Afghanistan + 1 more

Iran: Drought Appeal No. 19/02 Operations Update No. 3

Format
Appeal
Source
Posted
Originally published


Launched on 15 July 2002 for CHF 899,000 for 12 months for 65,000 beneficiaries.
Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) Allocated: N/A
Period covered: 15 February - 15 July 2003
IN BRIEF

Appeal coverage: 118%
Related Appeals: Middle East and North Africa regional programs (01.54/2002)
Outstanding needs: None

Summary: Various indicators reflect continued hardship for Afghan refugees, as well as a considerable part of the Iranian population from not having access to permanent water-supply systems. In view of the situation, the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) and the Federation have continued the drought operation initiated in August 2000, through this emergency appeal. The objectives are to provide clean drinking water to at least 65,000 people, carry out public health education, as well as waste disposal activities. Approximately 95 percent of the targeted beneficiaries live in Zahedan and the remaining five percent in Zabul.

Appeal 19/2002's title has been modified to "Iran Drought", targeting the vulnerable population in the most affected region. The operation has been extended through 15 July 2004. ECHO funding facilitated through the Swedish Red Cross will cover 90% of the cost of carrying out activities until 01 April 2004.The expansion of the drought operation to include the Fars province, is funded by 2/3 of the available balance of the appeal contribution, (mainly from the American Red Cross).

Operational Developments

In July 2002, the Federation launched a second consecutive emergency appeal to assist 65,000 people affected by severe water shortages in the eastern province of Sistan-va-Baluchistan, close to the border with Afghanistan. Approximately 80 percent of the target population are Afghan refugees living in non-camp settlements of Zabul and Zahedan, with the rest being Iranian population deprived of access to safe drinking water in the same areas. The operation is a continuation of the appeal 21/2000.

As the severe drought in large areas in Central Asia continues with a particularly harsh impact on Iran and with still no end to the water shortfall in sight, this operations update extends the current appeal until 15 July 2004 with an expansion to other affected areas - starting with the Fars provinces - triggered by the 10 July earthquake in an already severely drought affected part of Iran. The size and scope of the expansion is under development and will depend on donor response. The appeal title is modified to "Iran Drought", targeting the vulnerable population in the most affected region.

The current level of donor support has ensured a smooth running of the operation until July 2003. An ECHO contract brought about through the Swedish Red Cross has made possible an extension of the water and sanitation component targeting 80,000 Afghan and Iranian beneficiaries in the province of Sistan-Baluchistan in the areas of Zahedan and Zabul for another nine months starting 1 July 2003. A recently announced American Red Cross contribution complements the water and sanitation component and will ensure that related administrative costs are being met.

Serious water shortages in the region are due to a number of factors. A continuing drought has been affecting the whole of Central Asia for the past 4 years, and eastern parts of Iran have been particularly seriously hit. According to official statistics, the level of rainfall has been continuously decreasing in Zahedan and Zabul since 1999. On top of that the region is suffering an unusual hot summer this year with temperatures up to 58 0 C .

In addition to drought conditions, Iran has had no regular access to the water coming from Afghanistan's Hirmand river since 1998, in spite of the interstate agreement allocating 26 cubic meters of water per second to Iran. In October 2002, Afghan authorities opened the Kajaki dam for the first time since 1998, however for a short period of time and the dam was closed again, since the water was needed for agricultural production in Afghanistan. The trend of temporary opening and closing of the dam continues. At the time of reporting water supplies from the Kajaki dam have again been discontinued.

Iranian authorities mobilized its resources in an effort to deal with the worst economic and social problems caused by the drought and made efforts to improve water supply in the province. Almost 900 villages - most of them mainly populated by Iranians citizens - have been connected to a permanent water pipeline, while the villages hosting a majority of Afghan population remain excluded from the initiative.

According to UNHCR between the Afghan population living in Iran numbers between 1.2 and 1.5 million, while the Iranian government's estimate is close to 2,5 million. Of this figure 380,000 persons are registered as refugees with the majority living in the Sistan-va-Baluchistan province.

In June 2003 a new tripartite agreement, replacing the 2002 agreement, between the governments of Iran and Afghanistan and UNHCR on voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees in Iran allowing for an extension of the scheme until 2005 primarily in order not to overwhelm the fragile economy of Afghanistan. According to UNHCR some 47,000 Afghans were repatriated to Afghanistan from the province of Sistan-va-Baluchistan this year as part of the scheme. The statistics include Afghans not holding refugee status,

Those remaining in Iran are having increasing difficulties finding work and being self-supportive, due to new laws being passed preventing organisations from hiring Afghans, because of their lack of residence status. According to BAFIA (Bureau for Immigrants and Aliens), the authorities will also gradually withdraw the permanent residence status for recognized refugees, starting in September 2003.

Since the repatriation program has not yet affected the areas where the water supply project is running, the same number of the beneficiaries as before are being supplied with fresh water. The aim is to increase the present supply of 440,000 litres per day to 600,000 litres during the next phase of the project, 2003-2004.

All above-mentioned indicators reflect continued hardship for Afghan refugees, as well as a considerable part of the Iranian population not having access to permanent water-supply systems. In view of the situation, IRCS and the Federation have continued the drought operation initiated in August 2000, through this emergency appeal. The objectives are to provide clean drinking water to at least 65,000 people, carry out public health education, as well as waste disposal activities. Approximately 95 percent of the targeted beneficiaries live in Zahedan and the remaining five percent in Zabul.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

IRCS and the Federation have been implementing the operation since August 2000. The focus has remained largely the same, both in terms of the beneficiary selection criteria, target numbers, as well as programme objectives. The continuity of the operation has provided the opportunity to refine the implementation modalities and build capacities on the basis of lessons learnt.

Coordination

IRCS and the Federation have been carrying out this operation in close cooperation with provincial authorities. The Zahedan public health department is organizing chlorination of water, and providing regular information on the general drought situation in the region, ongoing water supply projects, as well as future outlook. In Zabul, regular meetings with the local water department are being held to facilitate water collection and distribution.

Also, coordination meetings are being held at field level between IRCS, the Federation, UN agencies and MSF. All NGOs present during and after the Afghan crisis - except MSF- have now left the region. Finally, efforts are being made to coordinate humanitarian assistance provided through this operation with UNHCR, who are responsible for the implementation of the voluntary repatriation scheme that started in 2002.

Red Cross and Red Crescent Society

The provincial IRCS branch has been responsible for the planning and implementation of the project since the very beginning, in close cooperation with the Federation and the IRCS headquarters. Logistical setup, established in the previous operation (appeal 21/2000) has been maintained, with all hardware capacity being in use and managed by the National Society.

In its continuous efforts to provide the beneficiaries with drinkable fresh water that helps them both economically and hygienically, the provincial IRCS provincial branch, with support from the Federation, has initiated negotiations with the Zahedan authorities with a view to purchase water directly from the local water and sewage department's water outlet in the city. When an agreement is signed this, will not only lead to an improved and constant water quality, but also to the possibility of providing more water to the beneficiaries, since several hours of transport time and long waiting hours at the well site will be eliminated.

Objectives, activities and results

Water and sanitation

Objective 1: Distribute fresh water to the affected population in Zahedan and Zabul, populated mainly by Afghan refugees living in non-camp settlements.

Approximately 65,000 beneficiaries are assisted on a daily basis with regular supply of fresh drinking water. Of that number, some 61,500 are in Zahedan and 3,500 in Zabul. With a number of villages recently being included in the governmental water supply scheme, the number of beneficiaries in Zabul has temporarily dropped to 2,600. The total amount of water distributed remains, however, 404,000 litres per day. All means to increase the daily supply to at least 600,000 litres per day are being investigated and efforts are made to receive water directly from the municipal water and sewage department's outlets.

In Zahedan, water is collected from a private well, on the basis of a contract signed between IRCS and the well-owner. Two other wells previously used by the programme have been excluded from the programme since the water level diminished and the water became unfit for human consumption. Prior to distribution, water is systematically chlorinated at chlorine stations administered by the local public health department. In addition, the health department is running mobile check points tasked to check the level of chlorination of water in tanks. The distribution is carried out through 17 fixed water tanks and 7 mobile distribution points. Studies are underway to determine where five tanks stored at the Zahedan provincial branch warehouse, will be best deployed in the Zahedan area, thus increasing the number of fixed distribution points to 22. The total amount of drinking water at the time of reporting distributed in Zahedan is 344,000 litres per day - an average of 6 litres per person per day.

In addition, most people have access to a limited quantity of saline water used exclusively for household purposes. The table below indicates distribution points in Zahedan:

Tank No
Name of settlements in Zahedan
Fixed tank capacity (Lt)
Location:
1
Karimabad
20'000
End of lane Jamejam Gas Station
2
Karimabad
20'000
End of Karimabad
3
Karimabad
20'000
Poshtepasgah
4
Shirabad
20'000
By Park
5
Shirabad
20'000
Hemmatabad
6
Shirabad
20'000
Majdieh
7
Isolated settlement
20'000
Gorgijs' Lane
8
Shirabad
20'000
By Camel Market
9
Shirabad
20'000
End of Ayadi Avenue
10
Shirabad
12'000
Bagh-e-Rakhshaniha
11
Isolated settlement
5'000
Siksuzi (Dakhelekuche)
12
Shirabad
5'000
Esmailabad, 1st Chahardivari
13
Isolated settlement
5'000
Siksuzi (Qasemabad)
14
Isolated settlement
5'000
End of Jadeqadim
15
Isolated settlement
5'000
Behind RC warehouse
16
Isolated settlement
5'000
Behind Haqqani mosque
17
Isolated settlement
12'000
By Haqqani mosque

In Zabul, chlorinated water is collected free of charge from two water outlets of the city's water pipeline and distributed in remote rural areas through six distribution points. A decrease from 15 distribution points in the previous operation to six in this one is due to the implementation of the government plan to connect 900 villages in Zabul to regular water supply system. Eleven small villages targeted by the IRCS operation have been included in that plan, for which reason they were removed from the beneficiary list of this project, while two new villages have been added. These did not receive water through the government's scheme and their wells had completely dried up. The scattered villages benefiting from the IRCS water supply project are populated exclusively by Afghan refugees. Below table indicates distribution points in Zabul:

Tank no
Name of Village
Fixed Tank Capacity (Lt)
Remarks
1
Dahanebagh
20'000
2
Bayikhalesi
20'000
3
Palgi-Bazi
20'000
4
Dargi
5'000
5
Eisa
5'000
New site
6
Allahkadar
5'000
New site

Out of the total fleet available for this project, in Zahedan IRCS is using 11 trucks - six of 12,000 litres capacity, four of 5,000 litres, one of 30,000 litres, as well as 10 mobile water tractors. In Zabul, three trucks of 12,000 litres capacity are being used for water distribution.

Community members, including the women, have been selected to guard water tanks , oversee distribution of water and keep records of delivery. They are recruited from the Afghan population, as part of efforts to help them cope with highly limited employment opportunities. In a few cases where the guards did not carry out their duties as expected and exploited their position , the national society immediately took action to have them replaced.

In order to ensure clean and hygienic drinking water, beneficiaries will be provided with new plastic water containers ( 20 litres) to replace old and broken ones. The process of obtaining quotations and subsequent analysis has been initiated by the delegation through the NS.

The provincial branch has improved control at the distribution points by contracting a supervisor who makes daily rounds in order to monitor water distribution and to act as liaison between the beneficiaries and the provincial branch co-ordinator.

Objective 2: Clean up solid waste in non-camp settlements, especially in areas close to the existing water distribution points.

The solid waste disposal project is implemented in Zahedan, with the aim to increase hygiene of the targeted areas, which is not covered by the local municipality's garbage collection scheme. IRCS has recruited, trained and equipped two teams - 11 solid waste workers and 2 drivers. The teams are responsible for collection of solid waste in allocated sites (one team is in charge of cleaning the defined sites in Karimabad , another team in Shirabad ) , and their transport by two tractor-trailers to a special disposal area allocated by the municipality, located 12 km away from Zahedan city. An average of 9,330 kg of waste (21.8 cubic metres) is being disposed of on a daily basis. The garbage collectors are equipped with safety gear and tools.

The IRCS provincial branched is concerned about the close location of the waste disposal area to the water collection points and has initiated negotiations with the municipality regarding a change of site. In spite of a preliminary negative answer, the IRCS and the Federation field officer continue to argue the case.

The Federation team has suggested that the community participate actively in the waste disposal programme and take more ownership of the activity. The issue of waste disposal education in schools and at community level together with organized community days is under discussion with the provincial branch.

Health and care

Objective 1: Establish a community based preventive health and hygiene promotion programme, in order to improve the living conditions of the Afghan refugee population in non-camp settlements.

Reviews of health activities part of the previous emergency appeal have indicated increased awareness of beneficiaries of water-borne diseases and their prevention, hygiene and safe use of water. Therefore, the scope and type of activities within this operation remain the same. Pamphlets containing simple information on personal hygiene, safe use of water and environmental health have been compiled in Farsi and are being used in the health and hygiene education. In April the IRCS started implementing the programme with forty IRCS male (16) and female (24) volunteers trained in public health, who are now experienced enough to run the program by themselves. The volunteers carry out visits to beneficiaries households, collect information on the general health situation and provide face-to-face advice and guidance on safe use of water, hygiene, general and productive health. A comprehensive questionnaire has been designed for the purpose and the information obtained is entered into a database.

Each family is invited to participate in further education in health and hygiene at the national societies' training facilities at the logistics warehouse, where they are also provided with hygiene kits in the form of a household trash can packed by the volunteers. The table below shows the contents of each kit:

  • Detergent: 2 pcks
  • Dishwashing liquid: 1 unit
  • Toothpaste: 2 pcs
  • Toothbrush: 3 pcs
  • Shampoo: 2 units
  • Soap: 5 pcs
  • Garbage plastic bags: 2 pcks
  • Sponge: 1 pcs
  • Insect killing spray: 1 pcs

Initially each family received one standard kit irrespective of the number of members. As the contents clearly do not correspond to the average family size of five or more members, the kits are now being revised.

One or more follow-up visits are carried out to evaluate the impact of the health training and an evaluation form is completed by the volunteers. The impact of the programme is continuously being evaluated with a midterm evaluation planned for August/September. It has been recommended that an oral health component be included in the basic health and hygiene education. A separate project proposal will be considered.

Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement -- Principles and Initiatives

This operation mainly targets Afghan refugees living in non-camp settlements who do not have access to clean water and sanitation facilities, and most of whom do not have regulated residence in Iran and therefore cannot qualify for work. IRCS and the Federation play an important role in advocating the need for provision of minimum standard of assistance to refugees, jointly with UNHCR and ICRC. Also, inclusion of the vulnerable Iranian population from the same settlements in this operation ensures the balance in provision of assistance and adherence to the criterion of vulnerability as the most important one in identifying target groups.

Female beneficiaries are of major importance in projects such as this one, in view of their central role in the maintenance of households, including the use of water and family hygiene. For that reason, they are especially targeted in health education campaigns.

National Society Capacity Building

Over the past two years, IRCS provincial branch has considerably strengthened its technical and human resources capacity. The vehicle fleet procured through the emergency appeal was handed over to the National Society to replace old malfunctioning trucks and a number of leased vehicles. Human resources have been enhanced, with over 100 new staff and volunteers recruited and trained. IRCS project coordinators and field officers have assumed a greater number of responsibilities within the programme.

The provincial branch has elaborated an organizational chart indicating clear duties and responsibilities for each person involved in the project. An administrative project base has been established at the relief warehouse complex, where the executive manager and project co-ordinator are based. The vehicle fleet is also located at the warehouse complex , which facilitates monitoring of logistics and staff .

Assisted technically by the Federation delegation team, planning, response and financial reporting according to Federation procedures and standards has likewise improved considerably during the project implementation period.

Federation Delegation

The Federation delegation is assisting IRCS in the overall operational management, by coordinating donor response, monitoring the implementation and providing technical assistance to IRCS in capacity building with a focus on planning, monitoring and evaluation of programmes, facilitation in the strengthening of human and financial resources and standardization of procedures.

Until the end of June, direct support to the National Society was provided by the relief delegate, mainly responsible for monitoring of project implementation. A senior field officer based in Zahedan is in charge for daily coordination of activities with the IRCS provincial branch, as well as monitoring and data collection including information on weather conditions, health statistics, repatriation process and other information necessary for the evaluation of the impact of the operation on the most vulnerable.

Visibility

The visibility of the humanitarian organisation implementing the project is done by displaying the logos of the Federation and the Iranian Red Crescent. The signs and logos were produced both locally and sent from Geneva. On all the vehicles , all the fixed tanks, all the mobile tanks and trailers the Federation sign is to be observed. Furthermore, on all the pamphlets regarding the health and hygiene programme the Federation sign is printed . Project vehicles are kept clean and in good shape via frequent maintenance.

Advocacy/Public Information

Most activities to advocate the needs and rights of the target population are made at the field level, through cooperation with local authorities, UN and NGOs present in the region. Local and international media are

active in the follow up of the drought situation in the region, as well as issues of water-distribution between Afghanistan and Iran. Finally, IRCS and the Federation are using their respective web site to draw further attention of external partners and general public to the need to continue supporting this needed operation. The Federation's regional delegation in Amman is assisting in further media mobilization on this the program in particular through Al-Ittihad, the first-ever regular information publication in Arabic and English issued by the Federation.

Outstanding needs

The expansion in the drought and earthquake-affected province of Fars, centred around the city of Shiraz will be launched with a major part of the available funds donated to appeal 19/02 and its extension.

For further details please contact: Ole Guldahl, Head of Delegation Iran. Phone :00989112264015 Fax: 0098218849079; email: ifrcir 05@ ifrc .org

All International Federation Operations seek to adhere to the Code of Conduct and are committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (SPHERE Project) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

This operation seeks to administer to the immediate requirements of the victims of this disaster. Subsequent operations to promote sustainable development or longer-term capacity building will require additional support, and these programmes are outlined on the Federation's website.

For further information concerning Federation operations in this or other countries, please access the Federation website at http://www.ifrc.org.

Annex 1

Iran - Drought
APPEAL No. 19/2002
PLEDGES RECEIVED
04.08.2003
DONOR
CATEGORY
QUANTITY
UNIT
VALUE CHF
DATE
COMMENT
CASH
REQUESTED IN APPEAL CHF
899'000
TOTAL COVERAGE 118.1%
AMERICAN - RC
159'750
USD
217'260
04.03.03
AMERICAN - PRIVATE DONOR
140
USD
218
31.07.2002
AMERICAN - RC
325'000
USD
441'838
23.04.03
FINNISH - RC
20'000
EUR
29'396
14.08.2002
GERMAN - RC
50'000
EUR
73'400
11.09.2002
JAPANESE - RC
20'000
USD
29'480
14.08.2002
SWEDISH - RC
750'000
SEK
119'850
25.07.2002
SWISS - GOVT
150'000
28.08.2002
SUB/TOTAL RECEIVED IN CASH
1'061'442
CHF
118.1%
KIND AND SERVICES (INCLUDING PERSONNEL)
DONOR
CATEGORY
QUANTITY
UNIT
VALUE CHF
DATE
COMMENT
SUB/TOTAL RECEIVED IN KIND/SERVICES
CHF
0.0%
ADDITIONAL TO APPEAL BUDGET
DONOR
CATEGORY
QUANTITY
UNIT
VALUE CHF
DATE
COMMENT
SUB/TOTAL RECEIVED
CHF