In the early days of this year, a snow storm followed by torrential rains and flooding wreaked extensive damage to whole areas and communities in the West Bank. The Jadallah family in the Tulkarem village of Anabta are one of many whose lives were swept away by what is said to be the worst natural disaster in the village in the last 50 years.
Antaba, THE WEST BANK – Khadija Jadallah, a Palestinian mother of three, remember opening the door to waters gushing into her house. The 51-year-old mother only managed to get passports and important documents before escaping to the roof from where they were evacuated.
“I was in the kitchen cooking when my neighbours knocked on our door, telling us we need to evacuate. When I opened the door, the waters came into the house life waves from the sea,” a clearly shocked Khadija remembers. “I screamed at daughter, Asseel, telling her to run to the roof while I try to save our things, but the water levels were simply too high – I couldn’t.”
Khadija’s family were among the worst-affected households who received WFP emergency food assistance immediately after the storm. The family received a voucher card that they could exchange in participating shops for a range of locally produced foods including bread, dairy products, eggs, pulses, vegetable oil and salt.
“Our homes have been destroyed; we’re suffering psychologically but with the assistance we receive from WFP we can spend the little money we have on buying new things for the house,” Khadija says.
Anabta’s residents spent the days that followed the storm cleaning the debris with the help of volunteers and the Palestinian Red Crescent. However, the destructive force of the storm is still very much evident; agricultural areas were destroyed by mud and buildings have collapsed, while furniture, clothes, electronic devices and other household goods had been moved to roofs and streets to dry in the sun in a desperate attempt to salvage whatever is left of the village. Damages are estimated to be more than US$7 million in Anabta alone.
"By providing food assistance to vulnerable flood-affected households, we ensure that their immediate food needs are met, while at the same time giving them a much-needed hand in rebuilding their lives,” says WFP Country Director Pablo Recalde.