Burkina Faso Floods Flash Appeal 2007
Since the beginning of the rainy season in 2007, several West African countries have been affected by torrential rains causing the loss of human lives, and the extensice destruction of infrastructure including dwellings and harvests. Nearly 800,000 people have been affected in 14 countries, namely Mali, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Gambia, Liberia, Togo, Benin, Sierra Leone, Ghana (for which a separate Flash Appeal has been issued) and Guinea. The United Nations, through the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), has mobilised some $4.9 million in support of emergency programmes to help some 125,000 people affected by the floods in these countries.
In Burkina Faso, the floods resulted from heavy rains which began in July and August, and have affected 12 of the country’s 13 administrative regions, with the west and the south particularly hard hit. According to the Government, nearly 93,000 people have been directly affected, including 28,000 displaced, with 51 recorded deaths and 76 wounded. 8,968 homes as well as 2,344 cereal stores have been destroyed, and 50 bridges have been damaged. 17,698 hectares of crops have been flooded, with an estimated loss to the expected production of 13,268 metric tonnes (MTs).
Emergency humanitarian operations were initiated by the Government, United Nations agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), enabling relief workers to immediately address the most pressing needs. However, several weeks into the response, joint evaluation missions revealed that despite ongoing efforts to cover immediate emergency needs, there were still additional humanitarian needs requiring an urgent response. Specific communities revealed the need for multidimensional and complementary interventions that concurrently addressed life saving needs as well as urgent needs related to livelihoods and the rehabilitation of basic services.
This approach is required in order to reduce the vulnerability of affected households and reduce the growing potential for a large scale humanitarian crisis resulting from the continued and rapid degradation of living conditions of affected populations, including host families. Priority needs in this context include:
- Support for food security, including activities in support of agriculture and husbandry;
- Health including preventive medicine and basic care to address waterborne diseases;
- Support to education for vulnerable households;
- Improved access to safe water and sanitation;
- Support to the rehabilitation of basic shelter;
- Provision of non-food items (NFIs).
The assessments did ascertain, however, that there was no need for large scale food distribution. This was due to the release of 1,300 MTs of food from national stocks, and contributions from the private sector and civil society. This Flash Appeal does not include a food assistance component other than that already provided by the World Food Programme’s ongoing operations in those areas suffering from food insecurity, and which target particularly vulnerable persons. Concerning affected households food security and children acute under nutrition, a total amount of $878,000 has already been released from CERF (World Food Programme [WFP] $349,998; Food and Agriculture Organization [FAO] $300,000; and, United Nations Children’s Fund [UNICEF] $227,910) for underfunded projects as part of the West Africa regional CAP.
The implementation of these projects will include relevant governmental institutions, the United Nations, NGOs and the Burkina Faso Red Cross. This Flash Appeal seeks to mobilise a total of $6 million to sustain life saving activities, as well as assist affected populations to regain their dignity and livelihoods. To ensure the relevance of this Flash Appeal, regular evaluation missions will be undertaken jointly to the affected areas during the weeks to come.