Monday, 23 December 2013
Press Release: IFRC

Nairobi, 22 December 2013 – The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has launched an emergency appeal of 2.4 million Swiss Francs to assist 23,100 people affected by a tropical cyclone that hit Puntland State in Somalia on 10 November 2013.

Heavy rainfall and flash floods followed the tropical cyclone, and caused loss of human lives and the massive destruction of assets including livestock and fishing boats. Settlements and infrastructure including service centres, roads, schools, as well as communication and electrical installations were not spared from damage.

The most affected areas include Dangorayo, Bandar Beyla, Garowe and Eyl districts. Other areas affected include the coastal villages in Bari Region including Hafun, Iskushuban, Bargal, Quandala and Alula districts.

The Government estimated that nearly 300 people lost their lives in the cyclone. The Ministry of Livestock and Animal Husbandry estimates that 4,000 – 5,000 households have lost 60 to 70% of their livestock. Many water sources were flooded and became unserviceable or contaminated, leading to shortage of safe drinking water. The affected population, including children and the elderly, have become susceptible to diarrhoea, malaria, upper respiratory and skin infection due to exposure.

“Recurrent disasters and crisis have deepened the vulnerabilities of the Somali population, and stretched their coping mechanisms to the limit”, said Mr. Ahmed Adam Gizo, IFRC’s country representative in Somalia. “The cyclical disaster such as droughts, floods and epidemics, stresses the need for disaster preparedness and risk reduction programming to enhance the community resilience and strengthening the Somali Red Crescent Society’s disaster management capacity,”

The IFRC operation targets 3,300 households in Bari and Nugal regions and last for nine months. Focus will be on providing shelter for 964 households whose homes were completely destroyed, delivery of health services for all through mobile clinics, as well as livelihoods support for households that lost all their livestock. All affected households will be targeted with hygiene interventions to prevent waterborne diseases.

“According to our assessments 142,380 people in Nungal and Bari regions were affected by the cyclone with 8,525 households being worst hit. 1,485 households have lost all their livestock, impacting severely on their livelihoods. 40 people died and 95 sustained injuries in the two regions,” said Dr. Ahmed M. Hassan, President of the Somali Red Crescent Society.

Nomadic pastoralist communities in two affected regions will be targeted for increased access to safe water.

“Vulnerable groups including female headed households, child headed households, persons with disabilities and pregnant and lactating women will receive special attention in the relief operation,” added Dr. Hassan.

The Somali Red Crescent Society is coordinating its activities with the government and other humanitarian agencies.