07 April, 2017
HORN, EAST, CENTRAL AFRICA
Somalia: The assessment made by a team in Jan-Feb has resulted in a programme through two good local organisations. They are based in the semi-autonomous region of the country known as Somaliland, where communities have exhausted all their means to support themselves through this crisis - their livestock dying, their cash pooled to pay for water supplies that might be contaminated. We closed our programme in Somalia eighteen months ago so this marks a return for us, and our small team has had to accomplish a lot in a short time. This week one of our partners began
trucking clean water to areas of severe shortage (reaching 13,000 people), and we are arranging to give cash next week to communities to buy the commodities they currently cannot access. We will be sending in equipment to help our work - bladder tanks, tapstands, water testing kits etc - from the warehouse in the UK.
South Sudan regional crisis: The numbers of people fleeing the country jumped again recently. In the first two weeks of March more than 41,300 South Sudanese refugees arrived in Uganda, over 7,200 in Ethiopia's Gambella region (at a rate of 660 per day compared to 200 per day in February), and over 10,000 went into Sudan (around 690 per day). Bidi-Bidi settlement in Uganda - about 40 km from the border with South Sudan - now has 270,000 residents and has become the world's largest refugee camp. Oxfam is working in Bidi-Bidi, and we are part of a government
assessment to locate new sites.
MIDDLE EAST / NORTH AFRICA
Syria: At the beginning of the year nearly 2 million people in Aleppo were left without drinking water because the main source located at the Euphrates River was under ISIS control. The Syrian army took control of the water plant on the river in early March, but frequent power cuts, low pressure of pumped water, damage to the network, and lack of household water storage tanks have continued to constrain water supply, and people rely in large part on a number of wells situated at varying distances. Since December 2016 Oxfam has been helping repair several of these
wells, while distributing thousands of family hygiene kits (with soap, washing powder, shampoo, and sanitary pads), blankets, jerry cans, water bottles, buckets, and floor mats, and installed several communal latrines.
Yemen: Over the last year our programme in Yemen has been huge, supporting one million people with access to water and over 200,000 people with cash. An innovative and cost-effective means of supplying water has been through the use of solar panels which we are installing at all programme sites and which minimise the need for expensive fuel. And we have been steadily increasing the number of local organisations we work through - from 3 to 9 over the past year - whose understanding of local matters is vital to responding effectively. We also
manage a network of 800 volunteers who can access the hard-to-reach areas that we might not. We remain very concerned about longer term food supplies - while markets do still function, we are not confident that the port at Hodeidah
LATIN AMERICA & CARIBBEAN
Colombia: Floods and landslides hit the city of Mocoa in southern Colombia, which is situated at the point where three rivers converge. Several hundred people were killed and about three-quarters of the 45,000 inhabitants were affected, particularly those living on the river banks (families already displaced by the country's conflict). The floods and mud damaged electricity and water networks leaving the town without power or drinking water for a few days. Oxfam has two local partners working in the area which began responding
the day after the disaster, and we are supporting them to provide basic necessities in shelters for homeless people. Oxfam staff will work to reconnect water networks and supply sanitation facilities, targeting mainly rural areas which have been cut off from access to markets and communities not receiving assistance from the Government.