Comoros: Humanitarian Situation Report No #1 - Cyclone Kenneth

Report
from UN Children's Fund
Published on 24 Apr 2019

Highlights

  • As of 24 April, Tropical Cyclone Kenneth, a category 1 storm (speeds of up to 110 kph) is expected to impact on the Union of Comoros.

  • An estimated 150, 000 people mainly north and east of the island of Grande Comore are under threat. There is a high risk of flooding over the whole territory and particularly on the island of Anjouan.

  • Of those in need, 67,800 are children and 41,800 women.

  • UNICEF Comoros has launched its contingency and immediate response plan as part of the national emergency plan and has prepared emergency relief materials to provide an immediate response to the humanitarian situation.

SITUATION IN NUMBERS

  • An estimated 150,000 people are in need of humanitarian assistance.

  • This includes an estimated 67,800 children.

Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs

On 23 April, a tropical storm north of Madagascar began to strengthen and was named Tropical Cyclone Kenneth, a category 1 storm with speeds of up to 110kph). In the Comoros, the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Civile (DGSC) triggered a yellow cyclone alert on 23 with the expectation that northern Comoros will be hit by a cyclone, as of 24 April. Based on the sectoral preparedness plans, it is estimated that at least 150,000 people located mostly on the northern and eastern part of Ngazidja island and part of the Anjouan island are in need of humanitarian assistance. Of those in need, 67,800 are children and 41,800 women. Flood risk is high on the entire archipelago. The situation is likely to deteriorate further, and the number of people affected is likely to increase. The priority focus of the response remains on health, wash and shelter.

The Comorian Government has taken the lead to respond to the crisis supported by UN agencies and the Red Crescent. However, Government capacities to respond remain a key issue, particularly significant weakness in sectoral response. Partners on the ground have limited capacity and there is no cluster approach in Comoros.

Limited access due to damaged roads is another important predicted constraint. With all national transport suspended, limited power supply and phone connectivity, logistic is a real challenge. Flooding due to heavy rains is expected to increase in the coming days, as response operations will be affected by the extent of the floods.

Among the affected population, it is estimated that 65 per cent use rainwater harvesting as their main source of water, while 35 per cent are connected to a water supply system. While rainwater will be available, some citterns may be damaged, and most should be considered as contaminated. The water supply system (Mbeni and Mitsamiouli) will primarily be affected by power cuts, preventing pumping and hampering water supply. People will revert to rainwater, which will be available.

From 24 April, Government facilities including schools are closed, and UN staff work from home. Inter-agency appeal will be decided upon the rapid assessment.