Relief efforts by the Dominica Red Cross Society underway

تم النشر: 11 سبتمبر 2015 1:02 CET

Since touching down on Dominica on Thursday, August 28th 2015, Tropical Storm Erika has caused a significant amount of damage to the island nation, prompting the Dominica Red Cross Society to file a Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) operation to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) for immediate relief and longer term follow up action.

The extent of the damage caused by Erika has yet to be completely determined, but the preliminary analyses carried out in part by the 16 Dominica Red Cross Society Community Disaster Response Teams (CDRTs), show that massive flooding and severe landslides caused by the 6 to 8 inch rainfall has incurred millions of dollars in damages and loss of lives and livelihoods. Initial assessments say that as of September 2nd, 2015, there are 11 dead, 24 people missing, and an estimated total of 20,000 people affected. Roads and bridges throughout the country have suffered an estimated $612.7 million dollars’ worth of damage, while the airports have sustained $39.5 million dollars’ worth of damages. 22 of the 75 schools in Dominica are currently unreachable or damaged.

The main objective of the DREF filed by the Dominica Red Cross is to respond to the immediate needs of 1,400 people (350 families). The initial stages of the operation are primarily concerned with a continuous and detailed assessment and analysis that will inform and design the implementation of longer term actions over a 3 month period. These assessments include a rapid emergency assessment, as well as detailed impact assessments at community levels through consultations with beneficiaries. Among the immediate needs identified thus far are the distribution of safe drinking water to the affected population, shelter and settlement of displaced people, cash transfer programmes to cover immediate needs across common areas, the prevention of diseases related to vulnerable sanitary and hygienic conditions, and psychosocial support.

Red Cross volunteers have already returned to Good Hope, an area in dire need of water, with 100 jerry cans and 20 food parcels, as well as to continue with assessments.  Jerry cans of water and food parcels have also been delivered to Campbell and Massacre, and the French Red Cross Regional Intervention Platform for the Americas and the Caribbean (PIRAC) has provided the Grand Bay community with a water treatment plant that can serve 4,500 people per day.

It is estimated that 574 people have been rendered homeless, and that there are 405 people in 8 shelters, with an additional 267 in evacuation centres. The Government of Dominica has designated 9 areas in the country as Special Disaster Areas, with Petit Savanne and Dubique among the most affected; 709 people have evacuated from Petite Savanne, while all of Dubique has been evacuated. More rain is expected to fall in the coming days; Red Cross volunteers have already begun to assist with evacuation efforts in Coulibistri, Colihaut, Bath Estate, and Petit Savanne.

Food items and medical supplies are being delivered as needed, in conjunction with the Ministry of Health.  To date, donations of food items, water and personal items (including clothing, shoes, linen) received have been delivered to Mero, Macoucherie, Coulibistri, Colihaut, Soufriere, Scottshead, Marigot, and Kalinago Territory.  The Red Cross is also assisting The Dominica Water and Sewerage Company Limited (DOWASCO) in carrying out a detailed assessment in Pichelin, Grand Bay, Bagatelle and Fond St Jean, which will indicate the timeframe for the restoration of the water and sewage system.

The Cash Transfer Program will rely on the distribution and use of multi-purpose Visa debit cards for US$100 per family to assist with the provision of supplementary food items, purchase of construction materials, and other immediate needs. The primary focus of this action in the DREF are the 350 families currently in evacuation centres.

Psychosocial support is already underway thanks to the work of volunteers and IFRC’s Pan American Disaster Response Unit’s (PADRU) emergency health officer in the community and in evacuation centres. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and other local partners have already begun providing this service as well.

PADRU has been actively monitoring the situation from Panama, keeping in close contact with the Dominica Red Cross. IFRC’s Regional Disaster Management Delegate is on the ground, conducting assessments and working with the national society. IFRC’s DREF operation for Dominica includes deployment plans for a Regional Intervention Team (RIT) with a specialty in Water and Sanitation and an officer specialized in Shelter to provide technical training to Dominica Red Cross volunteers.  Given the impact Erika has had on the national supply chain, and thus the procurement capacity of the Dominica Red Cross, IFRC’s Global Logistics Services Americas will provide support as needed with procurement plans, warehouse and storage plans, as well as with regional or international procurement of relief items.  IFRC’s Finance Department will also lend support in budget review, bank transfers, and other financial operations in technical assistance to the national society.

Facts and Figures: Tropical Storm Erika’s impact on Dominica

  • 271 houses damaged or destroyed
  • 405 people in 8 shelters
  • 9 areas declared Special Disaster Areas by the Government of Dominica
  • 11 dead as of September 2nd, 2015
  • 24 people missing
  • 574 people rendered homeless
  • 709 people evacuated from Petite Savanne
  • All of Dublique evacuated
  • 267 in evacuation centres
  • 20,000 affected people
  • 1,400 (350 families) to be immediately helped through DREF actions
  • $612.7 million in damage to road and bridges
  • $39.5 million in damage to Airports
  • 22 unreachable or damaged schools


More information

Summary of Emergency Appeal