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Sao Tome and Principe: Floods and landslides - Operations Update no. 2, DREF N° MDRST001

Сан-Томе и Принсипи
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Summary of major revisions made to the Emergency Plan of Action and last update:

This second update aims to extend the duration of the operation, revise the response strategy and update on the ongoing response and situation from April to 1st of June 2022.

The present revision is developed around the key elements below:

  • Part of the assistance will be redirected to 100 households in the Island of Principe using the extra time and same resources previously allocated by the DREF. Some 350 households were affected by the flooding in the Island of Principe. The Island suffered important damages due to flooding after the heavy rains on 23 May 2022, with 61 families that have lost their houses in this disaster.

  • The target remains 6,000 people (1,500 households) but with a change in the initial distribution per localities as follows: Lembá 200 Households (HH); Me-Zochi: 150 HH; and of Island Principe: 100 households.

  • Extending for one month the operation (to 31 July 2022). This additional month will allow the National Society to carry on with the remaining activities in São Tome Island and conduct the same response strategy in Principe to cover the 100 vulnerable families which have lost their houses. The initial planned activities in the EPoA have been successfully completed but for the moment, most of the activities outlined in the first update are still not implemented. Indeed, the implementation since the last update has been greatly delayed due to the late transfer of funds in São Tome.

This DREF initially approved for a duration of three months, then extended by two months in the first update will now last until 31 July 2022 for an overall implementation timeframe of 6 months. No additional funds are required, so the budget remains of 164,881CHF.


Description of the disaster

The 2021 rainfall in São Tomé and Príncipe peaked between 28 and 29 December 2021, causing the country's rivers to rise. In less than 24 hours, the rains that hit the archipelago caused chaos in the capital and in several other parts of the country, especially in areas where streams flow and near rivers. The storm that hit the archipelago, including the island of São Tome, on 28 December 2021, killed two people and at least six went missing in the community of Ponte Samu. On 30 December 2021, the government of São Tome declared a state of disaster due to the damage caused and appealed for international assistance at a meeting attended by international actors present in the country and ambassadors.

While the NS was still responding to the December floods, heavy rains hit the whole country, causing another wave of flooding on 4 March 2022, resulting in floods of varying severity in the northern and northwestern districts of Lembá, Me-Zochi and Agua Grande. Already exposed by the December 2021 floods, Lembá and Me-Zochi districts were heavily impacted. Lembá in particular being more vulnerable due to its socio-economic situation compared to the other affected districts. The most important damage of this second wave of floods was recorded in the capital Neves. After a detailed assessment of the situation on 22 March 2022, São Tomé and Príncipe Red Cross (CVSTP) recorded injured, and numerous damages and material losses and started assisting 150 more families through an additional fund granted by the DREF.

On 23 May 2022, the autonomous region of Principe experienced heavy rainfall that caused severe damage to the island. According to the situation assessment carried out by the NS together with the government, a significant number of houses were flooded, with furniture and appliances damaged. Several plots of farmland collapsed, and the flow of water cratered several roads. Many communities were left with inaccessible roads due to rock erosion, such as Bela Vista, Abade and Aeroporto in Picão via Telelé so far, totalling 10 landslides/rockslides and 2 residences partially destroyed. Petrol stations were out of order and the floods affected the municipalities of Santo António, Lenta Pia, São Mateus, Porto Real and Santo António II with a total of 61 residences and 350 families affected by the floods. The government of Príncipe proposed to the central government to declare a state of calamity on the island, stating Principe as a humanitarian priority.

This new situation, tis the reason why the Red Cross of São Tomé and Príncipe wishes to revise the present operation once again to be able to assist the most vulnerable households in Principe.