Tunisia: Flash Floods - Emergency Plan of Action DREF n° MDRTN008 Update n° 1

Summary of major revisions made to emergency plan of action:

This Operations Update seeks to extend the timeframe of this operation by 1 month, with a new end date 31 January 2019 to finalize implementation of the revised activities.

Following to the DREF approval, the Tunisian Red Crescent requested support from the IFRC regional office in terms of procurement and implementation of activities. After the analysis of the latest needs assessment the emergency plan of action (EPoA) has been revised as some activities have been removed and new activities introduced based on the changing needs. The changes to the EPoA are:

Mobile Clinic: After monitoring the Mobile Clinic intervention in Soliman District, it was found that this is not relevant at this stage. Pre-existing cases has been identified and followed up on. As a result, the Mobile Clinic interventions have been suspended. TRCS CBHFA team will keep monitoring the situation while conducting health awareness sessions on the various potential health risks.

After the latest needs assessment that included community engagement, the major health risk identified was waterborne diseases. The hundreds of acres of stagnant water ponds that has been flooded formed a convenient habitat for vector reproduction leading to a huge increase in mosquito numbers. Ministry of Health issued an official report warning people on vector risks especially after identifying three cases being affected with the West-Nile Virus.
Based on that, TRCS will intervene by:

  1. Promoting vector related hygiene and waste management, in addition to simple practices that could be applied at the household level to reduce risk of vectors.

  2. Train 30 volunteers on vector control and equip them with sprayers and protective gear to spray pesticides around houses, which will have a significant reduction on mosquito numbers and minimize the risk. In the meantime, TRCS is in the process of having approval from the local authorities, as well as a list of certified local pesticides.

  3. Use local media to broadcast live interviews with TRCS to promote appropriate awareness messages.

Most of the families staying in the contemporary shelters have gone back to their homes. Only four families remain in one of the evacuation shelters. Protection Gender and Inclusion (PGI) is not needed at this stage in shelters while TRCS will continue to carry out PGI monitoring in distributions.

A training has been conducted for 30 volunteers on “Relief Distributions & Warehousing” after they have encountered some challenges in distributions including security incidents. This training will also enhance TRCS capacity in warehousing as TRCS branches are locating storage spaces to stock procured items before distributions.

The National Society has requested operational support from the IFRC regional office to provide managerial support to ensure timely and quality procurement and implementation of the planned activities.


Description of the disaster

On Saturday 22 September, torrential rain hit north-eastern Tunisia’s Cap Bon Peninsula causing water levels to rise 1.7 meters. The storm dumped approximately 200 millimeters (7.9 inches) of rain on Nabeul and up to 225 millimeters in the city of Beni Khaled, in the peninsula’s center, according to Tunisia’s National Institute of Meteorology. This was the heaviest rainfall since the institute began keeping records in 1995. A warning on the storms was issued on September 21st.

Floodwater surged through villages resulting in the loss of 6 lives, damaging infrastructure, houses, property, and livelihoods of the community members.

More than 6,000 families have been affected by the floods. Some of them fled their homes seeking shelter in neighboring high-ground houses and villages, while other chose to stay in their damaged houses moving to rooftops rather than risking crossing flooded areas to reach evacuation points. Water supply through pipelines was limited, and the water available in some areas was contaminated. Electricity has been cut off in certain districts to avoid risk to people and electrical damage.

Unfortunately, what has been pre-identified in the operational risk assessments happened on October 18. A second flood has hit the country affecting the governorates of Tunis and part of Nabeul; causing damages to houses’ and infrastructure.