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Tajikistan: Floods - Operation Update Report N°1, DREF n° MDRTJ030

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Description of the disaster

The torrential rains between 7 – 13 May 2021 triggered floods, landslides, and mudflows in many districts of Tajikistan. Disasters caused the death of at least seven people and affected around 18,000 people and over 2,500 households. Mudflows left 110 households homeless and caused significant damages to the houses of another 169 households. The largest number of destructions and losses were suffered by the districts of Khatlon province. Ranking based on the total economic loss, number of affected population and damages caused to the residential infrastructure indicates that Kulob town and Vaksh districts are the most severely affected areas. Government responded rapidly to the emergency with the evacuation of the affected population and salvage of assets and belongings. Necessary machinery and workforce has been made available for debris removal, restoration of road communication and other essential services, including electricity and water supply. Essential healthcare is ensured through local healthcare facilities and mobile teams of medical staff deployed to the affected areas.

One month after the disasters, construction of new houses and rebuilding of damaged houses is ongoing in all the affected territories, supported by the workforce and construction materials provided by the authorities.

Meanwhile, displaced population is sheltered in the tents erected in their yards. The private sector and individuals made generous donations. In addition, REACT partners provided immediate food and non-food (food packages, bedding and kitchen sets, hygiene sets) relief assistance to disaster-affected households in different districts of Khatlon province. Local Inter-Agency Commissions on Emergency Situations of each mudflow-affected district, continue facilitation and coordination of the response operations, including damage assessment, clean-up works, provision of relief assistance and recovery planning. The local Commissions in all affected districts have completed assessments of the damages. Government of Tajikistan, represented by the Committee of Emergency Situations and Civil Defense, a co-chair of REACT partnership has approached REACT partners for assistance.

Another 2,200 households people were directly affected by the disaster: buildings adjacent to their houses were destroyed, livestock and crops were lost, agricultural land and pastures were buried under mud and rocks. The roads and bridges in the area were seriously affected, as were other infrastructure including riverbanks, water supply systems, electricity lines, and agricultural land. Government assessments indicate that crops on over 2,700 ha (agricultural lands and kitchen gardens) have been destroyed and over 1,300 heads of cattle have been killed. Around 165 km of roads (main and subsidiary) and many kilometers of irrigation and mudflow diversion channels have been damaged. Some 14,000 people were affected in their access to safe drinking water. Education process has been disrupted in seven schools (6,504 children). Government estimated the total damage at around TJS 100 million (~ USD 9 million)

Response operations in every disaster-affected district are led and facilitated by the activated Inter-Agency Commission on Emergencies chaired by the Head of the relevant district, composed of relevant government departments, and supported by the Committee of Emergency Situations (CoES).

Taking into account the scale of the crisis in Kulob town, Commission for Kulob emergency is chaired by the Prime Minister and supported by the Chairman of the CoES.

Up to date, state services completed debris removal from yards of private houses, social buildings, and roads. It is reported that movement has been restored on all the main roads and bridges and electricity supply has been restored. Where possible, the water supply systems have been restored and where restoration requires large-scale infrastructural rehabilitation, the water trucks are supplying water. Regular disinfection is conducted in the affected territories. Medical care has been provided through mobile teams deployed to the affected territories, temporary medical points, as well as in the permanent healthcare centers (local policlinics and hospitals).

In the immediate aftermath of the disaster the Government ensured regular provision of hot meals to the population. Further population was provided with immediate relief assistance (food and non-food items) and those families in need of temporary housing were provided with family tents. The private sector and individuals made generous donations of food, bedding, clothing and household items for the affected population in each district.