Marshall Islands

Immediate Drought Response Plan For the Republic of the Marshall Islands

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Complementing the Declaration on State of Emergency: Immediate Drought Response Plan Republic of the Marshall Islands

Executive Summary

The Republic of the Marshall Islands is made up of 1,200 islands, islets and atolls with a land area of 180 square kilometers. The group is spread in two formations, with the eastern groups known as the Ratak ("Sunrise") chain and the Western groups the Ralik ("Sunset") chain. Similar to any low-lying coral islands, Marshall Islands has high vulnerability to coastal flooding and inadequate supplies of potable water.

The El Nino – Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a recurring climate pattern where about 3 -7 years climate conditions over the Pacific Ocean basin change dramatically. The extremes of this oscillation are referred to as El Nino and La Nina. Many international, regional and local weather services providers have been studying the 2015-2016 El Nino event and forecast are holding true that this El Nino will be one of the strongest, if not the strongest, on history. The effects of El Nino are different for each country/region and different during the time of year, for a complete understanding of how El Nino is and will affect the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) refer to annex 1.

The NDMO requested technical assistance from all cluster members to provide assistance to the Office of the Chief Secretary in response to the drought impacts. Through monitoring, surveys and rapid assessments the current drought impacts are seen primarily in the WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) sector. It is for this reason that the plan outlined below focus on the WASH clusters current priorities and Logics Cluster support. In addition, as the plan states, the NDMO will continue to coordinate with the Food Security and Agriculture Cluster and Health Cluster to monitor the situation and action the contingency plans (included in this document) when more significant impacts are seen based on the rapid assessments as outlined in the results matrix. To reduce suffering and intervene before critical life threatening situations emerge; the EOC has developed the follow 6 month response plan to address immediate WASH needs. The plan will be revised and updated as the situation progresses.

This immediate response plan covers a 6 month period, the affected population spans 19 atolls/islands, 44 communities and approximately 1,257 households and 4092 in Majuro Atoll.