From 8 – 12 May, 2017, the Tanzania Red Cross Society, joined by IOM, are celebrating the “International Red Cross Week” in Bukoba. One of the Red Cross displays showcased during the celebrations included an emergency shelter with samples of NFI kits distributed as part of the ongoing IOM supported emergency response project following the 2016 earthquake in the region of Kagera, Tanzania. The ongoing IOM supported emergency response project that, so far benefited over 1,160 and 1,500 most vulnerable affected households through the construction of emergency shelters (ES) and distribution of household Non Food Items (NFI) distributions, respectively.
All the Regional and District Authorities, including the Kagera Regional Commissioner, Major General Mustafa Kijuu, visited the stated samples of ES and NFI and appreciated the support provided by IOM and Red Cross to the earthquake victims. Senior Tanzania Red Cross leadership representatives were also present at this event. They included its President Mr. Mwandini Abbas Gecha and General Secretary, Julius Kejo, as well as representatives from 10 regions and hundreds of volunteers, invited guests and community representatives from Kagera districts and the local community.
Dr Qasim Sufi, the IOM Chief of Mission to Tanzania pointed out, that “IOM is very pleased to have the opportunity to celebrate the close cooperation between IOM and the Tanzania RCS in Kagera. With the support from the United Nations (UN) Central Emergency Fund (CERF) and in collaboration also with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the two UN agencies have been working hand in hand to provide much-needed shelter and basic-needs support to the most vulnerable population affected by the earthquake. It is truly encouraging to see local communities coming together to help with the distribution and even with the construction of the shelters for persons and families who are still in need.”
As a result of the earthquake which occurred in September 2016, over 117,000 people have been affected in Kagera Region of Tanzania. A further but very minor earthquake hit the region attain on April 29, 2017. After leading multi-agency assessments on damages and needs and in response to the disaster, IOM is implementing a CERF supported emergency response project to address the needs of those severely affected households through temporary shelter construction and household NFI distributions.