Raymah’s communities mainly live in basic houses constructed from mud and straw, relying upon farming for their livelihoods. By building their homes along the natural waterways which funnel water down from the mountains, the people can easily access water for themselves but are also at high risk once the rains come.
Floods are not new to Raymah Governorate. However, the mountainous landscape, coupled with poorly built and maintained houses and infrastructure exacerbated the impact that they have on the residents and their homes. The heavy rains highlighted the poor status of drainage systems across the governorate and the inability to cope with the water flow. On Thursday, 21st of November 2019, heavy rainfall accompanied by strong winds led to a devastating flood in Kusmah district, Raymah governorate which caused severe damage to the already fragile situation of communities living there. The flood left 100 families without shelter and decimated their property, water sources and farmland.
One such recipient of cash was Gehad, a 35-year-old farmer and the head of a household of seven people who was affected by the flood in Kusmah district.
"My house, like many houses in our district, was built on the water way of the mountain. It was totally destroyed by the rocks carried by the flood.” With holes in the walls and the ceiling, Gehad was forced to find other shelter for his family. “We had to move to my grandfather’s old house in a neighbouring village." Gehad
In response, ACTED quickly intervened to provide the affected families, particularly those in hard to reach areas, with cash grants for the equivalent of $130 USD to allow them to prioritise what they needed most, whether that was making repairs to their houses or addressing their other immediate needs. The money Gehad received from ACTED enabled him to restart reconstruction of his home, while also ensuring he was able to support his family financially until the house was finished.
ACTED has been operating in Raymah since 2013, conducting a large range of projects from supporting coffee producers to rehabilitating water sources to conducting cash for literacy activities. Due to the mountainous nature of the governorate, few organizations are working in the area despite the huge need for intervention in multiple humanitarian sectors.