Yemen: Flash Floods Revised Emergency Appeal No. MDRYE002

Originally published


GLIDE n° FL-2008-000201-YEM

This Revised Emergency Appeal seeks CHF 1,997,283 (USD 1,643,435 or EUR 1,300,875) in cash, kind, or services to support the Yemen Red Crescent Society (Yemen RC) to assist 10,500 beneficiaries (1,500 families) over a period of 12 months.

A Preliminary Emergency Appeal was launched on 10 November for CHF 1,754,011 (USD 1,493,155 or EUR 1,160,465) to support the Yemen RC in assisting 4,900 beneficiaries over a period of 12 months.

CHF 270,067 (USD 229,975 or EUR 178,660) was allocated from the International Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support this operation. Unearmarked funds to replenish DREF are encouraged.

On 24 October 2008, rains brought by a tropical storm that lasted for about 36 hours resulted in flash floods througout south eastern and south western Yemen. Based on this situation, a Preliminary Emergency Appeal was launched on 10 November in order to respond to a request from the Yemen RC, and focused on providing support to take an appropriate and timely response in delivering relief, psycho-social support, health, water and sanitation, shelter, and recovery assistance. The deployed Field Assessment and Coordination Team (FACT) further assessed the situation and throughout the course of November, gathered more information which resulted in a revised plan of action. This Revised Emergency Appeal is based directly on this plan of action developed in coordination with the International Federation's FACT team and the Yemen RC branch, and aims to cover activities under relief, recovery, risk reduction, health and care (including water and sanitation), shelter and capacity building needs of the National Society.

This operation is expected to be implemented over 12 months, and will therefore be completed by the end of November 2009; a Final Report will be made available by the end of February 2010 (three months after the end of the operation).

The situation

On 24 October 2008, a level three tropical storm that lasted for about 36 hours in south eastern and south western Yemen resulted in flash floods throughout Hadramout governorate. The governorate of Al-Mahara was also affected. The most affected areas in Hadramout were Sah, Som, Tarim, Qatan and Hawra; and Al- Masila, Saihout, Al-Gaida and Hawf in Al-Mahara. Most of the infrastructure was damaged and access to the affected sites was very difficult at the beginning. Roads, communication facilities, power, and water distribution networks were destroyed. On 26 October, the government declared the area 'a disaster zone'. Army helicopters were deployed to rescue people stranded by the floods, but gusty and high water levels hampered rescue efforts.

According to the latest estimates, in Hadramout, 67 people have been killed, 57 injured, and 25 are missing. Reports also indicate that, in Al-Mahara, five persons have been killed, four injured, and five are missing. 3,264 mudbrick houses have been destroyed and hundred others are found uninhabitable, leaving 20,000 - 25,000 people homeless and internally displaced. 181 school buildings are damaged in Hadramout, around 1,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) are occupying 45 schools, and some school education programmes have been temporarily suspended.

In Wadi Hadramout, livelihoods include mainly farming and livestock. The agricultural sector was heavily hit and farmers have been affected in many areas, since a thin layer of soil has been washed away from the rocky base, leaving many fields unsuitable for cultivation and likely to lose next crop. Beehives, dates, and palm plants are washed away; and livestock drowned (including 7,000 sheep/goats, many cattle and poultry).

In rural areas, 14 of 19 water schemes have been affected, and four sewage stations have been damaged in Seyoun. Throughout the affected area, there is concern related to sewerage sludge, waste, animal carcasses and sanitation problems causing environmental and health risks. Capacity of local authorities in hygiene education/awareness, solid/liquid disposal, and sanitation (including drainage system) is constrained by limited resources.

The health system is functioning, although with a limited capacity. Saah hospital is reported as damaged and health assistance is needed in remote villages/IDP locations through mobile health teams. United Aarab Emirates Red Crescent has set up a field hospital in Seyoun.

The affected population is living in 113 settlements, including schools, clubs and mosques and many are living with relatives. There is a progressive decrease of people staying in collective shelters. Some tents have been set up, though lack nearby access to necessities like water. Most people prefer to stay in rental buildings, if available, rather than tents.

An important section of the highway between Mukala and Seyoun has been washed away, but there is government equipment working well to clear roads. As of 1 November, the government announced that 98 per cent of the roads were open and about 76 per cent of the electricity was restored as of 30 October although solutions are temporary and have to be supported with proper systems. Both mobile and land line phones were repaired rapidly and are working again everywhere.

However, not all places are reached and assessed yet, including where bedouins live and those living in mountains. Access to food for the coming months (until April harvest or beyond) is an issue. Resettlement of the displaced population, land allocation (loss of documentation), and housing assistance are seen as the future constraints.

The Yemen RC, together with the International Federation, has been assessing the situation in some of the affected areas. In the early days after the disaster, an assessment team visited affected areas in Hadramout and met with RC branch leaders, local authorities and community members. The FACT team worked with the Yemen RC branch, and mobilized volunteers in the affected areas. Two Yemen RC trainers were mobilized from the different regions of the country, and a participatory approach methodology was taught over four days. The teams of volunteers went and worked to form community committees with National Society volunteers in the affected areas, and to identify specific outstanding needs that were not being addressed by the government or through international non-governmental organizations' (INGOs) response. The current plan of action, which forms the base of this Revised Emergency Appeal, was constructed directly from the feedback and results gathered from those committees.