Torrential rains ravaged central Algeria in early October, causing devastating mudslides which left dozens of people dead and injured and many thousands homeless. The region of Ghardaia is located in a desert area, some 600 kilometres south of the capital, Algiers.
More than 450 Algerian Red Crescent volunteers were on the spot immediately following the disaster, working in close collaboration with governmental civil defence teams, to evacuate people, provide first aid and distribute emergency relief. Algerian Red Crescent used its own emergency stocks as well as donations from the general public to help flood victims.
Thousands of people who are housed in public buildings, with host families or in tents, must be looked after until they can return home. To support Algerian Red Crescent assistance to some 12,000 people (2,500 families) over the next six months, the International Federation is appealing for 800,000 Swiss francs.
Funds will be used to distribute water purification tablets, hygiene articles, blankets, bedding and kitchen utensils to vulnerable affected families, as well as provide basic health care and psychological support programmes. Monies will also support vaccination campaigns and the replenishment of Algerian Red Crescent emergency stocks.
The Algerian Red Crescent is coordinating the distribution of relief in 10 of 17 sites set up to support the affected population. Its psychologists have begun visiting students in schools, colleges and high schools to help the youngsters overcome the trauma of the disaster.
The floods were the worst in decades, and thousands of families lost all their possessions when their homes were washed out.