Zambia Floods Flash Appeal 2007

27 March 2007

Excessive rainfall since December 2006 has caused widespread flooding in Zambia, displacing people and destroying crops, houses and public infrastructure.  The situation became critical in mid-February, when the Zambezi, Kafue and Luangwa Rivers started bursting their banks.  Since then, the water levels have remained high, and in many places floodwaters have not yet receded.  In addition, flash floods have been recorded in a number of areas.  While some of the affected populations have traditional coping mechanisms for floods, this year’s flood came much earlier than normal, thereby disrupting their livelihood patterns.  The floods have also been more widespread than usual, affecting people that do not have traditional coping mechanisms.

Since the onset of the floods, the Government of Zambia, spearheaded by its Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) in the Office of the Vice-President, has taken the lead in assisting the affected populations with the most immediate, life-saving needs.  The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), United Nations System, International Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), private sector and others have supported the relief efforts through reprogramming of available funds, or by drawing down on internal emergency resources.

While the initial response with in-country resources to the floods has been exemplary, the unforeseen extent of this year’s flooding as well as its duration has exhausted available resources while additional relief and recovery assistance needs remain.  In addition, a further deterioration of the situation, as a result of a second wave of floods, cannot be excluded and preparatory measures for this worst-case scenario must be taken.

The DMMU, through the Zambia Vulnerability Assessment Committee (VAC),has conducted a rapid assessment.  The results were presented on 15 March 2007. The assessments indicate that cumulatively, the lives and livelihoods of 295,148 people are directly threatened, demanding an urgent response to their needs.  A total of 1,443,583 people in 41 districts have been indirectly affected and will require assistance in the rehabilitation of their houses, latrines, water wells, schools, clinics, roads and other infrastructure over the next year.

Based on the finding of the VAC assessment, the Government has requested the assistance of the international community to respond to the needs of the affected populations.  The sector-specific response plans in this document indicate how the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) in Zambia plans to respond to these needs in support of the Government’s efforts.  The priorities have been based on the results of the rapid assessment. 

The objectives of this response plan are two-fold:

1.              To alleviate the human suffering of the affected population through provision of relief assistance in partnership with national authorities;

2.              To prevent secondary hazards and contribute to sustainable solutions through restocking of relief items in anticipation of further flooding, prevention of disease outbreaks and restoration of some of the agricultural losses.

Support programmes are in the areas of human settlement and shelter; health and nutrition; water and sanitation; education and psychosocial support; food security; and information management and coordination.  They strictly deal with relief operations for a period of three months.  The total funding need of this response plan is US$[1] 8,852,453sought by 11 participating IASC partners in Zambia, of which $397,787 has already been received, leaving unmet requirements at $8,454,666

In order to attain the objectives of this response plan, the IASC in Zambia will operate within the Government’s framework for disaster response.  The UN Resident Coordinator’s (UNRC) Office will lead the inter-agency consolidated response efforts in consultations with Government, as well as other stakeholders.  The Consolidated Response Strategy will use some lessons learned of the Humanitarian Reform. 

Finally, there is a need to bridge the immediate emergency relief response identified in this document with recovery, reconstruction and longer-term reduction of risks and vulnerability.  It is understood that these longer-term needs, as a result of the floods, will be much larger than the initial relief needs.  A strategy ensuring a concerted effort to address these longer-term needs will be developed and funding for activities will be determined.

[1]All dollar figures in this document are United States dollars.   Funding for this appeal should be reported to the Financial Tracking Service (FTS,, which will display its requirements and funding on the CAP 2007 page.


Document History

27 March 2007

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