A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
On 7 November 2016, several areas of Kosovo1 were flooded as a result of heavy rainfalls. The rainfall’s intensity was approximately between 20-25 mm per three hours or 60-75 mm per 24 hours. By 11 November 2016, its intensity reached a record level of 65-90 mm within 24 hours. In the five municipalities of Vushtrri, Gjakova, Rahovec, Podujeva and Malisheva, the situation became critical.
Affected families lost winter food reserves and livestock, home furniture and appliances. Many families had to be evacuated and accommodated in schools. Power and water supply stations were flooded cutting many areas from electricity and drinking water. Most of the evacuated families found shelter at relatives, helping prevent that family separation cases occur.
Summary of the current response
Overview of Host National Society The RCK structure provided relief to the families affected by the heavy flooding. Its local branches in the flooded areas immediately mobilized 40 trained disaster management volunteers to support the rapid initial assessment of the damages, needs and activities to be implemented in the most-affected villages. The first team deployed on 10 November 2016. The RCK structure Headquarters in Pristina, which closely coordinated with the government providing relief, highlighted the following priority needs and areas for intervention: 1) food items and drinking water; 2) non-food items (blankets, mattresses, boots); and 3) hygiene items (hygiene kits) and hygiene promotion.
Within the first days of the emergency, the RCK structure distributed 30 family packages from its own stock located in Gjakova. As the RCK structure normally has limited reserves, it utilized its traditional activity of ‘solidarity month’ taking place in October and immediately distributed the collected donations including food, second-hand clothes and hygiene items in each municipality. The volunteers continuously followed up on the field situation and assisted affected people in the disaster-hit areas recording their names and assessing their needs.
Throughout the disaster response phase, the RCK structure closely coordinated with the local and national authorities. Its relevant staff attended the meetings of the emergency management commission set up in each of the five most affected areas. The rapid and efficient response of the RCK structure in this flood emergency was thanks to its previous active capacity-strengthening efforts at local and national level focusing on community resilience. Prior to this disaster, the RCK structure had conducted various simulation exercises and trained teams of staff and volunteers for local disaster interventions. Therefore, the volunteers could efficiently carry out risk and needs assessments, and provide shelter, first aid, search and rescue and Restoring Family Link services from the onset of the disaster.