Dominica: Hurricane Maria Situation Report No. 10 (as of 09 November 2017)

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(Reliefweb)This report is produced by the United Nations in collaboration with humanitarian partners in Dominica. It covers the period from 2-8 November 2017. The next report will be issued on or around 9 November 2017..

Highlights

The Ministry of Education, with the support of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and sector partners, has reopened 48 primary and secondary schools (36 per cent of the total number of schools). Classes have resumed with a reduced schedule and only for certain grade levels, due to infrastructural limitations. There are still 10 schools used as collective centres.

  • The Dominica Water and Sewerage Company Limited (DOWASCO) is providing water services to approximately 70 per cent of the population after extensive repairs on water networks. Still, the regularity of water services remains fragile and more extensive repairs will be required
  • The Ministry of Education together with DOWASCO,
    UNICEF, CARITAS/CRS and IsraAid are providing basic water and sanitation services to 27 schools and will guarantee full access to these services in all the opened schools.
  • UNICEF signed a cooperation agreement with IsraAID in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Services and the East and West Children’s Federation to roll out a psychosocial support programme that will reach 5,000 children in 30 communities across the country with 100 community-based volunteers.
  • New housing standards for earthquake/hurricane resistance were developed by the Ministry of Planning in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Engineers Without Borders. They will be used for training and certifying builders and constructors over the next few weeks.
  • Seventy-one people were trained on how to use and maintain the different types of generators that were distributed to health centres, schools and collective centres. The training was provided by Electriciens Sans Frontières, International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

Situation Overview

The World Food Programme and UNICEF with the support of IOM and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) together with the ministries of Planning and Social Services conducted trainings in districts across the country to facilitate and support the collection of household data and the identification of the most vulnerable for an emergency cash-transfer programme. The eligible beneficiaries will benefit from a 3-month emergency cash grant, starting possibly in mid-November.

Out of a total of 26,085 houses, an estimated 23,488 houses are moderately or highly damaged, or destroyed.

Shelter actors continue to distribute emergency shelter materials such as tarpaulins, timber and tents. Post distribution monitoring has identified an urgent need for instruction on effective shelter repair and tarpaulin installation, as well as material and labour support to people who are unable to install or repair on their own.

Of a total of 742 people still living in collective centres, 443 are vulnerable. This represents 60 per cent of the population residing in collective centres, a 28 per cent increase from the previous Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) data collection period. The increased percentage of the most vulnerable reflects that people are leaving the collective centres but that the most vulnerable (elderly and people who require medical attention) have remained. UNICEF in partnership with IOM and partners are identifying and referring child protection cases in collective centres, ensuring that children can go back to school and child protection concerns are addressed.

An estimated 73 per cent of the population (51,860 people) has regained access to water following emergency repairs of the water networks; however, extensive rehabilitation is required to repair the massive damage suffered and to increase resilience in the future. Water networks in the northern and southern areas of the country are in critical condition and will receive additional attention from the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) partners.

Water trucking and mobile water treatment units are still required to further extend access to improved water to the population, especially to schools, collective centres and health facilities. DOWASCO is requesting qualified staff and technical supplies to carry out urgent repairs.

Forty-three of 50 health facilities – including the Princess Margaret Hospital – are functioning; 12 of these are either working at an alternative site or offering partial services with limited hours.

Currently 48 primary and secondary schools (36 per cent of the total) are opened in the country, benefiting 5,981 children (65 per cent of total school enrolment prior to the hurricane). UNICEF and partners will reach up to 5,000 school age children in the country through the Return to Happiness programme in schools, child friendly spaces and communities. Additionally, water solutions have been provided to 23 schools, and there are plans to scale up the strategy to all schools in the country.
Seven weeks into the response, the media has still not fully recovered from the damage done to its infrastructure and equipment. Two important towers of the public broadcaster Dominica Broadcasting Cooperation (DBS) are not yet operational, and another one in Portsmouth is facing challenges to stay up and running. This leaves areas of the island with limited radio signal. Local media representatives were invited to the generator training organized for key sectors on the island. Combined issues of power, signal, lost phones and damaged radios mean people across the island are still not receiving the information they need to make important decisions for their recovery.

The Community Engagement and Communications network (CDAC) set up a Community Communication and Engagement working group to strengthen efforts to communicate with communities. CDAC is supporting the sectors to include communication and information needs into their ongoing assessments and include communication activities into their regular programming.

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