Poor availability and accuracy of streamflow data constrain research and operational hydrology. We evaluated the status of 40 streamflow stations and the quality of their data in the Omo-Gibe basin, Ethiopia. The method included a three-week field inspection of the stations. Inspection of stations followed common WMO guidelines for appropriate gauging sites. Feedback of observers was collected, and the streamflow data was analysed. Most of the stations were installed on rivers at headwater catchments. Only 17% of the stations were fully operational; the remaining stations require major maintenance. Common problems with the time series data include short observation periods, large numbers of missing records, and inhomogeneity. Nearly all observers expressed dissatisfaction due to lack of supervision, uncertain salary payments and lack of recognition of their contribution. The findings of this study indicate the need to investigate the institutional barriers that affect the homogeneity, completeness, and timeliness of the stream data.