Yemen: Floods Minor Emergency 05ME029 Update No. 1

Situation Report
Originally published
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In Brief


1.1 The Disaster

On Tuesday 26 April, 2005 devastating flash floods in Hodeida h and Hajjah governorates damaged seven villages. In Hodeidah five villages were affected in Zuhrah district, which is located by the side of Wadi (valley) Moor about 100 km north of Hodeidah city. The Yemen Red Crescent Society (YRCS) Hodeidah Branch sent a disaster survey team on a two-day mission to assess the magnitude of the disaster. The ir report revealed that 70 houses (huts made of straw and mud) were destroyed and 73 damaged. No casualties were reported but it is feared disease may spread due to poor sanitation systems and stagnant flood water.

Many people lost their livelihoods, which mainly depended on farming or cultivating the land. Three productive farmlands were heavily damaged and need a long time to be rehabilitated. Stock food storages were swept away leaving only a few kilogrammes of cereals. Other material and food loss included cattle, honey cells, furniture, tools, and other personal belongings. A first consignment of relief items, consisting mainly of tents and blankets, has been distributed to affected villages. It is evident through field assessment that food and non-food items are urgently needed

Two more villages in Hajjah governorate, Harad district, were devastated by the flooding of Ahban Wadi close to the border with Saudi Arabia. The Federation Representative visited one village and saw first hand the magnitude of the disaster, which left many homeless and jobless. The highest water level as indicated on walls reached almost 150 cm and demolished 26 houses in one small village. The food and material loss was immense as people escape d to safety. 88 cattle were drowned and 150 bags of wheat lost.

1.2. The Proposal

The first preliminary field report was sent to the MENA desk officer at the Federation Secretariat and the HoRD in Amman on April 30. After an assessment, a more detailed report was sent to Geneva and Amman on May 2, 2004. A formal programme proposal was sent on May 5, 2004. During the Federation Representative's monitoring trip to the flooded area frequent telephone conversations were held with both Geneva and Amman. Rapid preparations secured prompt release of the DREF allocation.

The amount sought was CHF 60,003. In addition, UAE RC pledged USD 27,200 to refurbish the disaster preparedness stock for YRCS. The Qatar RC, represented by one delegate , made an additional distribution in villages in the Hajjah region. (This report has not been received by the Federation Reperenetative at the time of writing).

The preliminary number of targeted beneficiaries was 107 families (or more than 400 beneficiaries). All beneficiaries were variously affected by the flash flooding destroying part of their villages.

1.3. The Operation

The first phase was to distribute relief items from the YRCS relief stock at the HQ in Sana'a. Trucks were dispatched from the HQ on May 1 (holiday in Yemen), after clearance was received that roads to the flooded area were passable. After two days of distribution, procurement of food took place May 8 and 9 and subsequent food distribution on May 11 and 12.

The beneficiaries were selected according to the areas; (Al- Zuhra &, Zabied Districts Hodeidah Governerate. and Haradh in Hajja Governorate. The names of the valleys where the flooding took place are Wadi Mour and Wadi Zabied in the Tihama.

1.3.1 Objectives

(i) Assist 400 people afflicted from the floods in Hodeidah and Hajjah governorates with shelter, relief and food items for 15 days according to humanitarian standards.

(ii) Reduce the risk of epidemic outbreak such as malaria, diarrhea, and bilharzias among the population in flooded areas.

(iii) Replenish relief stock to enable YRCS to provide relief items for 1500 persons in time of disaster.

1.3.3 Distribution

The distribution of shelter and relief items was as follows and according to the needs:

  • Tents: 94
  • Blankets: 379
  • Kitchen utensils kits: 100
  • Water jug: 67
  • Water container 20 Lt: 57
  • Stove (Kerosene): 48
  • Lamp (Kero sene): 48
The food distribution was calculated on a distribution for 15 days and based on the following daily consumption needs per beneficiary.
  • Rice: 400g
  • Lentils (Foul): 80g
  • Beans: 80g
  • Oil: 50g
  • Sugar: 30g
  • Tea: 10g
The total quantity distributed according to internal reports and purchase orders:
  • Rice: 2568 kg
  • Sugar: 642 kg
  • Oil: 270 l
  • Lentils (Foul): 332 kg
  • Beans: 332 kg
  • Tea: 64 kg
Please note : There is a discrepancy between the theoretical calculation and the quantity which in fact was distributed. Because of that the distribution was given to 107 families, instead of individuals (beneficiaries). Further full containers were distributed. A second distribution of food items consisting of the balance is being negotiated.

1.4. The Delegation

The delegation consists of one Federation Representative and two national staff (finance administrator and programme officer/translator).

1.5 Participation of the YRCS

The YRCS was very active in the entire operation. At a n early stage the YRCS branches in Hodeidah and Hajjah made the field assessment with a report to the Delegation and the YRCS HQ. The distribution of the shelter, the relief- and food items was done by the YRCS staff and volunteers, and partly monitored by the Federation Representative and translator.

The number of persons during the distribution from HQ was between 9-3 staff and 7 - 6 volunteers.

1.6. Co-operation with Authorities and with other Agencies

The assistance from the local authorities was good, both during the field assessment and the distribution of the relief items; they participated during a part of the operation

The assessment was done jointly with the following partners: YRCS , Ministry of Agriculture , Ministry of Health, Civil Defence, local Authorities, members of the local council committee in both Governorates ( Hodeidah and Hajjah),

2. Conclusions

The YRCS' professional staff and volunteers and small relief stock at the HQ, contributed to a good response to this operation. Media coverage of the operation boosted the national society's visibility. Secretariat support enabled a quick release of funds to further support the response. Consequently the procurement of food items was without unnecessary delay.

There were some shor tcomings mainly due to that the disaster took place just before a long holiday weekend in Yemen. Consequently it was difficult to reach key people at the YRCS. There were delays before trucks were dispatched from the warehouse with relief items. Unclear management lines and certain bureaucratic rules did not help.

Some distributed relief items were initially not clearly labeled with the Federation or YRCS emblem but this was later corrected.

For further information please contact:

Yemen Red Crescent Society: Dr Abbas Zabarah, Secretary General, Phone +9671298615; Fax +9671283131; email or

Delegation: Mr. Peter Kurlandsky, Federation Representative, Phone +9671293226; Fax +9671283133; email

Geneva Secretariat: Mr. Evgeni Parfenov, Desk officer, Phone 41 22 730 4325; Fax 41 22 733 0395; email

For longer-term programmes, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal.

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for a full description of the national society profile, please access the Federation's website at