The TPLF rebel group has been advancing through parts of the South Wollo (some parts of Dessie and Kombolcha). They are now active in these areas. There is a great deal of mobilization of a number of the regional army and local militia as well as a civilian volunteers from every corner of Amhara and Afar regions. Young people are voluntarily enlisting in the military to protect their regions.
Thousands of people displaced in the nearby villages are crowding Dessie and Kombolcha. This is a great humanitarian crisis because these people have fled from one town to another in search of safety- which seems to be elusive. Women and children are bearing the wrath of this crisis that seems endless.
Medical services have been totally destroyed by the rebels. Water, electricity, and banks have all been disconnected or totally destroyed. Communication and transportation have also been disabled by the rebels who have built roadblocks in the region.
However, there seem to be some hope because the TPLF rebels may not have any supply lines as they have advanced deeper into the enemy territory and may not find their way back to their headquarters in Mekele in the North.
Our people in Lalibela
It has been over three months since Lalibela was besieged by the rebels. There are no basic services like water, electricity, as well as financial services.
Our people are locked there with no public or private services at all.
Thanks to God, there has been no big destruction in the town compared to other towns in the area. This must be divine intervention for Lalibela is a holy city.
Despite this, the people continue to suffer from intimidation, psychological torture and scarcity of food. People have no access to money as banks are all destroyed.
The committee formed by volunteers in Addis Ababa and Bahir Dar have been spending funds for medical supplies and coordinating with the local clergy- the Bishops in Lalibela who are very important to the people.
In Bahir Dar the PBF relief efforts continues. Feeding, medical services as well as sanitary and clean water supply to hundreds of the displaced.
Two weeks ago, the committee sent medical supplies worth nearly 450,000 Birr ($ 9,500) to Lalibela. This was really a great help for our patients who have various sicknesses. PBF’s financial contribution here was very vital.
Upkeep for the most needy.
The committee and the bishop could also organize to help 1000 most needy individuals to get 1000 Birr each so that they could buy some basic food ingredients. This was a total of one million Birr. This money came from the committee in Addis as well as the contribution of PBF in Bahir Dar.
Security and other services
The bishop and priests are playing a great role in convincing the militants to stay in harmony with the people. This is because the church in Ethiopia is a very powerful institution and thankfully, both the rebels and the locals are Ethiopian Orthodox Christians.
Public and private institutions are being safeguarded somehow. People get water once a month and pregnant women have access to the health center.
Even though we suspended most of the major activities due to the new directory given by local administration that requires people to move to a designated IDP center, we still have special cases with special needs to consider. The supplies of medicine and other materials for Lalibela will continue.
Everyday we get requests for different interventions. For example a group of children below the age of 15 recently arrived on foot from Lalibela. We had to put them in a safe place and respond to their health as they were suffering from malnutrition.
We need a continuous financial support from PBF and well-wishers to continue with our life saving services in Bahir Dar and beyond.
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