Morocco: Flash floods Appeal No. 32/02 Final Report


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Launched on: 28 November 2002 for three months for CHF 580,000 to assist 20,000 beneficiaries;

Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) Allocated: CHF 40,000.

Period covered: 28 November 2002 - 28 February 2003;

Last Operations Update (no. 02) issued 27 January 2003.

Appeal coverage: 74.8 %

Related Appeals: North Africa Region (Annual Appeal 01.92/2003)


The heavy rains reported in Morocco on 17 November killed 89 people in 24 hours. Some 100 Moroccan Red-Crescent volunteers were immediately mobilised to help evacuate families and begin cleaning thick mud out of homes. According to the authorities, 100,000 people were affected by the floods. Most victims died when their houses, built in the river beds, were swept away. The heaviest casualties were in the four regions (wilaya) of Settat, Skhirat-Temara, Mohammedia and Kenitra; where flash floods caused rivers to burst destroying villages (douar), damaging houses and schools, killing hundreds of cattle and causing extensive damage to crops and infrastructure.

A Federation Delegate arrived in Morocco on 28 November to assist the Moroccan Red Crescent Society (MRCS) with organising an assessment and identifying emergency needs. The Federation's Secretariat in Geneva has been monitoring the situation and maintaining daily contact with the MRCS. According to the preliminary information received from the MRCS, the National Society planned to provide emergency relief, food and non-food items, to 20,000 beneficiaries throughout the most affected communities. The Society also planned to provide children with school items. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (Federation) launched Emergency Appeal no. 32/02 seeking CHF 580,000 to assist the MRCS with meeting the acute needs of the most vulnerable, such as children.

Local authorities were in charge of collecting data on the affected population and tracking the official figures. The Moroccan Red Crescent had to therefore wait for official figures before distributing food parcels, and arrived at a final figure of 1,912 severely affected families who required assistance.


Field visits were organised by the MRCS to the affected wilayat.

Representatives of the National Society and the Federation met with the walis (Prefect) and the Governors to better assess the humanitarian needs and co-ordinate the relief operation.

In the wilayats of Settat and Kenitra, respectively the Governor and the Wali expressed interest in Disaster Preparedness programs, and have shown an interest in participating in the Society's vulnerability capacity assessment (VCA) process that will begin at the end of January 2003.

Objectives, activities and results

The planned post-emergency relief operation aimed to provide humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable.

During the first phase, and for an estimated three months, basic relief items were to be distributed to 2,066 families in the most affected regions of Settat, Mohammedia, Skhirat-Temara and kenitra. These 2,066 families represent the most affected ones that were identified to for assistance by the MRCS; they are part of an estimated number of 5,000 affected families reported by the government. During the course of the operation, 154 additional vulnerable families, in need of assistance, were identified in the affected regions of Fès and Chichaoua.

The following are the numbers of defined beneficiaries and their location in the affected wilayats

Persons approx.

Health and care

Objective 1: To provide basic health care to the affected population through the establishment and maintenance of the health posts.

While the authorities took care of the general health situation, the MRCS opened health posts for basic care, counselling and psychological support in the temporary shelter camps. This activity is a part of the National Society's co-operation with the Ministry of Health and was co-ordinated by the health commission of the Moroccan Red-Crescent.

41 cartons of medicine from the French Red-Cross were handed over to the health authorities in Settat and Mohammedia for distribution.

Objective 2: To run awareness programs on basic hygiene and health care.

In urban areas, Red-Crescent volunteers have carried out an awareness campaign among the affected population. The volunteers have been working in close co-operation with the Ministry of Health.

Two teams of doctors, generalists and paediatrics, nurses and 2 MRC first aid volunteers were visiting the victims in temporary settlements set up near affected villages and affected urban areas, in Mohammedia and Settat.

Water and sanitation

Objective: To clean flooded areas and homes and provide drinking water.

From day one MRCS local branch volunteers began with clean-up operations helping people to remove destroyed belongings.

The Society purchased 50 toolkits containing: wheel barrels / axe / shovel / gloves / rubber boots for use by volunteers active in the cleaning of houses in Mohamedia.

Relief distribution of food and basic non-food items

(See the distribution table in annex I )

Objective 1: To provide food to 2000 families among the most vulnerable of the affected population. The MRCS purchased and distributed basic food items for distribution to the affected population's most vulnerable. The Federation Secretariat released CHF 40,000 from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support local procurement and distribution of food parcels. Wheat flour, rice and sugar donated by the Egyptian Red-Crescent was also included in the food parcels.

Food parcel

Qty. for Family
1 to 3 members
Qty. for Family
4 to +
Wheat Flour
25 kg
50 kg
5 L
10 L
5 kg
10 kg
½ kg
1 kg
3 kg
5 kg
1 kg
2 kg
1 packet
2 packets

The MRCS elected to organise the distributions in three phases.

The first distributions took place on the 4 December in Settat for 876 families, in Kenitra for 100 families, in Skhirat for 200 families. In Mohammedia, the distribution of food took place on 21 December for a number of 736 families.

Objective 2: To provide 500 children with school items.

After the MRCS conducted thorough assessments, school supplies were purchased and distributed to 500 children to flood affected schools in the wilayats of Mohammedia and Settat.

Among the school supplies purchased and distributed by the MRCS were: 1,000 pens; 500 pencils; 250 rubbers; 250 glue sticks; 250 pencil sharpeners; 250 slates; 250 rulers; 250 scissors; 3,804 exercise books.


Objective 1: To provide temporary shelter for the homeless.

The MRCS provided the most vulnerable with relatively high quality shelter. 127 tents from the Belgian Red-Cross were distributed in the wilayat of Mohammedia; 40 in Settat; 30 in Skhrirat; 27 in Kenitra.

2,778 mattresses were purchased locally and distributed to those persons living in tents in the wilayats of Mohammedia and Kenitra.

Objective 2: To provide clothing to those who are most in need.

Blankets and warm clothing, especially for children, were among the most acute needs. Weather conditions were harsh, and there was not enough available temporary shelter to meet the needs of the entire affected population.

Although blankets and clothing donated by the Danish and the Swedish Red-Cross Societies were in the pipe line, and scheduled for shipment by sea, warm clothing was urgently needed. The MRCS distributed blankets tents and warm clothing from the Society's emergency stock while waiting for the shipments to arrive. Some blankets were also purchased locally.

Advocacy and information

Two interviews of the MRCS Secretary General, and two interviews of the Federation delegate were broadcast on national television.

On 11-12 January, a post-disaster review was organised by the MRCS. The Society hosted it in their training centre in Mehdia. All the partners, the Civil Protection, the ministry of health, walis of affected areas, involved in the relief operation participated.

On 26-27 February, the Ministry of water and environment of Morocco convened the first Major Risks National Conference. Some 150 participants from different ministries, local governments, scientific community, other organisations participated in this important event. The MRCS and the International Federation were invited to participate and make presentations on the role of the Red Cross and Red Crescent with national and international levels in Disaster Response and Disaster Preparedness. The MRCS introduced elements to the national strategy based on its experience of coping with the floods.

The meeting appeared to be an excellent opportunity for the positioning of the MRCS in the emerging national disaster preparedness strategy. The MRCS will be participating to the "Commission de Suivi", following the recommendation made at the closing of the Conference.

Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement -- Fundamental Principles and Priorities

National Society Capacity Building

The flood relief operation built upon the MRCS's existing capacities. Local staff and volunteers at the national and branch levels were involved in all phases of the operation, including planning, implementation, and evaluation. The initial assessment by the national society was also part of the MRCS's capacity building process. In July, the regional delegation will organise in Agadir, southern city of Morocco, a disaster management workshop for the training of a National Intervention Team will be held in the southern city of Agadir in Morocco.

  • There is a need to upgrade the local capacities as regards warehouse management and volunteer training.

  • The MRCS participated in regional disaster management (DM) related workshops; SPHERE in Egypt, VCA in Morocco and Italy, and DM in Iran.

Assessment and lessons learned

Given the fact that natural disasters pose a constant threat, as a follow-up to the lessons learnt during the floods operation, the Federation through its office in Tunis and the regional delegation in Amman will continue to support the MRCS with improving their DP/DR capacities.

The future use of blankets and tents that remain stored in the MRCS warehouses, will be decided by the MRCS. The proposal will be submitted to donors for approval.

Remaining funds will be used for financing the DM workshop/training of the National Intervention Team, that will be organised in July in Agadir.

For further details please contact: Evgeni Parfenov, Phone : 41 22 730 43 25; Fax: 41 22 733 03 95; email:

All International Federation Operations seek to adhere to the Code of Conduct and are committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (SPHERE Project) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. The procurement for this operation was carried out in full compliance and conformity with the Federation's standard for international and local procurement.

For support to or for further information concerning Federation operations in this or other countries, please access the Federation website at

This operation sought to administer to the immediate requirements of the victims of this disaster. Subsequent operations to promote sustainable development or long-term capacity building will require additional support, and these programmes are outlined on the Federation's website.

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