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Tunisia - Floods: DREF Operational Learning

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Purpose: Learning about main challenges from the Floods Operation
Operation: Tunisia – Floods
Participant(s): Marco Vargas – DREF Team
Dates: 20-26 February 2019
Destination: Tunis and Hammamet, Tunisia.

Outstanding findings

Despite the three months delay for the procurement of the NFIs for distribution under the DREF operation, the TRCS was able to distribute the items within the operations timeframe, and these were still relevant for the needs of the affected population.

During the operations timeframe and while waiting for the NFIs, the Branches involved in the operation continued to provide aid to the affected population through actions inside and outside of the scope of the operation.



On Saturday 22 September, torrential rain hit north-eastern Tunisia’s Cap Bon Peninsula, causing water levels to rise 1.7 meters. The storm dumped approximately 200 millimetres (7.9 inches) of rain on Nabeul and up to 225 millimetres in the city of Beni Khaled, in the peninsula’s centre, according to Tunisia’s National Institute of Meteorology. This was the heaviest rainfall since the institute began keeping records in 1995. A warning on the storms was issued on September 21st. More than 6,000 families have been affected by the floods. Some of them fled their homes seeking shelter in neighbouring high-ground houses and villages, while others chose to stay in their damaged houses moving to rooftops rather than risking crossing flooded areas to reach evacuation points. Water supply through pipelines is limited, and the water available in some areas is contaminated. Electricity has been cut off in certain districts to avoid risk to people and electrical damage.

A second flood has hit the country affecting the governorates of Tunis and part of Nabeul; causing damages to houses’ and infrastructure.

Families whose homes were damaged partially or completely have lost most of their household items, including mattresses, blankets, clothes, food stocks, hygiene materials and school books. Considering the financial situation, targeted affected people can’t afford to replace their lost belongings. All affected houses required clean-up and sanitation to be habitable again. Flooding water ruined food stocks that have been piled in preparedness for winter. Those affected people experienced food shortages due to the loss of livelihoods and purchasing power. Officials estimate that the flood ruined 200,000 poultry, 600 sheep, 15 cows, and 1,000 hectares of planted trees.