A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster Heavy rains and flooding affected south-west Algeria's normally arid Tindouf region on 23 October 2015. The heavy rains caused widespread damage to five camps sheltering 90,000 of the most vulnerable Sahrawi refugees. Approximately 35,000 people were affected.
Summary of response
An assessment was carried out in mid-November 2015 by the Algerian Red Crescent with the support of the IFRC. Food, shelter, non-food items (NFIs) and hygiene kits were identified as key priorities for the affected people.
Due to logistical problems with the procurement of needed NFIs, as well as the shelter material required to erect traditional Sahrawi tents (as standard IFRC emergency tents were considered unsuitable for the environment and culture of the camp inhabitants), the operation was delayed and an exceptional no cost extension was agreed to run remaining activities until the end of May 2016.
Non-food items (hygiene kits, buckets, kitchen sets, blankets) were sourced and arrived in Oran port, Algeria, on the 19th of March 2016. Algerian Red Crescent (ARC) offloaded the items and carried out the distributions at Tindouf camps mid-April 2016. Shelter items arrived at Oran port by mid-May 2016.
Due to the delay with the shelter items, a Regional Disaster Response Team (RDRT) was redeployed to Tindouf at the beginning of May 2016 (instead of April) for one month, to support with the sensitization, preparation, receipt and setup of shelter materials, as well as post-distribution monitoring for NFIs and beneficiary satisfaction survey.
Overview of Host National Society
The Algerian Red Crescent is auxiliary to the Algerian government and partner to many organizations and agencies including the UNHCR in relation to refugee management. The National Society last managed a flood of this magnitude five years ago, and was present in the field to provide direct assistance to the affected population, including with lifesaving activities such as first aid, psychosocial support and rapid needs assessment.
More than 5,000 families (25,000 people) received visits from about 100 National Society volunteers, who helped them to evacuate the area at the beginning of the disaster.
Around 400 tons of food aid were collected and distributed by the Algerian Red Crescent volunteers from host communities not affected and the distribution took place in camps and targeted more than 5,000 people (1,000 families).
In term of needs, after a rapid assessment carried out by the Algerian National Society on the 25th of October and after going through reports received from the UNHCR office in Algeria, the affected population is in great need of shelter; with at least 10,000 traditional tents damaged or destroyed, shelter assistance is considered to be the main priority. The assessment revealed that other non-food items (blankets, kitchen sets, buckets, etc.) have also been considered as major needs.
A deeper analysis was needed and was supported by the arrival of the Disaster Response Delegate and an RDRT deployed to support the need to see how far the lives and the livelihoods of the affected population; in addition to a capacity training that was held in Tindouf by the Disaster management officer of IFRC MENA region. The National Society anticipated shelter needs by requesting that a local factory starts producing mattresses in large quantities to meet the needs of affected population.