Maldives Situation Report #31/2005
Water shortages are being experienced by Thaa Atoll Buruni following the breakdown of its water production plant. The island office says that the plant which was producing 500 litres of water daily broke down on Friday 27th of February. Bottled water is being brought in until repair is completed. The island office said that they have started using chlorinated well water for household needs despite some areas on the island still showing signs of saltwater contamination in the fresh water lens.
The National Disaster Management Centre has announced that reconstruction work in the affected islands is at a standstill because of delays in transporting the needed material. NDMC source quoted that amongst the affected islands where reconstruction work need to be carried out, work has not been initiated on about 40 islands because of difficulties in sending materials. Required labour force is already in shortage and announcements have been made for interest parties to come forth to help transport the materials. There are 70 islands where reconstruction activities need to be carried out, and in only 22 of them work is in progress.
II. OVERVIEW OF ACTIVITIES
The WFP targeted food distribution programme has been put on hold until the Government of Maldives approves the joint Letter of Understanding that outlines WFP's food distribution activities in the country. WFP plans to target 42,000 beneficiaries under this programme.
WFP has also identified 24,000 beneficiaries under its school feeding programme and has distributed approximately 36.5 Mt of fortified biscuits to the target population.
WFP has also called forward 1,800 Mt of rice and procuring 126 Mt sugar, 63 Mt oil and 126 Mt pulses is underway which are expected to arrive by the end of March.
UNFPA conducted appraisal trips to Thaa Atoll Buruni and Dhaalu Atoll Kudahuvadhoo on 23rd February to assess the situation of IDPs living in the two host communities. Findings from the field include:
While there does not appear to be any open friction, expressions of concern were heard about the load imposed by IDPs on the host communities.
There is a deterioration of living conditions among host families and in the temporary shelters. Overall hygiene seemed to worsen with toilet and bathing facilities at times badly overloaded, especially in the case of host families, which may be the cause for matter-related infections concerns.
There is no evidence of pregnancies being interrupted, pre-term births or small-for-date births that might be linked to the tsunami and/or to displacement. On the other hand, among adolescent girls from badly affected islands there are some indications that menstrual bleeding patterns may have been seriously impacted
Loss of essential hospital equipment needed for safe and hygienic deliveries and management of newborn problems presents a serious hazard, especially in view of difficulties transporting women in labor and neonates with difficulties that require mechanical intervention. Equipment replacement through UNFPA Emergency Kits and WHO Kits has helped hospitals and health centers to respond on a temporary basis; however there is a need to rehabilitate hospitals with more permanent and sophisticated equipment.
III. MAIN CHALLENGES
According to Government and UN sources, logistics is the main challenge in responding to the needs of the affected population for housing and emergency health care.
V. USEFUL WEBSITES
VI. OTHER INFORMATION
Field office contact Aishath Jeelaan, Communications Officer, United Nations Resident Coordinator System, Tel: (960) 324501 ext. 227, mob: (960) 787 987.