Suriname: Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 5

Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2006/0082
OCHA Situation Report No. 5
Suriname - Floods

This situation report is based on information provided by the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team, the World Food Programme (WFP), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).


1. The rainy season in Suriname will continue until the end of July, with high water levels as the ground is already saturated.


2. It is expected that shortages of clean water and food will be experienced for the remainder of the next two months. The need for food assistance will remain, as people have lost 70% of their crops and will have to wait until agricultural plots produce again. More crops have been destroyed this year than usually during the rainy season because the rivers rose much higher and earlier. There are reports indicating that villagers are reluctant to re-plant now, even where waters have receded, because they fear that flooding still-to-come might destroy future crops. A comprehensive assessment of the damage in the agricultural sector is being undertaken.

3. New impact assessments and verification of existing data are scheduled to take place during the coming week. Red Cross volunteers will be involved in the assessments.

UNDAC Activities / Findings

4. The UNDAC team conducted 3 monitoring missions between 20 and 22 May. A mission to the Drietakibi Logistics Hub on 20 May found that shipment and distribution of relief supplies (food and cooking materials) was going well. Fuel for boats for future distributions is needed. Some nearby fields and villages served by this hub are reportedly still under water. An effective method of communication between Paramaribo and the affected region is via Radio Paakati, which is located in Drietakibi and transmits throughout the affected region. Broadcasts include information on the disaster and relief operations and educational campaigns (such as garbage collection).

5. A second mission to Stoelmans Island and Kakaba between 21 and 22 May found that there have been difficulties with food distributions in this region; the first food packages reportedly arrived only three days before and were lacking some components. Lack of rainwater has led people to use creek water.

6. The third mission in the Saramaca River region on 21 May showed that distributions are proceeding well and living conditions are returning to normal.

7. With the emergency phase coming to an end and with the approval of the Suriname Government and the UN RC, the UNDAC team departed on Tuesday 23 May.

National response

8. The Ministry of Education has reported a need for cleaning materials for school buildings, materials to construct two emergency classrooms in Ampoematapoe and Gosoetu, teaching supplies for the 15 affected schools, funding to transport teachers back to their villages, as well as technical expertise for strengthening the Department of Hinterland Education, planning the rehabilitation of schools, and assessing the need for counseling for teachers and students.

9. HIV/AIDS is a major concern particularly in the rural areas. The Ministry of Health has been actively promoting the distribution of condoms, through the NGO network, along with the relief distributions. The Suriname Red Cross (SRC) is including condoms in the hygiene packages that are being distributed.

International Response

10. Venezuela will donate 20,000 barrels of fuel.

11. IFRC, the Shelter sector lead, and the French Red Cross will send 7,500 plastic sheets. The IFRC is furthermore organizing an airlift of food parcels to cover the food needs of 20,000 people for one month. Furthermore, the IFRC has put in place its hygiene awareness campaign which targets 38,719 persons living in 138 villages in Upper and East Suriname.

12. OCHA remains in close contact with the office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Suriname and - in the absence of a deterioration of the present circumstances - this will be the last situation report on the May 2006 Suriname floods.

13. This situation report, together with the information on contributions and other ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at

Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23

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

Desk Officer:

Ms. Marie Spaak
Direct Tel. +41-22-917 21 63

Press contact:

(GVA) Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, Direct Tel. + 41-22-917 2653
(N.Y.) Ms. Stephanie Bunker, Direct Tel. +1-917-367 51 26
Mr. Brian Grogan, Direct Tel. +1-212-963 11 43


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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