property worth 69 billion birr has been destroyed in just four sectors alone, according to the report.