Devastating Floods in Derna Spark Humanitarian Response as Tripoli Women Apprentices Sew Aid for Survivors
The Heavy Toll of Nature’s Fury
In an unforeseen catastrophe, the eastern Libyan city of Derna was devastated by deadly floods two weeks ago. The disaster claimed approximately 3,800 lives, left thousands homeless, and obliterated entire neighborhoods. Unforgiving torrents of water caused by the collapse of two dams washed away almost a quarter of the city, including high-rise buildings and the city’s hospitals. The aftermath has left the survivors in dire straits, grappling with loss and the urgent need for basic necessities.
Women of Resilience: Sewing Hope Amidst Despair
In response to this cataclysmic event, a group of women apprentices from a training center in Tripoli have stepped up to provide aid in the form of sewn goods. Having already dispatched a shipment of “1,300 school uniforms, 850 abayas, and 650 shrouds,” these women are diligently working on a second consignment. The director of the training center, Mohamed Kamour, has temporarily suspended regular classes to focus resources and efforts on providing aid to the flood victims.
Unifying in Solidarity: Crossing Political and Tribal Divides
The tragic event has sparked a wave of solidarity among the Libyan population, transcending the longstanding political and tribal divisions that have plagued the nation since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011. People from all parts of Libya, including the south, have come together to provide aid and support to the devastated city of Derna. The nation’s unity in the face of disaster has become a beacon of hope amidst the ruins.
The Plight of Survivors: A Cry for Housing
A staggering number of over 43,000 people have been displaced due to the floods, leaving many without shelter or resources. Appeals to host displaced people are widespread on social networks, with a campaign launched under the hashtag: “I am Dernaoui and I need housing”. The desperate plea for housing underlines the urgency of the situation and the dire need for aid.
Authorities Admit Overwhelm: International Aid Continues
The Libyan authorities, despite being divided, admit the scale of the disaster is beyond their capacity and continue to struggle to meet the urgent needs of the survivors. However, this admission has not deterred international aid efforts. Among the contributors, the Qatari embassy in Libya announced the arrival of two aircraft loaded with 60 tonnes of aid, making it the eighth number of planes sent by Doha since the disaster. The United States has also sent a plane carrying humanitarian aid, which landed in Benghazi, the largest city in the east.
The flood disaster in Derna has brought about a humanitarian crisis of immense proportions. Yet, amidst the devastation and despair, the resilience and unity displayed by the Libyan people shine as a beacon of hope. The efforts of the women apprentices in Tripoli and the solidarity shown by Libyan citizens across political and tribal divides underscore the power of unity in the face of adversity. As international aid continues to pour in, the journey towards recovery and rebuilding begins, reflecting the indomitable spirit of the Libyan people.
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