Georgia

Georgia: Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 3

Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2005/0080

OCHA Situation Report No. 3
Georgia - Floods

This situation report is based on information provided by the United Nations Resident Coordinator's office in Tbilisi as well as IFRC.

Situation.

1. Rains continue to fall over most of Georgia and more precipitations are expected during the next three days. Due to damaged roads and bridges, access by land to some villages has been interrupted. The only transportation means to some locations are 6-wheel drive vehicles and horses that are being used for food distribution.

2. Most affected families are staying with relatives and friends. Some families, who lost their houses in addition to livestock and other family belongings, depend solely on humanitarian assistance.

3. The restoration of access, i.e. cleaning, rehabilitating roads and bridges is a priority. Extensive damages are reported in roads and bridges in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region in eastern Georgia. This situation is hampering the delivery of relief assistance to certain locations. Important damages to farmed land, water irrigation systems and sanitation facilities are also reported.

National response.

4. Local authorities are handling the bulk of the distribution and emergency assistance activities. On 3 May, the Prime Minister Zurab Nogaideli signed a decree establishing a Damage Assessment Governmental Commission under his chairmanship, consisting of Deputy Ministers and/or Ministers from the Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Finances, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection and the Local Governance and Regional Policy Coordination Service of the Administration of the President of Georgia. The Emergency Situations and Civil Defense Service under the Ministry of Interior serves as operational agency for activities assigned by the Commission.

5. The Commission was tasked to assess and estimate the damage caused by the disaster within 10 days and to undertake whatever rehabilitation measures are required, as well as ensure coordination of all relevant activities implemented by line ministries, regional governments and local Sakrebulos. The Commission is also responsible for the coordination of international humanitarian assistance. Contact person for the Commission is Mr. Irakli Jeiranashvili at: +995 99 50 20 (office), or 877 405 505 (mobile).

6. The Government has allocated 20 million GEL from the disaster response reserve fund and has been providing emergency relief assistance to the affected population through the Emergency Situation and Civil Safety Service. Assistance has been provided also by other government agencies as well as the private sector. The Government has announced a compensation package for those rendered homeless, including the provision of new homes.

International response.

7. The Office of the UN Resident Coordinator under the framework of the international Disaster Management Team (DMT) - comprising all UN relief agencies present in Georgia, several interested donors, ICRC, IFRC, and international NGOs - is in constant contact with the Government of Georgia at the central level. The DMT is convening on regular basis and updated information is being shared.

8. Rapid needs assessments have been conducted in the most affected regions. Three inter-agency teams composed by staff from WFP, UMCOR and World Vision visited Tsageri (Lechkhumi) and Lentekhi (Svaneti) districts, Oni district (Racha) and Adjara region. IFRC's Field Assessment and Coordination Team (FACT) undertook needs assessment missions to Tskaltubo and Ambrolauri districts (Racha-Lechkhumi region), Gardabani district (Kvemo Kartli) and Mestia district (Svaneti) mostly focusing on immediate relief needs. As of 5 May, UNICEF, under the framework of the DMT and with the assistance of its Regional Office, will lead needs assessment in three of the affected areas in west Georgia.

9. Based on the results of these assessment missions the following information is available:

- In Racha-Lechkhumi/Kvemo Svaneti region spring planting activities are delayed which might lead to food security problems later this year. There is significant damage to agriculture land.

- The Upper Svaneti region and Lentekhi district, Kvemo Svaneti are the most affected areas in terms of infrastructure damage and food security.

- The isolated communities face problems for obtaining staple food and some face the loss of potatoes crops.

- District medical facilities lack sufficient essential medications and other medical equipment. Due to damaged roads, medical evacuations are difficult.

- The situation in Gardabani region (East Georgia) is within the coping capacities of the local authorities and the communities. Floodwaters have receded and most of the roads have been cleaned.

10. WFP will be considering provision of food aid to the affected population once the final results of the assessment are available. It may also look at the possibility of food for work projects in the affected areas focusing on construction of river gabions.

11. CHF has been conducting needs assessments in various regions. According to the preliminary information, there is a need for blankets, hygiene kits, mattresses, and pillows. Local authorities have been extremely efficient and cooperative and providing CHF with sufficient information. CHF delivered three trucks of the US Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) on Sunday, April 30 to Lenteki, Tsageri districts, and Joneti village, Tskaltubo district.

Contributions.

Until 4 May 2005, the following contributions have been reported to OCHA:

United Nations

OCHA Emergency cash grant through UNDP USD 30,000
UNICEF Assessment activities, emergency healthcare, water and sanitation USD 20,000
UNDP Support in emergency response activities USD 50,000

Governments

Azerbaijan Emergency relief items USD 100,000
China Emergency grant USD 10,000
Denmark Emergency cash grant through OCHA USD 20,000
France Emergency assistance for affected families EUR 20,000
Germany Emergency grant (pending on assessment results) Food rations and diesel to 110 local families GEL 25,000 in Gardabani district EUR 50,000
Italy 174 tents, 400 blankets and emergency clothes EUR 300,000
Norway 18 tons of humanitarian assistance including 2 diesel generators, 18 tents, 20 potable water pumps (1,500 l/min), 1,500 blankets and 1,000 sleeping bags. n/a
USA Emergency cash grant for food, water and household items for 2,000 persons through CHF distributed in Lentekhi (Kvemo Svaneti), Tsageri (Lechkhumi), Tskaltubo (Imereti) and in Zhoneti village. USD 50,000

12. OCHA is in close contact with the United Nations Resident Coordinator's office in Georgia, and will revert with further information as it becomes available.

13. This Situation Report and information on ongoing emergencies is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at http://www.reliefweb.int.

Tel. +41-22-917 1234
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23
E-mail: ochagva@un.org

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers:

Mr. Ricardo Mena
Direct Tel. +41-22-917 1455
E-mail: menar@un.org

Ms. Charlotta Benedek
E-mail: benedek@un.org
Direct Tel. +41-22-917 1205

Press contact:

(GVA) Ms. Elizabeth Byrs direct Tel. +41-22-917 2653
(N.Y.) Ms. Stephanie Bunker direct Tel. +1-917-892 1669

Disclaimer

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.