An Assessment of the Existing Early Warning and Response Systems to Disasters in Arero District, Borena Zone of Oromia Regional State
This paper assessed the existing systems of early warning and early responses in the Arero district of Borna zone, Oromia regional state. The assessment was conducted based on data obtained from primary and secondary sources. The primary data were generated through focus group discussions with members of Disaster Management/Early Warning Committee at woreda and kebele levels and community elders. The secondary data were gathered from the review of secondary materials. Community level discussions were also conducted by a means of participatory assessment techniques. The study found that the most severe risks commonly prevalent in the area were drought (food insecurity) due to an acute shortage of rainfall; conflict between Borena and Geri, Borena and Guji, the Digodi and Meria in alliance with Geri against Borena and Guji over resources; and bush encroachments were also identified as threats to the livelihoods of Borena pastoralists. The pastoralist communities predict about the occurrence of risks/disasters based on the existing indigenous early warning systems. There are the Ayyaantuu who are people with knowledge of astronomy, and predict the occurrence of an event by looking into the position of stars, sun, and the moon in specific seasons. Besides, Uchuu are gifted people who can predict the occurrence of an event by reading the intestine of fresh slaughtered animal. There are indicators of risks identified by pastoralists in the existing early warning and response mechanisms based on their indigenous knowledge systems.
Keywords: Arero; Assessment; Borena; Disaster; Early warning; Risk