OCHA Flash Update #4 Cyclone Sagar aftermath in Djibouti | 30 May 2018
• At least 1,865 shelters were damaged or destroyed by Cyclone Sagar in Djibouti City.
• A voucher programme for 2,000 vulnerable households has been launched.
At least 1,865 families (9,350 men, women and children) had their shelters damaged or destroyed in Djibouti town and at least 630 households (3,150 men, women and children) were still displaced as of 26 May, according to an initial rapid assessment undertaken by the State Secretariat for Social Affairs (Secrétariat d’Etat aux Affaires Sociales (SEAS)) and UN and NGO partners. The assessment evaluated the humanitarian needs of people affected by Cyclone Sagar in 15 districts in Djibouti City and Damerjog Camp and found that most people initially displaced by the floods had returned home when the waters receded. The affected population, however, remains concerned regarding sanitation, food security and shelter, especially amongst the most disadvantaged families, whose houses were flooded for several days, and refugees, migrants and internally displaced people.
According to the assessment results, immediate emergency response priorities include emergency shelter and repairs to houses and sanitation facilities that were damaged, provision of non-food items and disease prevention. Analysis from UNOSAT has found that the Oued Ambouli neighbourhood was one of the most affected, with more than 350 houses made of poor materials categorized as potentially damaged. The area is located along the floodplain of Oued Ambouli River, which was severely affected by flash floods and heavy rains.
During the rapid assessment, people reported having lost household items as a result of the flooding and highlighted the need for emergency shelter materials, blankets, bed sheets and mosquito nets as well as soap, jerry cans, washing powder. Vulnerable people of particular concern include children, widows, elderly and the disabled, who have limited ability to undertake shelter repairs. There are also protection concerns arising, as some people reported losing their national identification cards, which provide proof of citizenship and are needed to obtain employment, register for schooling, access health services and apply for government benefits.
Food security was highlighted as a priority, as households are now having to prioritize purchasing other items, such as shelter and sanitation repairs, over food. Most households are reporting resorting to negative coping strategies including a decrease in food consumption, as they have less available income for food.
Water drainage of affected areas in Djibouti City remains a priority. Stagnant water was still visible one week after the cyclone had passed as the sewerage system was unable to absorb the floodwater. While subsequent high temperatures evaporated much of the surface water, water tends to return to specific areas where drainage is poor and pumping of water is therefore ongoing. Sanitation facilities have been significantly flooded and damaged throughout the city. Faecal contamination is visible in many districts and there is an increased risk of water-borne disease as a result. Despite the existence of a garbage collection system, trash accumulated in some districts during the flooding, heightening the risks of contaminated water. Some cases of diarrheal diseases have been reported in at least two districts of Djibouti town. Outside of Djibouti City, there is a significant presence of large pools of stagnant water along the road heading to Ethiopia and around Damerjog camp.
More on UNOSAT floods rapid assessment: http://www.unitar.org/unosat/node/44/2811
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.