Tajikistan: Drought Appeal No. 26/00 final report


This Final Report is intended for reporting on emergency appeals
Launched on: 19 September 2000 for 8 months for CHF 22.6 million.
Appeal extended for 4 months, ending 30 September 2001.
Beneficiaries: 250,000
Operations Update No. 8 (Final Report);
Period covered: 19 September 2000 - 30 September 2001; last Opserations Update (no. 7) issued 16 July 2001

"At a glance"

Appeal coverage: 43.5%

Update/Summary: This appeal was considerably under funded and therefore limited in implementing the planned activities. Despite the low coverage, negotiations are currently underway with one donor to arrange a carry-over of the remaining balance of funds to the current food deficit appeal in Tajikistan (no. 26/01).

Operational Developments:

Following three consecutive years of reduced harvests, in the summer 2000 Tajikistan was affected by a devastating drought caused by drastically reduced rainfall and snowfall. In August 2000, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) carried out a crop and food supply assessment, which confirmed a major shortfall in the national cereal production. Shortly after, the International Federation Field Assessment and Co-ordianion Team (FACT) conducted an assessment of the level of vulnerability of the population in selected areas in the north and south of the country. As a result, on 19 September 2000 the International Federation and the Red Creescent Society of Tajikistan (RCST) launched an emergency appeal seeking 22.6 million Sfr to assist 250,000 people - 200,000 in the southern region of Khatlon and 50,000 in Sughd, in the north of the country - with food, seeds, community-based health programme and water and sanitation services.

However, in spite of intense fund-raising efforts, the delayed and inadequate donor response forced the Federation and RCST to reduce the targeted number of beneficiaries of the food component from the original 250,000 to 130,000. Moreover, original appeal objectives had to be prioritized in favour of food, health and water and sanitation components. In May 2000, at the very end of the operation, DFID announced a pledge of approximately 480,000 G13P, which allowed the International Federation and RCST to procure the planned seeds, and thus implement the food security component of the appeal. For this reason, the appeal was extended until the end of September 2001.

By May 2001, there were signs of the second successive major crop failure caused by another year of reduced rain and snowfall. Following two assessments, carried out by WFP/FAO and the International Federation's FACT, RCST and the Federation launched a food deficit emergency appeal, targeting 130,000 people in the same areas in the north and south with food, health and water and sanitation services. This operation has been running since August 2001 and is expected to finish by the end of May 2002. For more details, refer to operations updates on the appeal 26/01.

Red Cross Red Crescent action

Relief distributions

Objective l: Provision of food.

Activities

The food component of the appeal was a top priority for the Federation's emergency operation, and was implemented successfully. As mentioned above, the originally targeted number of 250,000 people had to be sized down to 130,000 people due to limited donor response. Delays in confirming the funding forced the Federation and RCST to reduce the number of distribution rounds from three to two. Major part of food was donated by WFP, as part of the implementation agreement signed by the Federation and WFP. WFP provided wheat flour, vegetable oil and salt, and the Federation and RCST were responsible for distribution and monitoring.

In the Sughd region, the Federation and RCST were operational in four districts (Ghonchi, Zafarabad, New Maschoh and Shakhristan) assisting some 69,000 people. The targeted number of people represented approximately 30 percent of the population in each district, estimated as the most vulnerable. They received standard rations composed of 100 kg of wheat flour, 8 litres of oil and 1 kg of iodised salt. Approximately 250 volunteers were recruited and trained on the organization and execution of the distribution. A total of 6,900 tonnes of wheat flour, and 552,000 litres of oil and 69 tonnes of iodised salt were distributed to beneficiaries in two cycles, covering their needs for an estimated period of eight months.

In Kulyab, free food distribution in all three operational districts - Dangara, Sovietsky and Farkhor - was completed by the end of June, serving a total of approximately 53,000 people. The totality of the food was provided by WFP, and the following rations were distributed: in the district of Farkhor, beneficiaries received 50 kg of wheat flour, 3 litres of vegetable oil and 0.5 kg of iodised salt; in Dangara and Sovietsky, they received 25 kg of wheat flour, 2 litres of oil and 05 kg of iodised salt. RCST recruited field officers and monitors and trained them on beneficiary selection, monitoring and distribution.

Objective 2: Provision of seeds

Activities

The DFID donation of some 480,000 GBP, although coming at the very end of the original operational time-frame, allowed the Federation and RCST to implement the seeds component of the emergency appeal in time for the autumn planting season. According to the initial plan, part of the DFID pledge was to be used for procurement and distribution of wheat seeds and fertilisers to a total of 4,500 beneficiaries, out of which 2,460 in the region of Khatlon and 2040 in Sughd. Each beneficiary was to receive 100 kg of seeds and 200 kg of fertilisers (ammaphose and potassium), during the second round of food distribution. During the procurement process, the laboratory analyses of available seeds indicated that there was a high presence of uncleaned seeds containing quarantine weeds. For that reason, it was decided to procure only high-quality seeds in the available quantities, which, then, forced the Federation and RCST to reduce the number of beneficiaries from 4,500 to 1,918 - 689 beneficiaries in Sughd and 1,229 in Khatlon. The distribution was carried out in the period from October to December. The following table presents the distribution of seeds per district in Sughd and Khatlon regions.

Sughd region
Number of beneficiaries
Seeds distributed
(k)
Khatlon
region
Number of
beneficiaries
Seeds
distributed
(k)
Ghonchi
207
2,070
Farkhor
272
2,720
Shakhristan
340
3,400
Moskovsky
318
3,180
Zafarabad
75
750
Sovietsky
250
2,500
New Matschoh
60
600
Vosse
219
2,190
RCST
7
70
Kulyab
100
1,000



Dangara
20
200



Shurabad
30
300



Khovaling
20
200
Total
689
6 890

1229
12,290

The total quantity of fertilisers procured was 250.1 tonnes of ammaphose and 175 tonnes of potassium. The fertilisers were to be delivered to beneficiaries in two distributions, allocating 50 kg of each type of fertiliser in each distribution. The first distribution round was carried out alongside the seeds distribution, and the second one will be made in the spring months of 2002, within the framework of the Federation's annual food security programme.

Objective 3: Food for work activities.

Activities

The food-for-work component of the appeal was seen and used as an opportunity to link emergency relief and mid- to long-term community development.

In Sughd, some 15,000 people, making approximately 20 percent of the total number of beneficiaries of the food component, were identified by the local authorities and involved in 16 different food-for-work activities, including cleaning of water pools and pipes, tree planting, painting of schools and kindergartens, repairing roads and roadside fencing, garbage disposal, gardening, etc. The projects were designed by the authorities, following a seminar held by the Federation and RCST in early December 2000. The selected beneficiaries received standard food rations, together with free food beneficiaries. All work was finalized by the end of the food distributions, on 29 June.

In the south of the country, activities were focused on finalizing the WFP-sponsored `food for asset rehabilitation' project (FFAR) in Dangara. Some 1,070 people were active in various community projects, such as ditch- and street-cleaning, white-washing of trees, construction of new toilets and rehabilitation of schools and medical points. Beneficiaries received their food rations (composed of 50 kg of wheat flour, three litres of oil and 0.5 kg of iodised salt). Approximately 1,700 additional persons who had been selected to participate in FFAR, but were not involved due to a lack of work, received normal rations, each consisting of 25 kg wheat flour, two litres of oil and 0.5 kg of iodised salt.

Health

Objective 1: Implement a community-based health programme, focusing on the prevention of waterborne diseases and malaria.

Activities

The health component of the appeal was successfully implemented through series of public health campaigns carried out by trained Red Crescent volunteers in the targeted communities. By the end of the operation period, a total number of 90 community volunteers in the north completed training sessions covering subjects related to waterborne diseases, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, sanitation and hygiene practices. The workshops were facilitated by specialist physicians. In the south, some 105 volunteers were recruited. Training was organized in five seminars covering a range of messages on water-borne diseases, such as typhoid, hepatitis, malaria, dysentery, sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis, scabies etc. In addition to operational areas of Kulyab and Sughd, training workshops were organized in the three districts of Kurgan-Tube sub-region. The volunteers comprised not only of health professionals, but also included local administration representatives, teachers and women who then conducted public health campaigns in their respective communities, targeting health centres, mosques, schools and other institutions, under a supervision of RCST regional health co-ordinator. The same volunteers were included in the food deficit emergency operation, currently underway.

Information material comprising of 80,000 posters, leaflets and brochures with preventive messages have been produced and distributed by the volunteers in the entire regions of Sughd and Khatlon. Regional TV stations regularly broadcasted video-documantaries on the Federation and RCST activities in prevention of waterborne disease and on the importance of proper hygiene and sanitation practices.

Results of the post-campaign monitoring in the operational areas, carried out by the RCST health team, indicated that in up to 90 percent of households visited by the volunteers, as well as schools in other institutions, there was a visible impact of the campaigns on the knowledge and hygiene practices. In addition to campaigns in communities, it is estimated that television broadcasts covered some 250,000 people with preventive health messages.

Water-sanitation

Objective 1: Improve the supply of safe water for the targeted population.

Activities

Following a technical assessment of the community needs, programme areas were identified in the south and north of the country, and the Rayons of Republican Subordination (RRS) around the capital Dushanbe. The projects were divided in two groups: the first one aimed at rehabilitation of existing water-supply systems in selected communities, including replacement of submersible pumps, spring catchments, and gravity pipelines. The second set of projects addressed the needs for the restoration of water and sanitation systems in five social institutions.

In the south, six villages in the Kabadian district, Khatlon region, were selected for repairing the water supply system in order to provide safe drinking water to 20,000 people. The emergency replacement of water pumps and repairs of water pipeline was successfully finalized within the operational time frame.

Minor problems incurred in the testing phase, as the quality of pipes proved to be lower than originally reported by the community and estimated by programme managers. The pipes were replaced and final testing confirmed a successful completion of the project.

In the north, rehabilitation of water and sanitation systems in social institutions (schools, kindergartens) in the four operational districts was also successfully implemented. Projects included emergency pump replacement, rehabilitation of deep water supply systems and repair of water and sanitation facilities. In the Regions of Republican Subordination (RRS) two projects were completed using the spring catchement and gravity pipeline technique. The community was voluntary and directly involved in the implementation of projects through provision of labour and a small fee for part of the costs, as per specific agreements with community leaders.

National Society Capacity Building

Despite RCST's considerable experience in the implementation of relief programmes, the National Society's branches selected for this operation had to start from the very beginning in developing their knowledge and capacities, not having had this type of experience from previous operations. To achieve that, the Federation opened its field offices in the north and south of the country and provided assistance and help to the branch staff and volunteers, through training seminars as well as on-the-job guidance. Also, regional exchange of knowledge and experience was encouraged, whereby representatives of branches with relevant expertise, mainly those in districts around Dushanbe, were asked to assist their colleagues in Kulyab and Sughd. This lead to an increased capacity of the respective Red Crescent branches in the areas of relief distribution, beneficiary selection and monitoring, as well as warehousing and other logistical matters. RCST programme co-ordinators, field officers and volunteers have been recruited at the branch level and were provided with necessary training by the headquarters staff and Federation delegates.

In July 2001, the Federation Secretariat in Geneva deployed a team to carry out a follow-up mission on the Better Programming Initiative (BPI), initiated a year ago. The team organized workshops for the RCST staff at headquarters and in regional branches of Sughd and Kulyab in accordance with the methodology and design of the Local Capacity for Peace project, which looks at the context within which humanitarian assistance is provided. The objective of the workshops was to evaluate the impact of this methodology as applied to the Tajikistan drought operation.

As part of efforts to build the disaster response and preparedness capacity of the National Society through this emergency operation, part of the DFID/British Red Cross donation was used for procurement of necessary equipment for strategically selected RCST branch offices. Following the agreement with the RCST's development co-ordinator, standard administrative kits and some furniture was provided for 14 branches, selected on the basis of the level of their activities in this operation.

On the whole, the drought emergency operation continues to serve as an opportunity to strengthen the National Society's disaster response capacity through recruitment and training of key staff and volunteers, as well as RCST involvement in the operational management at all levels. As part of the initiative to retain a core group of active RCST volunteers, out of the total 300 volunteers trained for this operation, 45 attended five first aid seminars (15 volunteers per region). The aim was to provide them with additional skills to better respond to health needs in their communities and remain active beyond this relief operation. Following the start-up of the new food deficit emergency operation, in August 2001, the same volunteers were recruited, provided with refresher courses, and are currently conducting public health campaigns in their communities.

Coordination

International organizations responding to the 2000 drought emergency in Tajikistan established and maintained close cooperation throughout the whole operation, in order to coordinate the response and reach the maximum possible number of vulnerable people. The Federation and RCST worked closely with the main partners, such as WFP, Action Against Hunger and others. Similarly, partnerships in programme implementation were formalized with the government and local authorities through agreements stipulating each party's specific duties and responsibilities. Local authorities were involved in the beneficiary selection process, facilitation of the distribution process, as well as design of food-for-work projects. They were trained on the selection criteria and other operational procedures, and cooperation resulted in a successful completion of the operation as well as in a raised image and visibility of RCST in the general public as well as in the eyes of the authorities and external partners. This momentum has been maintained and further built on in the implementation of the current food deficit emergency operation. For more details, please refer to operations updates on the appeal 26/01.

For further details please contact: Michaela Told, Phone: 4l 22 730 4424; Fax: 4l 22 733 03 95; email: internetaddresstold@ifrc.org

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.

For support to or for further information concerning Federation operations in this or other countries, please access the Federation website at http://www.ifrc.org.

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.

John Horekens
Head
Relationship management Department

Lynette Lowndes
Head
Europe Department

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