Somalia: Tropical Cyclone Pawan Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF Operation n° MDRSO008

A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

The Tropical Storm (TS) initially named SIX that developed in the northern Indian Ocean, subsequently developed into a Tropical Cyclone (TC) named Pawan after sustaining speeds of more than 39 miles made landfall on 7 December on the coastal side Puntland (Bosaso, Garowe). The influence of Pawan was felt in the coastal areas of Bari and Mudug regions where moderate to heavy rains have fallen and strong winds were sustained on 7 and 8 December. The storm impacted the shipping lane that links Somalia and Gulf states. TC Pawan caused widespread destruction of property and infrastructure including roads, buildings and boats due to the strong winds.

According to the Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management Agency (HADMA), some 35,600 people in Puntland have been affected by TC Pawan and the consecutive heavy rains which accompanied the tropical cyclone. This resulted in damage to shelters, including collapsed houses and the loss of domestic household items, which have been washed away by the flash floods and reduces households’ capacities to access basic shelter. In Eyl town, one of the main telecommunication towers was destroyed by the storms but there is another telecom company operating there and the affected areas are reachable through mobile phones.

Between 6 to 8 December 2019, TC Pawan caused flash floods and Pawan-related storms in the Puntland. TC Pawan has displaced communities, impacting access to basic health services, which has left affected communities exposed to diseases. The most affected households need urgent humanitarian assistance as they are currently in dire living conditions. Damage was also sustained to IDP settlements, infrastructure and social services such as roads, schools, as well as telecommunication towers and electrical installations. The worst hit areas include Nugaal Region (Eyl and Dangorayo Districts), Karkaar (Qardho District) and Bari Region (Alula, Iskushuban, and Baargaal). Other areas affected include the coastal villages in Bari Region including Hafun, Iskushuban, Baargaal, Quandala and Alula districts.

Summary of the current response

Overview of Host National Society Response Action

In response to TC Pawan, from 5 till 12 December, the affected branches, Garowe and Bosaso, carried out need assessments with technical support of SRCS coordination office and IFRC to identify the impact of TC Pawan on the affected areas. These assessments were reinforced by a multi-sectoral assessment that were conducted under the coordination of HADMA. According to the HADMA needs assessment, TC Pawan has resulted in 7 deaths, 11 people seriously injured, 168 houses destroyed and 65 damaged houses and displaced 450 households. The operational plan was prepared based on the findings on the assessment in the affected areas. However, the support expected from the local authorities and other actors are very limited as compared to the magnitude of the cyclone impact on the population, the loss of livestock, livelihoods and other properties.

SRCS has a long-term record in providing life-saving assistance to people in need. SRCS’ presence and local networks across the country are exceptionally well-established, which enables SRCS to also reach vulnerable populations who are not served by other humanitarian actors, for instance in highly remote areas. SRCS has vast expertise with different types of programming through multilateral projects supported by IFRC, as well as through bilateral programs with Movement partners and with ICRC. This includes youth development, disaster risk management, community-based nutrition, Community-Based Health and First Aid, HIV programmes, restoring family links, community resilience (including WASH, Livelihoods, Drought Resilience and Climate Change Adaptation), dissemination of IHL, humanitarian values & RC/RC principles, and rehabilitation for physically disabled people.

SRCS volunteers play a critical role at all stages of SRCS’s programmes. This includes assessment, identification and registration of target communities, nomads and IDPs. In addition, volunteers service the Oral Rehydration Points (ORPs) and carry out hygiene promotion and community mobilisation. Branches in the targeted areas have teams of trained volunteers in epidemic control, Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation (PHAST), health and hygiene promotion.

SRCS branches of Bosaso and Garowe in Puntland have mobilised their volunteers, staff and communities in all areas affected by the cyclone in different parts of the two regions. The two branches will conduct hygiene promotion and water treatment campaigns as the water sources in all the affected areas have been destroyed by the flash floods. There is fear of outbreak of water borne diseases as there is no clean and safe drinking water. The branches are also planning to distribute non-food items consisting of plastic tarpaulin, blankets, plastic floor mats and kitchen sets for the affected households in both regions. The branches have competent volunteers and staff but there are inadequate financial capacity and shortage of equipment and limited logistical capacity. Even so, the branches can do a lot to continue such responses despite limited resources.