CHF 187,950 was allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 19 December, 2012 to support the Congolese Red Cross in delivering assistance to some 500 families (up to 2,500 beneficiaries), or to replenish disaster preparedness stocks. Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.
On the night of 8 to 9 December 2012, the town of Brazzaville was hit by a heavy downpour that caused loss of life and extensive material damage in the following four Subdivisions: the 1st (Makélékélé), 7th (Mfilou), 4th (Moungali) and 6th Subdivisions (Talangaï). Hundreds of houses collapsed, resulting in families being homeless. In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, the Congolese Red Cross deployed over 150 volunteers to help the most vulnerable evacuate the flood-affected areas, and also conducted a rapid assessment of the situation. Out of a total of 1,500 affected families, 500 were identified as the most vulnerable as a result of their houses being completely destroyed. These families were relocated temporarily to the Makélékélé Sports Centre, the gendarmerie Training Centre at Makélékélé, and the Bifouiti roundabout, while those from Moungali and Mfilou occupied the Poudrière primary school.
It should be noted that the Republic of Congo was thus witnessing the second wave of floods, including those of Pointe-Noire in November 2012, after the major disaster of 04 March 2012 that left many homeless people, who are presently resettled in several sites. Thus, the Government never wanted to open other relocation sites. Therefore, after spending some time in these places of refuge, these families had to return to their neighbourhoods.
With the support of IFRC, the Congolese Red Cross provided assistance in various forms to victims through the distribution of non-food items (NFIs) including shelter kits and planks, hygiene kits, kitchen sets, flat slabs for latrines, tarpaulins and sanitation kits for community-led total sanitation (CLTS). These distributions had a significant impact on the victims, many of whom had openly declared that they lacked equipment to repair their houses or to build shelters on their plots and stop squatting at the Makélékélé Council premises.
CRC volunteers were trained on water treatment and disinfection, hygiene and sanitation promotion, emergency assessment of the situation, distribution, etc. These trained volunteers then went ahead to strengthen the capacities of affected communities through awareness campaigns on the community-led total sanitation (CLTS) approach.
All activities planned were implemented with the support of a member of the Regional Disaster Response Team (RDRT) who was deployed by the IFRC to work with the Congolese Red Cross. This official supported the disaster management team of the National Society (NS) in developing monitoring tools and training volunteers. Furthermore, the Swiss Red Cross dispatched an emergency shelter construction expert to the Congolese Red Cross to help strengthen the operational capacity of the National Society through the training of volunteers on shelter construction.
The Switzerland Red Cross supported the Congolese Red Cross through the prepositioning of 250 shelter kits and CHF 15,000 for the purchase of other building materials (wood, nails, etc.). These items can be used in the case of a new emergency in the country.
Furthermore, the DREF allocation helped to replenish 200 shelter kits and 1,000 tarps that were sent to Brazzaville at the beginning of the operation. These items have been returned in the stock of Regional Representation.
All activities planned under this DREF operation were implemented and this narrative is final in terms of activities carried out, with a final financial report attached. A small balance of CHF 461 was returned to DREF.
The Belgian Red Cross and government as well as the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (DG ECHO) contributed to the replenishment of the DREF allocation made for this operation. The major donors and partners of DREF include the Australian, American and Belgian governments, the Austrian Red Cross, the Canadian Red Cross and government, Danish Red Cross and government, DG ECHO, the Irish and the Italian governments, the Japanese Red Cross Society, the Luxembourg government, the Monaco Red Cross and government, the Netherlands Red Cross and government, the Norwegian Red Cross and government, the Spanish Government, the Swedish Red Cross and government, the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), the Medtronic and Z Zurich Foundations, and other corporate and private donors. Details of DREF contributions are found on: http://www.ifrc.org/docs/appeals/Active/MAA00010_2012.pdf
The IFRC, on behalf of the Congolese Red Cross, would like to extend its thanks to all partners for their generous contributions.