Lao Red Cross provides relief to communities affected by flooding and landslides

تم النشر: 30 أغسطس 2016 3:17 CET

By Kate Jean Smith, IFRC

Lao Red Cross is responding to landslides and flooding that has occurred across northern Lao PDR over the past weeks.

Earlier this month, heavy rains started pouring down in the provinces of Luangprabang, Oudomsay, Salavan and Sayyabuly.

As conditions began to improve a week later, more rains arrived, fueled by effects of Tropical Storm Dianmu. This time the province of Xiengkhuang suffered the brunt of the rainfall. 

Lao Red Cross Tweet 1

In some areas the rains caused landslides, while in others floodwaters submerged homes and damaged fields and cultivated areas. Some streets were rendered unpassable. The government reports that around 18,800 people have been affected in Oudomsay, a mountainous province in the northwest of the country in which most of the population still practices subsistence agriculture.

Lao Red Cross has started to work with village, district and provincial authorities, to assess the damage and address the most immediate needs.

Distribution of rice, food, drinking water, blankets and clothes to the most vulnerable communities has been the first priority. In addition, the Red Cross is preparing kits with hygiene items such as bars of soap, detergent, female sanitary pads, mosquito nets and water purification tablets, and basic medical items.

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In the longer term, affected families will need cash support to rebuild houses and restore their livelihoods.

While the flood situation in Luang Prabang has subsided, with the river water level back to normal, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has released 128,687 Swiss francs (131,555 US dollars) from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to Lao Red Cross, to assist 5,000 of the most affected people in Oudomsay.

“Lao Red Cross has been responding since the onset of the flooding, and the IFRC is scaling up its support through this DREF operation, which will allow the Red Cross to provide most vulnerable families in Oudomsay with the most needed food and non-food relief,” said Herve Gazeau, the Manager for Disaster Risk Reduction at the IFRC Country Cluster Support Team in Bangkok.

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