• An estimated 45,000 people have been affected by Cyclone Kenneth, which hit Comoros on 24 April. Initial estimates indicate seven people died, over 200 people were wounded, and 20, 000 people displaced.
• Almost 80 per cent of farms are destroyed, which will have a significant impact as agriculture is the main economic sector of the country. An estimated 63 per cent of crop plants and 35 per cent of cash crops have been destroyed.
• The cyclone destroyed 3,818 houses, while 400 schools and six health centers were damaged, and one hospital was flooded.
• With the start of Ramadan this week, the loss of staple food crops will cause food shortages and price inflation for other foodstuffs.
• UNICEF has deployed staff from all sectors to assist the Government in rapid assessment activities.
SITUATION OVERVIEW AND HUMANITARIAN NEEDS
Comoros experienced significant impact from Tropical Cyclone Kenneth, a category 1 storm (speeds of up to 110 kph) on 24/25 April. Flooding has occurred in high risk areas of the entire archipelago, mainly on the costal lines. Preliminary estimates indicate seven people have died and over 200 people were wounded. An estimated 45000 people were affected, and at least 20, 000 displaced (many of them are children). The number of displaced is likely to increase once a better indication of how many households have been destroyed is available.
Clean water is an issue, as more than 96 water tanks have lost their covers and are polluted with rubbish or filled with sea water; heightening the risk of water-borne diseases spreading. The situation is likely to deteriorate rapidly if urgent action is not taken to purify water tanks and the number of people affected is likely to increase.
The electricity grid is destroyed throughout the territory. The water supply system (Mbeni and Mitsamiouli) is primarily affected by lack of power, preventing pumping. People have resorted to rainwater, which is available but not potable for consumption. Limited access to the affected areas due to damaged roads is a significant issue. With all national transport suspended and no power supply, the ability to move supplies is seriously hampered.
From 24 April, Government facilities, including schools were closed. The cyclone has damaged 608 schools (mostly pre-primary and primary). The cyclone also caused the total destruction of 3,818 houses and the partial destruction of 7,013 houses. Sixty three percent of food crops, 35 per cent of cash crops and 34 per cent of fruit trees were destroyed.