Comoros: Tropical Cyclone Kenneth Emergency Plan of Action Operation Update n° 1 (Emergency appeal n° MDRKM007)

Situation Report
Originally published
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Description of the disaster

In April 2019, Tropical Cyclone Kenneth went at its closest to the Comoros archipelago, mainly affecting the island of Grand Comore (crossing the island) and causing subsequent flooding in Grande Comore, Moheli and Anjouan islands of Union of Comoros.
There have been heavy rains pouring on all three islands of Comoros since April 2019, causing flooding. Comoros is a country prone to hydrological disasters which normally have severe impact on the country’s population and infrastructure. Based on experience of other cyclones, it is estimated that at least 25,000 people have been affected by the cyclone in the at-risk areas across the Union of Comoros. Joint rapid assessments have been setup by the government and partner agencies to ascertain the scale of the disaster.
The General Directorate of Civil Protection [COSEP] was activated in April. Three coordination meetings of actors (states, NGOs, UN) have been held. The meteorological alert level changed to orange on the 23rd at 4:30 pm and to red in the afternoon of 24th April 2019. The government declared a state of natural disaster.
The Government capacities are very limited and so is the humanitarian presence, with Comoros Red Crescent Society (CoRC) being the main actor. There were rains for 2 days that caused floods in the city of Bambao.
The funds allocated for the operation enabled the CoRC to initiate response activities to the flooding as well as to replenish materials that will be distributed to the affected families as part of their early actions. The Appeal will also ensure that the NS has resources to conduct detailed needs assessments in all three affected islands which will inturn inform any strategy changes in the operation.

Summary of current response

Overview of Host National Society

Immediately after the alert was given Comoros Red Crescent (CoRC) mobilized volunteers to access the situation.
There are 110 volunteers amongst them 55 volunteers trained in Evaluation, 30 volunteers trained in Shelter and 25 volunteers trained in WASH.
NS volunteers conducted sensitization activities targeting 5,070 vulnerable households, to help them strengthen the roofs of their homes and providing information to communities to take appropriate preventive measures as the Cyclone formed. CoRC will continue to focus on assessing community needs like Shelter, household items (HHI),
WASH, and Health. The NS has prepositioned HHI in this sector to support a rapid response launch following the impact of the cyclone CoRC has taken actions in response to the disaster which include:

• Rapid assessment • Emergency aid • Identification of Water Tanks damage • Houses cleaning • 1 Hospital cleaned • Roads cleaned CoRC has equipped themselves with 2 Red Crescent vehicles, 13 staff members and 320 volunteers to ensure continuation of the response.
CoRC has a Floods Contingency Plan which proposes the implementation of the following activities:

• First aid and evacuation assistance • Shelter • Health promotion and psychological support • Food and non-food distribution • Drinking water and sanitation / hygiene • Restoring family links • Participating in evaluations and coordination of activities

CoRC is active in the areas of youth, first aid, health, promotion of humanitarian principles and values, capacity building, water and sanitation, the disaster risk management, vulnerability and capacity assessment at community level.
The National Society is also a member of the Indian Ocean Regional Intervention Platform (PIROI) since 2000 and is supported through a regional disaster risk reduction programme by the French Red Cross.

Overview of Red Cross Red Crescent Movement in country

IFRC continues to provide support to Comoros Red Crescent (CoRC) through its Indian Ocean Islands and Djibouti Country Cluster Support Team (IOID CCST) office based in Antananarivo, Madagascar. IOID CCST and Africa region have been actively engaging the National Society for readiness actions including the development of the emergency plan of action to ease release funds through DREF. IFRC supports organizational development and coordination between Movement partners, UN organizations, International NGOs and Government disaster management authorities.
There have been continuous discussions between the CoRC, PIROI and IFRC since the launch of the alert for cyclone Kenneth. PIROI has prepositioned stocks in the CoRC warehouse in Moroni and Grande Comore which has been utilized during the response and has been replenished through this DREF operation. PIROI has also taken part in distribution to 500 HH consisting of tarpaulin (2 per HH) and kitchen kits. They have also made a distribution for the benefit of 871 households in the 3 islands.
The CoRC continues to work closely with French Red Cross (FRC) in-country delegation which supports the CoRC on Primary Health programme held in the three islands.
ICRC in Comoros is supporting activities on international humanitarian law (IHL).

Overview of non-RCRC actors in country

• Several actors and the Government of Comoros are also active in the country, providing support to vulnerable populations. International humanitarian organizations present in Comoros include the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), UNPD, WHO, WFP CARITAS and the African Development Bank.

• National workshop was organised for build back safer with UNDP, UN-HABITAT, Ministry of Land Development