Cyclone Fani was the strongest tropical cyclone to hit India in 20 years. Despite 800,000 people from 11 districts of Odisha being evacuated to shelters before the cyclone struck, 41 people have died and the homes and livelihoods of millions of people have been affected.
CARE conducted a rapid needs assessment in some of the worst-affected villages of Kendrapada and Khurda districts. Based on this assessment, CARE India is beginning relief distribution of shelter provisions like tarpaulin, ropes and mosquito nets; sanitation and hygiene items for women and girls; and disease prevention products like water purification tablets and bleaching powder. Our initial distribution will reach 5,000 households in the slums of Bhubaneswar and Khurda district.
CARE has many projects currently under implementation in Odisha, making Bhubaneswar an important regional operations hub.
Tropical cyclone Kenneth has brought devastation to the province of Cabo Delgado in the northern part of Mozambique, with 38 people confirmed dead and about 30,000 people evacuated from the affected areas. The cyclone was followed by torrential rainfall causing major ﬂash flooding and river ﬂooding, which has destroyed sanitation facilities and heavily contaminated water sources. So far, officials have confirmed 14 cases of cholera in Cabo Delgado and the number is expected to rise as flash floods continue.
Prior to the disaster, CARE had no operational presence in Cabo Delgado. Two local partners have been engaged to help with the response, particularly distributions. CARE has facilitated training of the partners’ staff in protection against sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) including good practices in distribution of relief items.
CARE is aiming to reach 80,000 people (about 20% of the total projected affected population) with urgent life-saving interventions including shelter and other household items, WASH (water, sanitation, hygiene), and gender and protection support, with a possibility of extending to food and livelihoods programming.
Some relief supplies have already arrived in Pemba, with more supplies on their way. There is still the challenge of reaching inaccessible areas with supplies: CARE is working with the logistics cluster (part of the multi-agency humanitarian response effort) to use their helicopters or boats to transport these supplies.
CARE is currently responding to 42 humanitarian crises including the 10 large scale crises (Yemen, South Sudan, Syria, Iraq, D.R. Congo, Ethiopia, Somalia, Lake Chad Basin, Venezuela, Mozambique). From July 2018 to April 2019 approximately, CARE reached nearly 5 million people in these 10 large-scale crises. Potential emerging crises include Haiti (social unrest and food insecurity due to economic deterioration, continued below average rainfall affecting food crops, and the upcoming hurricane season), political and social unrest in Sudan with 5.8 million people in crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity, and very high risk of an Ebola disease outbreak in Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan.
Cyclone Fani has made landfall along the coast of Odisha in eastern India. Government-led disaster preparedness plans mean that around 800,000 people from 11 districts of Odisha have already been evacuated to 880 shelters, and disaster response authority personnel have been deployed.
CARE has been monitoring the progress of the cyclone closely and is ready to respond. In preparation for disasters, CARE has pre-positioned stocks of relief kits to ensure quick distribution when the need arises. CARE is especially sensitive to the needs of the most disadvantaged, vulnerable and marginalised populations which include women and girls. Our comprehensive relief kits include sanitation items for women and girls, and shelter provisions, among several other materials.
The relief efforts will be undertaken by CARE India staff trained to respond during emergencies. This roster of emergency response personnel has been activated and staff are on stand-by.
CARE is also prepared to respond in neighbouring Bangladesh, where over 1 million Rohingya refugees, along with millions of vulnerable host populations both in the southeast and southwest coastal region, are at risk of being impacted by Fani. Zia Choudhury, Country Director of CARE Bangladesh, says:
The densely populated Rohingya camps of Cox’s Bazar are susceptible to deadly mudslides triggered by torrential rainfall. The concentration of the 1 million displaced Rohingya people in Cox’s Bazar is now among the densest in the world and any such situation, even if the region is not hit by Fani directly, will create havoc.
This cyclone is very likely to intensify into an extremely severe cyclonic storm before making landfall on 3 May in north-eastern India. Such a cyclone is one of the scenarios that CARE India has anticipated in its Emergency Preparedness Plan. Temporary shelter and WASH (water, sanitation, hygiene) are pre-identified sectors for response. Relief supplies are pre-positioned in Odisha state and CARE India emergency teams are ready to respond.
The cyclone is expected to move northwards along the coast and may also bring significant damage to Bangladesh. Zia Choudhury, CARE Bangladesh’s Country Director, said:
The worst scenario will see massive destruction of homes, buildings, roads, electric lines, crops and more. The real concern is for the Rohingya refugees: over 1 million people living in flimsy shelters, densely packed into a very fragile, hilly, exposed area. We are expecting destruction of shelters, injuries and landslides. CARE has over 500 staff and volunteers working in Cox’s Bazar. All staff are mobilised to respond fast, especially in Camps 13 and 16, where we are responsible for over 60,000 people. Goods are being prepositioned, assessment teams are ready to assess damage, and all teams are ready to rescue, repair and rebuild.
Cyclone Idai Appeal