ACT News Update: Angola 01/05 - ACT members respond to flooding
Many families lost belongings, and some are facing severe food shortages. The torrential rains have caused the disruption of the local water-supply system, forcing the population to obtain untreated water from rivers and streams which puts them at risk of diarrhoea and cholera. Many people are living in houses without proper roofs. Tents provided by the government in February cannot keep up with the demand. Schools have closed, and most of the furniture in them has been destroyed.
On March 12, IERA (Reformed Evangelical Church of Angola), a member of the global alliance Action by Churches Together (ACT) International, sent an assessment team to the affected areas. The team determined that 16,691 people in three communities of the Cambambe Municipality were in need of assistance. The floods had destroyed a total of 1,584 houses and inundated 1,065 farms. The team observed stagnant water in the remaining flood areas, increasing the risk of waterborne diseases.
The ACT Coordinating Office in Geneva sent IERA US$25,000 in Rapid Response Funds on March 15. With these funds, IERA was able to deliver to Dondo on March 21 the first shipment of food - rice, oil and salt - which was to be distributed to families. IERA plans to distribute a monthly ration of food composed of 60 kg of rice or maize flour and four liters of vegetable oil. Its response will continue for three months.
IERA reported today that additional food and medicines will be purchased and transported to Dondo by Friday. The medicines will comprise essential medical drugs required by the local hospital to help fight infectious diseases and reduce mortality rates among women and children.
IERA has also established a team of 14 people in Dondo who were trained in water treatment by ACT member Norwegian Church Aid (NCA). The team is providing treatment supplies to families that are getting their daily water supply from rivers. So far, NCA has provided 20 liters of chlorine, but more will be needed.
In addition, IERA will distribute part of the contingency stock of used clothing of ACT member Lutheran World Federation in Angola to affected communities in Uige. The used clothing was donated by Canadian Lutheran World Relief, another ACT member.
As no appeal has been issued for this emergency at this point, other ACT members have pledged funds directly to IERA for its response. IERA says people also need medical supplies, cooking sets, blankets, soap, zinc sheets, and tools and seeds.
On March 9, the latest appeal for Angola, AFAO51 - Relief and Rehabilitation, was issued to continue the assistance to war-affected populations in the provinces of Lunda Sul, Lunda Sul, Moxico, Nambie, Uige and Zaire. Besides IERA, other ACT members that are part of this appeal are DanChurchAid, The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and Conselho de Igrejas Crist=E3s em Angola.
For further information, please contact:
ACT Communications Officer Callie Long
(mobile/cell phone +41 79 358 3171) or
ACT Information Officer Stephen Padre (mobile/cell phone +41 79 681 1868)
+41 22 791 6039/6711
fax: +41 22 791 6506