Syria

UNICEF Humanitarian Action: Syria Dam Collapse Donor Alert 17 Jun 2002

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published
URGENT NEEDS IN HEALTH, EDUCATION AND CHILD PROTECTION
  • Some 10,000 people directly affected, including 2,000 children under five
  • Livelihood of tens of thousands of people affected
  • In five villages 380 houses and basic infrastructure destroyed or severely damaged
  • 8,000 ha of agricultural land submerged by water destroying crops and livestock
1. EMERGENCY OVERVIEW

Dam collapse: lives lost, infrastructure damaged/destroyed

On June 4 the Zaizoon Dam, located 93km north-west of the Hama town (298 km north of Damascus) developed a crack in the retention wall. In the evening of the same day the wall failed to hold the water pressure and collapsed, allowing the water to gush out, killing 20 persons, flooding 5 villages and submerging 8,000ha of agricultural land.

Up to 10,000 people affected

On 6 June, a joint UN team, led by UNICEF, carried out a rapid assessment of the damage caused by the collapse of the dam and its impact on the population. Five villages have been severely affected: Zaizoon (with 1,000 inhabitants), Ziara (5,566), Al-Imshiak (1,344), Gargoor (2,366) and Tel Wasit (1,696). Over 1,600 families or 10,000 people, including 2,000 children less than five years of age, have been left homeless and remain in need of urgent help. Also, the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people have been affected as they relied on the water supplied by the dam. Basic infrastructure has been destroyed or severely damaged including 380 homes, 3 schools, 4 health facilities, 65km of road network, water and power supplies, sewage systems and agricultural land, crops and livestock.

Government/UN response

The Government of Syria was quick in providing assistance to the affected population. Various ministries under the co-ordination of the Governor of Hama provided relief assistance such as food items, safe drinking water, medical care including vaccinations, insecticide dispersal and the burning of dead cattle/sheep to avert the spread of disease. However, the dire and unsafe living conditions due to the lack of food, drinking water, hygiene and sanitation remain of grave concern as they put the lives and health of the affected population, especially of children, at risk.

Since the onset of the crisis, UN agencies have been contributing to the Government's relief efforts by providing basic food items, tents, mattresses, blankets, water jerry cans, kitchen sets, stoves, rugs, essential drugs, folic acid, Oral Rehydration Salt, drinking water storage and delivery systems, latrines, and showers; spreading hygiene awareness messages; and spraying pesticides and insecticides.

2. UNICEF RESPONSE AND PLANNED ACTIVITIES

UNICEF responded immediately to the urgent needs of the affected people by providing 100 tents (each suitable for 6 persons) and one health kit with essential drugs and medical supplies sufficient for 10,000 persons for 45 days. In addition, UNICEF provided recreational material for children and supported the construction of 16 latrines and 8 shower units.

UNICEF, in collaboration with other partners, will continue to support the Government through the following:

  • Constructing basic sanitation and washing facilities;

  • Monitoring and responding to any unexpected occurrence of illness among the affected population;

  • Raising health and hygiene awareness;

  • Rehabilitating health facilities;

  • Rehabilitating educational establishments;

  • Providing safe play areas and recreational material for children; and

  • Conducting assessment and data analysis.
3. FUNDING REQUIREMENTS

As part of the UN Inter-Agency response, UNICEF has outlined a total funding requirement of US$ 95,000 to undertake interventions in the areas of water and sanitation, health, education and child protection. To date, no funds have been received in support of these activities, and UNICEF has been supporting its emergency activities through its regular programme funds. The table below indicates the funds required, by sector.

Table 1: UNICEF REQUIREMENTS FOR IMMEDIATE AND PLANNED RESPONSE

Sector
Required (US$)
Health
36,000
Education
26,000
Water and Sanitation
22,000
Child Protection
6,000
Project Support
5,000
Total
95,000

Further details of the emergency programme can be obtained from:

Mohamed Bendriss Alami
UNICEF Representative
Syria
Tel: + 963 11 612 25 91
Fax: + 963 11 612 25 97
E-mail: mbalami@unicef.org

David S. Bassiouni
UNICEF EMOPS
Geneva
Tel: + 41 22 909 5503
Fax: + 41 22 909 5902
E-mail: dbassiouni@unicef.org

Dan Rohrmann
UNICEF PFO
New York
Tel: + 1 212 326 7009
Fax: + 1 212 326 7165
E-mail: drohrmann@unicef.org