Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan: Floods DREF Operation No. MDRKZ002 Final Report

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The International Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) is a source of un-earmarked money created by the Federation in 1985 to ensure that immediate financial support is available for Red Cross Red Crescent response to emergencies. The DREF is a vital part of the International Federation's disaster response system and increases the ability of national societies to respond to disasters.

Summary: A total of CHF 259,858 (USD 258,730 or EUR 164,681) has been allocated from the International Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Kazakhstan Red Crescent Society in delivering assistance to households affected by floods in February 2008.

The initial DREF allocation was meant for food and non-food items for the most vulnerable 370 disasteraffected families in the South-Kazakhstan region. The additional allocation addressed the needs of 800 households (including the 370 targeted by food and non-food assistance) in household and sanitary items.

The Red Crescent assistance improved living conditions of the most vulnerable among the affected populations and helped them to restore some of their assets. The operation strengthened the visibility and positive image of the National Society in front of the government and public. This and effective cooperation between the National Society and other partner organizations involved in the operation helped to expand the Red Crescent response beyond the DREFsupported operation.

The funds released from the DREF for this operation have been repaid by the Netherlands Red Cross and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The situation

Flash floods along the Sir-Darya river, caused by heavy rains and melting snow, affected 51 settlements in the South Kazakhstan oblast (region) in the end of February 2008. The assessments by the inter-department commission and the Kazakhstan Red Crescent's disaster response team (DRT) identified Aryss, Ordabasyn and Sary-Agash districts of the region as most affected by the disaster.

The official data estimated the cost of damage from floods at 125 million US dollars. Thus, 2,396 houses, 8 schools, 2 primary healthcare facilities were severely damaged, as were dams, roads and bridges in the area. There were disruptions in electricity supply and telephone communication. The houses of 1,857 families have been completely destroyed; the affected population also lost some or all of their assets, cattle and poultry. The locust infestation that affected the disaster area in May 2008 worsened the situation with crops and threatened household food security.

As a result of flash floods 1 person died and more than 13,000 people were displaced to temporary shelters or moved in with relatives and neighbours. After the waters fall 15 tent camps at the disaster area gave refuge to 5,000 people (800 families) with tents and bedding for camps loaned by the government. The local authorities also distributed about 60 tonnes of pasta products and about 120,000 tins of canned meat among people living in the tent camps. The camps had been functioning from mid March to end of July, when people were able to come back to their houses being reconstructed.

The government allocated about 100 million US dollars to restore the infrastructure and rebuilt the houses that had been destroyed by floods. The materials and services for house reconstruction have been provided by the government through construction companies. However, the reconstruction did not include the interior finish that is to be covered by families. According to the latest data in Aryss district around 90 per cent of houses have been rebuilt; in Ordabasyn district the reconstruction is ongoing; in Sary-Agash district 87 per cent of houses have been reconstructed.