Two cyclones in one week hit the south-east coast of Yemen early November and did major damage. Hundreds of families have lost their homes in the provinces of Hadramaut. In Moukalla, the main city of the governorate, small houses have not withstood the tornado, torrents of water spilled into the city and destroyed bridges and infrastructures.
"There is still standing water in districts like Boroom-Mayfaa, one can see large pools of ten metres wide, says Hassan Boucenine, MSF head of mission. “Many homeless families have taken refuge in schools.” To provide access to health care, MSF has set up a mobile clinic in Mukalla city. A doctor and a nurse provided more than 300 consultations.
After arriving in Moukalla on November 10, MSF has also identified water needs. Water tanks are already set up and water trucking has been organized for 230 displaced families. Drinking water was also distributed, in addition to hygiene kits. On November 20, MSF assisted further 170 internally displaced families with food and non-food items, namely blankets, jerry cans, kitchen sets and hygiene kits. The team distributed as well mosquito nets and provided more than 100,000 litres of water to internally displaced persons.
Moukalla, inhabited by 500,000 people, is one of several district affected by the storms. At some 75 km away on the west coast, rains and high winds have caused damage in the district of Boroom-Mayfa and needs are similar. The team has provided 14 water tanks to more than 430 displaced families living in the district.
MSF is one of the few aid actors who is on site. But the needs are great. They add to the considerable medical and humanitarian needs which result from the collapse of the Yemeni health system and are related to the violent conflict raging in the country since March. "As in the other provinces, hospitals have here severe problems of drugs and medical equipment supply, says Hassan Boucenine. The Moukalla blood bank has no reagents to do blood tests and avoid contamination by hepatitis, dengue, malaria and HIV.”
MSF works in Yemen in 8 other Yemeni governorates and treated more than 16,000 war wounded since March 19th, 2015.