DR Congo

UNICEF external flash situation report Goma/North Kivu, DR Congo - 09-11 Nov 2008

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Major Developments

- Fighting erupted in Kanyabayonga on the afternoon of 10 November with reports of widespread FARDC looting; population displacement to the north as well as new arrivals of IDPs into Kanyabayonga area who have fled fighting further south in the Nyanzale area.

- Major fighting 9-10 November in Ngungu area southwest of Sake; IDPs started arriving in Minova today.

Humanitarian situation

- Thousands of people still on the move with new arrivals in Minova, Kanyabayonga as well as movement further north to other towns in southern Lubero territory.

- At present cholera remains a primary concern with the humanitarian community mobilizing a major response to address increased number of cases; while situation is of great concern, the current efforts are proving successful in containing significant spread of the disease in areas where humanitarian actors maintain operations such as Masisi, Goma, Kirotshe, Kibati.

- UNICEF remains, however, particularly concerned about limited humanitarian access to areas where the risk of cholera--among other diseases and threats to population-are unknown, particularly in Rutshuru and Birambizo health zones; Birambizo health zone reported some of the worst health and nutrition indicators in the past months and UNICEF and partners are worried about the situation there now that access to humanitarian actors is limited.

UNICEF Response

Nutrition/Health

- At present UNICEF is providing supplies (Oral Rehydration Solution, Ringer Lactate) to three cholera treatment centers in the Goma area; additional supplies for cholera response have arrived in Goma from national stocks in Kinshasa to reinforce UNICEF response capacity.

- In collaboration with provincial health authorities and the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF continues emergency measles vaccinations and Vitamin A supplement campaigns in the Sake-Kirotshe-Minova area for 9,000 children.

- After suspension due to fighting on 7 November, measles vaccinations will resume tomorrow, 12 November, for 13,000 children in Kibati; UNICEF continues support to free health care in the Kibati camps with partner IMC (International Medical Corps).

- UNICEF partner, COOPI has released preliminary results from its nutritional screening in Kibati 1 and Kibati 2 IDP camps. Results indicate global acute malnutrition rates of 6%. While this situation is not at emergency levels, UNICEF is concerned about the high number of cases of severe acute malnutrition; those cases identified during the screening are being transferred to Therapeutic Feeding facilities in Goma; nearly one-third of children who were screened also had had diarrhea in recent days.

Water/Sanitation

- Wat-san Cluster members are working to keep the cholera outbreaks under control in accessible areas; UNICEF partner Mercy Corps continues water trucking activities to Mugunga 1 camp west of Goma (100 m3/day) and Kibati (over 250 m3/day); additional construction of latrines continues as well in the Kibati camps as well as hygiene promotion activities.

- UNICEF supported water chlorination activities continue at 26 points in Goma and 37 points in the lakeside Kirotshe area.

- Water infrastructure has been badly damaged in Rutshuru town; an RRM/Solidarités assessment missions visited Rutshuru today, 11 November 2008 to evaluate the situation

- RRM/IRC wat-san activities continued in Ngungu (prior to the fighting), Murambi, Kitchanga-Kanyatsi, and Nteko-Matand--including rehabilitation of water systems, public latrine construction and disinfection of cholera-affected areas

- RRM/Solidarités water trucking activities in Kanyabayonga are on standby after the recent fighting;

- On 10 November, the water-sanitation cluster received a supply donation from DfID of 1,000,000 Aquatab's- water purification tablets capable of purifying 10,000,000 liters of water in an emergency setting.

Non-Food Items/Emergency Shelter Materials

- On behalf of the NFI/Emergency shelter cluster, UNICEF has received emergency supplies from DfID to be distributed via the RRM program and other cluster members; supplies included 11,000 plastic tarpaulin sheets, 18,000 blankets, and 24,000 plastic buckets.

- UNICEF and cluster members are packaging these supplies with other essential items such as soap, cooking sets and clothing to compose complete family kits of essential relief items; NFI/Emergency shelter material distributions should commence in the coming days

Protection

- Save the Children and local partners involved in family tracing for separated children are deploying mobile teams to areas outside of IDP sites and along major areas of movement; these mobile teams area also accompanying measles vaccination teams to conduct tracing activities during the vaccination campaigns.

- Partners have also concluded initial identification of separated children in the public sites in Goma; 64 children have been identified; 12 were re-unified with their families.

- Ten Child Friendly Spaces in IDP sites are functional.

Education

- 85% of schools in Rutshuru territory have been closed since the end of October; this represents an estimated 100,000 primary school and 50,000 secondary school students. Schools in Masisi territory, Goma, and in Lubero and Beni territories (Grand Nord) are mostly open; province-wide 'Back to School' distributions of school supplies are planned for next week in accessible areas.