Tajikistan: REACT News Bulletin No. 2, 12 - 26 Aug 2009


At a glance

- Landslide in Ayni district

- Housing crisis looming in Khuroson

- Evacuation simulation in Farkhor District

- Fifteen years of CoES celebrated on 15 August

- REACT Early Recovery Appeal launched

Current issues

Landslide in Ayni district

On 9 August a landslide damaged infrastructure in the district of Ayni, in the northern province of Sughd in Tajikistan. The landslide occurred 3 km away from the nearest settlement, Vashan, and there were no casualties. However, electricity and telephone lines, 7 km of roads and 9 ha of agricultural crops were damaged.

Staff of the Committee of Emergency Situations and Civil Defense (CoES) and the local authorities is working to mitigate the consequences of the landslide. This includes drawing a temporary electricity line to the village.

Response activities

Housing crisis looming in Khuroson

Two mudflows buried a large section of Uyali village in Khuroson district, to the south of Dushanbe, in April and May of this year. Hundreds of houses disappeared under the mud. The displaced families were temporarily housed in tent camps.

Since then, the Government of Tajikistan, in collaboration with the private sector, has built around 150 houses in the newly created settlements of Oftobak and Shohrukh. Construction materials were provided to the other families whose houses were destroyed. REACT developed a shelter sector strategy and project. The project, led by Caritas Switzerland, aims at building earthquake-resistant and energy-efficient houses for the remaining families. A consultant made the designs for the houses and developed a plan for the implementation of the project, the cost of which is estimated at just over $ 2 million. However, until now, the project is largely unfunded.

More than 2,000 people in over 300 families remain without adequate shelter in Khuroson. They are still living in tents, or depend on the hospitality of relatives in already crowded dwellings. With winter in sight, some of them are attempting to rehabilitate their destroyed houses, in spite of them being in an unsafe location and judged beyond repair by the authorities. Others are scrambling to use the materials donated by Government for construction.

During recent visits by government officials and the humanitarian community, the homeless families appealed for urgent assistance ahead of winter, when temperatures can fall to -25=B0C.

Evacuation simulation in Farkhor District

On 14 August, hundreds of people in Somonchi, a village in Farkhor district in the south of Tajikistan, participated in a flood simulation evacuation exercise organized by Oxfam.

Members of the Village Emergency Group, using megaphones, exhorted the villagers to leave their homes; people flocked to register and moved on to the safe haven. Men, women and children escaped from the danger area by following the routes indicated on the village evacuation plan, on display in the centre of the locality. The rescue brigade, consisting of district volunteers trained by CoES, assisted the elderly, pregnant women, the disabled and other vulnerable people. Water and biscuits were distributed and the wounded were taken care of in the hospital tent. The one hour exercise ended with a debriefing of the participants and an appraisal of the simulation, the second of its kind in the village, by the rescue brigade.

Evacuation simulation exercises are part of Oxfam's Disaster Risk Reduction program and are carried out in 36 villages in Kulyab and surrounding districts prone to floods and other natural hazards. The program is funded by the European Commission Humanitarian aid Office (ECHO).

For more information: abaker@oxfam.org.uk


Fifteen years of CoES

CoES marked its 15th anniversary on 15 August with an exhibition on its emergency rescue and response activities and a festive ceremony led by Mr. Haibullo Latipov, Chairman of CoES. Hundreds of CoES recruits from the capital and the districts participated in the event. REACT members set up exhibition stands and attended the ceremony as well.

REACT Early Recovery Appeal launched

On 12 August, General Halimov, First Deputy Chairman of CoES, Mr. Kurbonbekov, Deputy Head of the Department of Ecology and Emergency Situations of the President's Executive Office and Mr. Michael Jones, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Tajikistan, launched the REACT Early Recovery Appeal. The Appeal seeks to mobilize $ 7.7 million to help people recover from floods and mudflows triggered by heavy rains in April and May, and to rebuild disaster-resilient communities. The Tajik Government and aid agencies delivered life-saving assistance in the aftermath of the crisis including food, tents, and access to safe water and emergency healthcare. However, the affected communities continue to struggle to rebuild their homes and livelihoods and to restore infrastructure. The Khuroson housing crisis is but one example of unmet needs. A total of 18 projects, 11 submitted by international NGOs and seven by United Nations agencies, propose to assist the disaster-struck population with longer-term access to shelter, health, education, water, sanitation and hygiene, and to conduct a risk assessment so as to provide guidance on how to prevent or mitigate future disasters.

Requirements ($)
Shelter and Non-Food Items
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
Grand Total

Two weeks after the launch of the Appeal, an amount of $ 863,748, or 11% of the required funding has been mobilized. Details on the funding per project and the donors supporting the appeal can be downloaded from http://www.untj.org.

Contact us: React Secretariat in Dushanbe react.dushanbe@undp.org | (+992 47) 441 07 37 | www.untj.org 37/1 Bokhtar Street, VEFA Center 6th floor, Dushanbe, Tajikistan