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Rapid Response Fund Payment Request No. 09/2013
Funds Sent To: AMC
Amount Sent: USD 59,919
Date: 19 August 2013
Details of Response
Emergency: Floods in the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua
Date of Emergency: July to 16th August, 2013
ACT Requesting Member: Acción Médica Cristiana (AMC)
I. NARRATIVE SUMMARY
DETAILS OF THE EMERGENCY
The Tropical Wave 12 and a low pressure system, that have remained for several days in the Caribbean region, have caused heavy rains from middle of July until 16th August in the North and South Autonomous Regions of Nicaragua, RAAN and RAAS; leaving massive floods and losses especially in the municipality of Prinzapolka in the RAAN and Laguna de Perlas in the RAAS, causing serious damages in health, housing, crops, and sanitary infrastructures.
The affected population is around 18,000 people, mostly children; so far 19 people are missing. The affected population is mostly indigenous, Miskitos and Garifunas. According to the Nicaraguan Institute of Territorial Studies, INITER, heavy rains will continue affecting these regions all week, due to the arrival of another tropical wave to Nicaragua.
The joint assessment performed by AMC with the municipality and other NGO’S, found that 61% of the rice and 60% of corn areas are lost, the crops were at the stage of harvesting when the floods hit these regions. Most of the wells and latrines were flooded and damaged and the potable water is contaminated. Children and elderly people are affected by respiratory diseases, diarrheal, skin diseases, eye infections, fevers and joint pain.
In the municipality of Laguna de Perlas, the heavy rains caused that the lagoon increased 2 meters the regular level. The government issued the green alert for this region. Access is difficult due to the fact that the four largest rivers have increased their caudal and level, becoming a hazard for the neighboring communities.
Children are showing health symptoms related to the floods, like respiratory problems, diarrheal, skin diseases and diseases transmitted by vectors. Nine cases of diarrheal have been reported by the government. The waters have been contaminating by the flooding of latrines and the excess of water increases the proliferation of vectors.
ACTIONS TO DATE, AND EMERGENCY NEEDS
In the municipality of Prinzapolka, the government was able to send a medical brigade within the first 72 hours. However, they were not able to cover neither all the affected communities nor the affected population due to the lack of resources. The World Food Programme (WFP) provided food for 945 families in 25 communities for 30 days.
In the municipality of Laguna de Perlas, kits of medicines and chlorine were provided by health promoters in the affected communities and food aid has been made available by the government. The WFP has given food kits for these communities. AMC has provided basic food supplies (rice, beans, oil, flour, etc.) and medications as initial activities in Sawawas and Arenita communities.
The local government is monitoring the health situation in order to respond properly, focusing on symptoms such as fevers, pains, colds and coughs in order to prevent epidemic outbreak such as dengue and malaria. Many of these communities do not have health public services and they are assisted by mobile medical brigades programmed twice a year. The last visit was on March of this year making difficult the coordination with the central government.
The local mayor has been looking for support to assist the affected communities, and there are some possibilities for food aid and for the crops, but not in the areas of health, water, sanitation and hygiene.
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