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ACT Alert Zambia: Floods in Eastern and North Western Provinces of Zambia

Contact: John Nduna, Action by Churches Together, ACT, Director, +41 22 791 6033, + 41 79 203 6055 cell; Michael Hyden, ACT Program Officer, +41 22 791 6040, +41 79 433 0592 cell

 

GENEVA, Feb. 7 /Standard Newswire/ -- The 2006/7 rainy season has been characterised by excessive rains that have caused floods in low-lying areas in a number of districts in the country. The rains started in September 2006, to date. The major areas affected by the floods are Chama, Lundazi and Mambwe in the Eastern Province and Chavuma West, Zambezi West, Mwinilunga, and Solwezi in the North Western Province. The floods have collapsed houses, submerged roads and washed away bridges, crops and household food stores. This has left the affected communities homeless and without food. Furthermore, these communities are cut off from other parts of the districts where they would otherwise get assistance from.

 

The exact magnitude of the damages and numbers of people affected have not yet been established. The Government through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit under the Office of the Vice President, cooperating partners and NGOs are in the process of conducting rapid assessments on the situation. In some of the affected districts such as Solwezi and Mwinilunga in the North Western Province, the local District Disaster Management Committees and the Zambia Redcross have been assisting in the reconstruction of alternative shelters and distributing tents to the affected people. However, a comprehensive report on the floods situation is expected from Government in the second week of February 2007.

 

The ACT forum in Zambia consisting of DanChurch Aid, Diakonia, Council of Churches in Zambia, Lutheran World Federation and Norwegian Church Aid intend to respond to assist the flood victims through an ACT Appeal to cover Chama, Lundazi and Mambwe (in the Eastern province) and Chavuma and Zambezi in the North Western province. Whilst waiting for the official report from Government, the forum has tasked members Lutheran World Federation and Norwegian Church Aid to undertake field trips to Eastern and North Western Provinces respectively to collect concrete information on the floods situation, for use in planning for probable intervention. The assessment teams have since been deployed in the field.

 

The envisaged response will be to provide the flood victims with relief food, clothing, shelter and household cooking utensils in the short term. In the medium term, rehabilitation activities in food security and capacity building of the affected communities in disaster management and preparedness, will be undertaken. The beneficiary targeting will be done in collaboration with the District Disaster Management Committees, Village Satellite committees and other stakeholders including ACT member churches operating in the areas.

 

The short-term response / assistance is expected to take about three months from the time of funding of the Appeal, while the medium term (rehabilitation) activities are expected to take six months. The resources required will be both in kind contributions (such as clothing, shelter and household cooking utensils - were applicable), and cash to purchase food and to finance the rehabilitation activities. The cost and a detailed budget will be submitted with the Appeal.

 

Council of Churches in Zambia and Lutheran World Federation will implement the project while DanChurch Aid, Diakonia and Norwegian Church Aid will assist with the fund raising for the appeal. The ACT forum members will work closely with the government, the churches, local leadership, community leadership and other NGOs working in the affected areas.

 

The ACT Appeal will be submitted by the 15th of February 2007.

 

Any funding indication or pledge should be communicated to Jessie Kgoroeadira, ACT Finance Officer (jkg@act-intl.org).