Wednesday, September 14, 2011

UN pays tribute to the victims of Zanzibar boat accident

The United Nations System in Tanzania observed a minute of silence on Monday this week in remembrance of the victims of the boat that capsized off the coast of Zanzibar on early morning Saturday, September10th.
At an emergency Town Hall meeting called for at the UN Compound, the United Nations Resident Coordinator Alberic Kacou told UN staff in Dar es Salaam that immediately after hearing news on the disaster, the UN provided assistance in the form of blankets, gloves, water and high-calorie biscuits for the survivors.
He also noted that all UN staff stationed in Zanzibar have been accounted for as being safe although some have lost family members and are highly traumatized by the tragedy.
“A UN counselor has been sent to Zanzibar to provide post traumatic counseling to our colleagues. She reports that the situation is very difficult,” Kacou said. The Resident Coordinator affirmed that the UN is working hand in hand with the government in dealing with the situation.
On his part, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- Moon has sent condolences to the Government and people of the United Republic of Tanzania and Zanzibar and the families of the victims.
The Secretary-General said he is “profoundly saddened by the tragic loss of life” and “wishes a speedy recovery to the people who survived the accident.”
“The United Nations stands together with the people of Tanzania at this tragic moment,” said the UN Secretary General.
The sunken boat christened MV Spice Islander was heading to the island of Pemba from Zanzibar when it capsized in the wee hours of Saturday morning near Nungwi Village. Many lives have been lost. Following the incident the Government announced three days of mourning during which the national flag will be flown at half mast countrywide.
At the advisory services level, the activities consisted in:
-The UNDP assisted the department of Disaster Management (DMD) to organize and coordinate the response through the UNV placed in that office.
-The WHO team joined the team of the Ministry of Health Senior officials to provide advises on the organization of the emergency management at the main hospital.
-A UNICEF team assisted the Hospital for the “Prise en charge” of the children together with Save the Children.
-The UN stress advisor and counselor undertook collective debriefings and counseling with rescue teams to anticipate on eventual Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) syndromes, specifically with teams having dealt with women, children and dead bodies management.
On the material support, the UN provided through different UN agencies respective contribution:
Logistics - shelter
.Tents and tarpaulins (200mx1) used on the three sites
General supply & Medical
• 52 boxes of biscuits (Nungwi & Mnazi Moja)
• 500 blankets (200 Unguja & 300 Pemba)
• 1680 Bottles of water for the rescue workers and survivors
• 50 boxes of IV fluids
• 100 boxes of Canula
• 200 rolls of plaster
• 200 rolls of Cotton wool
• 10 litres of Methylated Spirit

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