Thousands of people have died and thousands more are missing following the devastating floods which swept away entire neighbourhoods in Libya’s port city of Derna.
In a bid to help provide vital support, international development charity Christian Aid has launched an appeal.
The catastrophic Storm Daniel burst two dams, sending torrents of water and debris through the city, destroying homes and other buildings and knocking out power and water supplies.
Those who survived have lost everything. Homes are covered with mud and debris, and the fear is that many people are also buried.
People are without the basics such as clothing, medical supplies, access to clean water and proper sanitation facilities.
Christian Aid is working with Dan Church Aid (DCA), its Act Alliance partner which has had a presence in Libya since 2011. They are providing medical support to rescue teams in Derna and helping establish shelters to host homeless families in Benghazi.
DCA is also distributing basic items such as blankets and bedding, sanitation and hygiene items including liquid soap, shampoo, and sanitary towels. When circumstances allow, DCA will also provide cash support.
Michael Mosselmans, Christian Aid’s Head of Humanitarian Division, said:
“The scenes in Libya are heartbreaking. With critical infrastructure, including hospitals and homes, washed away by the flooding we are seeing people without the basics such as access to clean water and proper sanitation to prevent the risk of diseases.
“Christian Aid has therefore launched an appeal to strengthen the support we can give through our partner, Dan Church Aid, to people who have lost their homes, livelihoods and loved ones.
“Every prayer, every gift, every action brings hope to people hit by disaster. By joining us, you can help people in need rebuild their lives.”
To support the appeal please go to christianaid.org.uk – appeals.
A donation of £25 will pay for a humanitarian response kit which includes cash and non-food items, such blankets and bedding, sanitation and hygiene items including liquid soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste, sanitary towels, baby wipes and nappies, and bottled water.
Christian Aid’s ACT Alliance Partner, Dan Church Aid, from Denmark, has had a presence in Libya since 2011 and is now helping deliver an emergency response.
- DCA staff in the east of the country are assisting the Libyan Red Crescent in Derna itself, specifically with medical support to the search and rescue teams.
- DCA field officers are helping local authorities in Benghazi where shelters for the displaced are being set up in schools to host homeless families.
- DCA logistics and field staff are procuring basic items for these shelters such as blankets and bedding, sanitation and hygiene items such as liquid soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste, sanitary towels, baby wipes and nappies, bottles of water, as well as much more. These will help families arriving at the shelters who have lost everything. DCA teams will assist with the distribution of these items to each shelter as part of our first phase response.
- Concurrent with this activity, DCA is busy buying more tools and equipment for the emergency search teams in Derna and other locations. There is a big shortage of basic items such as large hand-held torches, head torches, hard hats/helmets, work gloves, ropes and pulley systems, and tools to remove debris.
DCA expects delivering risk education to the affected communities will feature in a future response phase, as the flooding is known to have moved and spread sub-surface explosive items, including mines, from previous conflicts. When circumstances allow, DCA will also provide cash support.
Longer term, in the recovery phase, DCA will look to contribute rubble clearance and reconstruction efforts, using mechanical assets. With winter approaching, needs will become even more acute, and a feature of a future response phase will be winterisation i.e. the preparation of properties to withstand or survive the harsh impacts of winter weather.