Thanks to trained, long-term personnel already significantly invested in the community, supported by some highly responsive donors, the impact of extreme flooding in one area of Tajikistan was greatly reduced.
Within days of severe flooding hitting the Rudaki district just 20 minutes outside of Dushanbe, Tajikistan’s capital, Operation Mercy’s long-term staff were able to respond to the immediate need for hygiene supplies and heavy-duty cleaning products. At the same time, local community safety systems went into motion and the close to 8,500 people who lost their homes found shelter with relatives and community members. Community members also rallied together to help with food and clothing as much as they could. As the clean-up got underway, people spontaneously turned up with large pots of osh, the national rice dish, to feed those digging homes and belongings out of the mud.
Thanks to the quick response of donors from around the world, Operation Mercy was able to further support over 400 families with comprehensive hygiene and clean-up packages consisting of soaps and detergents, dental care supplies, feminine hygiene products, toilet paper, and towels as well as rubber boots, shovels and plastic buckets. As many cleaning out the mud had no tools to work with and had lost all they owned, these supplies enabled families, along with volunteers sent in by the army, to work and live safely, greatly reducing the risk of injuries and the spread of infectious diseases.
Along with the supplies, Operation Mercy staff delivered short 10 – 15 minute health awareness talks at the point of distribution. In addition, a psychologist and trained local volunteers were available to listen to people’s stories and help them process their losses.
In early August we will monitor the use and impact of this distribution and assess if any further actions are needed.