Cameroon: Floods - Revised emergency appeal n° MDRCM014

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Appeal target (current): CHF 1,552,349

Appeal coverage: 61%.

Appeal history:

• This Emergency Appeal was initially launched on 28 September 2012 for CHF 1,637,314 for 12 months to assist about 25,000 beneficiaries.

• Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF): CHF 299,707 was initially allocated from the Federation’s DREF to support the national society to respond.

• Operations Update No 1 was issued on 19 November 2012 to highlight the achievements since the beginning of the operation.

• This Appeal revision is reducing the budget from CHF 1,637,314 to CHF 1,552,349 to assist same beneficiaries (25,000).

Summary: Since the second half of August 2012, heavy rains have caused severe flooding in the northern regions (North and Far North) and in two other regions in the south of the country (the North West and East). Following these floods, a DREF operation provided assistance to the affected populations in the North and Far North Regions. Considering the magnitude of the situation, this DREF was upgraded into an emergency appeal.

To date, the Cameroon Red Cross (CRC) has distributed non-food items to 921 families, constructed 237 emergency shelters for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the North and Far North Regions, build 26 emergency latrines and treated 289 wells and provided first aid to flood-affected communities. In addition, CRC volunteers have carried out health awareness-raising and hygiene promotion campaigns that reached 8,641 people (7,463 in the North, and 1,178 in the Far North Region), which has helped to prevent the outbreak of water-related diseases. Following initial assessments it was decided to focus assistance in the North and Far North Regions, rather than in the south.

Since the launch of the Emergency Appeal, new floods occurred in Kousseri (the divisional headquarters in the Far North Region), which have affected nearly 1,400 people. The Red Cross has provided and continues to provide assistance to these newly affected people, among which are many pupils forced out of their classrooms at the beginning of the school year by the floodwaters.

In the original areas however, the situation has improved. Apart from pools of stagnant water, the floodwaters have receded. Families that benefited from temporary shelters provided by the government or humanitarian organisations have gone back to their original settlements. Those whose houses were partially destroyed have reinforced them with locally available materials such as pieces of cloth, straw (seko) or old roofing sheets. To date, 33,898 victims (15,720 in North and 18,178 in South) have already returned to their original areas of residence.

Apart from a few emergency latrines built at the relocation sites by the Red Cross and other partners such as UNICEF, the majority of people living with host families or those who recently returned to their homes, do not have access to latrines. Water points are also rare, with many of the existing ones are far away from those affected, and there are few open wells.

Due to the late arrival of funds and access difficulties caused by the rains and subsequent flooding, the activities planned for the initial phase of the operation were only partially completed. As a result, the needs in the targeted areas have changed from immediate relief assistance to early recovery and rehabilitation; this has informed this revision of the Emergency Appeal to align planned activities with current needs. The relief distribution activities in Kousseri district in the Far North region have been included, since this was also after initial Appeal launched in September.

This revision makes the following changes to the proposed operation to reflect this new focus on early recovery:- • Emergency non-food item distribution was reduced from 5,000 to 3,166 families (including new assistance in Kousseri). This includes distribution of emergency shelter items for 3,166 families.

• Activities have been added to support an additional 550 families returning to their communities to rehabilitate damaged and destroyed houses • The number of beneficiaries for emergency health interventions reduced from 5,000 to 3,166, and 1,800 receiving psychosocial support • The number of beneficiaries for water, sanitation and hygiene promotion activities reduced from 5,000 to 3,166.

• Activities have been added to support 150 families relying on fishing and 200 families relying on farming whose livelihoods were affected by the floods added and Disaster Risk Reduction activities are still pending depending on funding levels.

With the reduction of the budget to CHF 1,552,349 the appeal coverage now stands at 64%. Additional resources are needed to cover assistance to the additional flood affected communities and to help communities recover.

The Revised Emergency Appeal operation will end at the end of September 2013, and a final report will be issued three months after the end of the operation, at the end of December 2013.