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Swaziland: Storm DREF No. MDRSZ001 Update No. 2

Publication date

The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 185 countries.

In Brief

Period covered by this update: 17 to 31 August 2006.

History of this Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF)-funded operation:

- CHF 74,251 (USD 60,219 or EUR 47,203) was allocated from the Federations DREF on 10 August 2006 - - to respond to the needs of this operation,

or to replenish disaster preparedness stocks distributed to the affected population.

- DREF Bulletin Update no. 1 - - was issued on 17 August 2006.

- This operation is expected to be implemented for 3 months, and will be completed by 8 November 2006; a DREF Bulletin Final Report will be made available three months after the end of the operation. Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.

This operation is aligned with the International Federation's Global Agenda, which sets out four broad goals to meet the Federation's mission to "improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity".

Global Agenda Goals:

- Reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.

- Reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies.

- Increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.

- Reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion and promote respect for diversity and human dignity.

Background and current situation

Strong winds hit many parts of Swaziland as from 1 August to 3 August 2006. The winds, averaging 120 km/h in speed, caused extensive damage to school, hospital and clinic buildings, including Sigombeni Red Cross clinic, as well as other infrastructures. Telecommunications and power lines as well as roads were destroyed resulting in communication failures, power cuts and inaccessibility. Approximately 100 houses were destroyed, six people were trapped, several others were injured and three were killed. On 15 August 2006, Lubombo and Manzini regions experienced another storm which lasted about 15 minutes; its effects were devastating as it blew off some roofs.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

The Federation regional delegation in Harare disbursed 100 tents, 400 tarpaulins from its regional disaster preparedness stock. The tents and tarpaulins will be replaced by the through the DREF funds allocated for the relief operation. The Baphalali Swaziland Red Cross Society (BSRCS) procured other 500 tarpaulins through the bilateral support of the Swiss Red Cross.

The BSRCS continues to hold meetings with the government task team composed of representatives from the Ministry of Education, Ministries of Public Works and Transport, Health and Social Welfare and the National Disaster Management Unit.

The World Food Programme (WFP) provided two bales of blankets - each with 30 blankets - and two bales of clothing in the Lubombo and Manzini regions. Red Cross volunteers have been assisting with their distribution.


The relief materials (from the regional delegation and the Swiss Red Cross) which were initially delayed at the Zimbabwe and South Africa border post, pending customs clearance, finally arrived and distributions begun. The government of Swaziland provided 10 - 50kg bags of maize in the Lubombo region. A total of 212 households, out of 833, have been identified to be in most need and will be assisted by the government with maize, beans and oil. The government has also promised to assist with the reconstruction of schools, clinics, hospitals and houses affected by the storm. A total of 52 schools out of 78 were severely affected and require immediate attention before schools open on 12 September 2006.


Communication with divisional offices based in the regions has been hampered by the lack of fax machines and access to e-mail facilities as landline telephones are often down and the mobile phone network has been interrupted. Food items are still required for some affected households in Lubombo and Mafutseni. The government has pledged to provide these. The following is an update on the assessment and distribution of relief items from 23 to 27 August 2006.

Table 1: Relief items distributed to affected households

No. of households
No. of tarpaulins
No. of tents
Pigg's Peak

Distribution of relief is continuing at a slow pace due to the summer rains which have made many areas inaccessible by ordinary pick-up trucks. As a result, more four wheel drive vehicles are required. Emergency response teams have had to carry relief materials such as tents and tarpaulins on foot for distances up to four kilometres. This has slowed coverage to only a few houses per day, as only one four-wheel drive vehicle is available for disaster response.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Swaziland: Sibongile Hlope, Secretary General, Baphalali Swaziland Red Cross Society, Mbabane; Email:; Phone: +268.404.25.32; Fax: +268.404.61.08

In Zimbabwe: Françoise Le Goff, Head of Southern Africa Regional Delegation, Harare; Email:; Phone: +, +; Fax: +

In Geneva: John Roche, Federation Regional Officer for Southern Africa, Africa Dept., Geneva; Email:; Phone: +41.22.730.44.40, Fax: +41.22.733.03.95

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at