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Liberia: Margibi Floods Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) Final Report (MDRLR002)

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A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster Lower and Upper Margibi County experienced widespread flooding on 29 June 2016 following torrential rainfall which caused the banks of the Du River in Lower Margibi and Benla Creek in Upper Margibi to overflow. The flood caused massive destruction of homes, farm fields, crops and displacement.

According to official reports from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, a total of 15,431 people in 49 communities (including the people assisted through this DREF) were affected by the flooding. Liberia has recorded floods in the last ten years and is among the wettest countries in West Africa and the world.
The most affected areas included, Borborville, New and Old Dolo Town, Dennisville, Zoekwelin, Kokoville, Larkpor and Peter Town in Lower Margibi and World Bank and Kissi communities among others in Upper Margibi.

Among the 49 affected communities, damage of numerous homes was reported through a rapid situational assessment conducted by the Liberian Red Cross using staff and volunteers in the Branch. From the assessment and on-site verification of the situation, over 10,000 people were rendered homeless by the floods. Water sources were contaminated, makeshift latrines collapsed in the wake of pre-existing health sector weaknesses worsened by the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). The flood-affected population was staying in public buildings (churches, mosques and schools) with limited access to sanitation, which resulted into a high risk of water-borne infections. The floods caused damage to crops (vegetables and root crops), poor access to shelter and loss of Essential Household Items (EHIs) and food. Regular assessments were conducted to collect data and review operational modalities and evolving needs.

Summary of response

Overview of Host National Society

Following an initial damage and loss assessment carried out by the LNRCS with strong technical support from the IFRC Liberia Country Office, LNRCS launched a DREF Appeal. The appeal initially focused on assisting 2,500 persons (approximately 500 families) with emergency health and care including water, sanitation, and hygiene, provision of emergency food and Non-Food Items (NFIs), and emergency shelter. After assessments, the number of families assisted increased to 524 (2,958 persons). LNRCS provided assorted food and NFIs including emergency shelter tool kit (as listed in Annex 1) to people affected by the floods disaster in 11 communities and nine IDP centres.

Several bilateral partners including the Danish Red Cross, German Red Cross and Canadian Red Cross supported the plan of action through logistical and material contributions which facilitated the support to affected community members.

Overview of Red Cross Red Crescent Movement in country

During the operation period, the National Society received technical, material (NFIs) and logistical support from Movement Partners including IFRC, ICRC, German Red Cross and Danish Red Cross. Regular coordination and situational update meetings were held with partners. ICRC and IFRC were also involved through participation in technical sectorial meetings with UN Agencies and the Government counterparts. ICRC provided technical support to LNRCS to carry out a WASH assessment in affected areas to ascertain the needs of people displaced at various centres.

Overview of non-RCRC actors in country

Other non-RCRC actors in the operation included UNICEF, WHO, Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), National Disaster Relief Commission (NDRC), Liberia Refugee Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC), and the Margibi County local government structure. At the onset of the flooding in June and early July, the Armed Forces of Liberia provided live-saving support to people trapped across flood waters that were not reachable by our volunteers. The AFL used boats to rescue people trapped by flood waters and to transport food and water to the affected population. LRRRC and NDRC, through the Ministry of Internal Affairs coordinated the operation and had the central responsibility for planning and resource mobilization with the various partners. UNICEF and WHO coordinated and supported two technical clusters (WASH and health).