Revision of the Flash Appeal for Namibia 2009
In early 2009 the north-central and north-eastern regions of Namibia experienced torrential rains which caused flooding along most of Namibia’s northern borders. The water levels of the Cunene, Chobe, Zambezi and Kavango rivers increased dramatically due to the combined effects of rain and water from tributaries originating in Angola and Zambia. The floods affected 350,000 people (nearly 17% of the country’s population), caused the death of 102 people, and displaced over 13,500 persons.
In March 2009 Government and international humanitarian partners conducted assessments in the affected areas, identifying immediate and medium-term humanitarian needs. Six regions along Namibia’s northern border (Caprivi, Kavango, Oshana, Oshikoto, Ohangwena, and Omusati), home to the majority of the rural poor in the country, were worst affected. Many health facilities and schools were either flooded or inaccessible. More than 50% of the roads in the affected areas were damaged, and harvest production is expected to fall by 63% causing 67% of the poor households to face an estimated food gap of 20-30%. The cumulative effect of flooding in both 2008 and 2009, in combination with the low levels of resilience, increased the levels of vulnerability especially for the large proportion of the population affected by human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV) and Acquired Immuno-deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) (Namibia has one of the highest prevalence rates in the world, estimated in 2008 at 17.8% of the adult population).
On 17 March 2009, the President of the Republic declared an emergency for the North-Central and North-Eastern part of Namibia and appealed for international assistance. The Government of Namibia allocated 109 million Namibian dollars (about $10.9 million) for the response, established relocation camps to host the displaced, and distributed non-food items (NFIs) in the affected regions. To support and complement the Government in its response, the international community launched a Flash Appeal on 28 March seeking $2,724,380 to address the needs. Currently the Flash Appeal is funded at $1,913,330 or 70%.
After launching the Flash Appeal, the number of affected and displaced populations continued to rise due to continued heavy rainfall upstream in Angola and Zambia and increasing river levels. Humanitarian partners agreed to revise the initial appeal on the basis of further and more detailed assessments. In April 2009, several assessment reports from the Government and international community indicated an estimated 750,000 people affected, including 54,000 people displaced, of which 23,959 were accommodated in relocation camps.
In May 2009 the Government, United Nations and the World Bankconducted a Post-disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA). Whilst almost all families in the areas of Oshana, Oshikoto, Ohangwena, and Omusati have returned home, flood plains in Caprivi and Kavango remain inundated, delaying the return of those relocated in camps. By the end of June, the Government reported a total number of 28,103 people displaced in the Caprivi and Kavango regions, and residual humanitarian needs remain in the relocation camps. Furthermore, it is reported that families that have returned or are returning home still require humanitarian assistance due to the loss of property, livestock, crops, and limited access to basic services.
To further support and complement the Government in its response, the international humanitarian community is seeking a revised amount of $7,071,951 to address residual humanitarian needs as identified by further assessments, including the PDNA. The appeal also seeks to support the medium-term preparedness and disaster risk reduction (DRR) needs, in light of the upcoming rainy season in November. This appeal contains both revised projects from the initial appeal and new projects based on the latest assessment information. The implementation timeframe for all projects is November 2009 before the start of the rainy season.