Flash Appeal for Burkina Faso 2009
Since June 2009, several West African countries have been affected by unrelenting rains causing the loss of human lives, and massive destruction of infrastructure including dwellings and harvests. Some 600,000 people have been affected and these torrential rains have led to the death of 159 people, notably in Sierra Leone. Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger and Sierra Leone are among the most affected countries.
While Burkina Faso suffers a degree of flooding annually during the rainy season, the rain on September 1 around the capital, Ouagadougou, was unprecedented. 263mm fell in 12 hours – more than one-third of the annual total precipitation – causing severe flooding and widespread displacement. The Government reported that all five districts of Ouagadougou, which has an estimated population of about 1.3 million, have been severely affected. The fire department reported that 50% of the city’s territory has been affected.
Although precise data regarding the number of affected people all over the country is hard to establish, the Government reports that eight people have died and estimates that 90,000 people are sheltering in temporary accommodation such as schools, churches and public buildings or living with host families.
The Central University Hospital was severely damaged and some patients, including children, were evacuated and relocated. Damage has also been reported to primary infrastructure such as bridges, roads, schools and agricultural land. One electrical plant and one of the main water purification plants for the city are out of use, but needs are being covered by other plants.
Several teams have visited the affected areas to estimate the extent of the effects, and the inter-agency humanitarian group undertook a rapid assessment of the Ouagadougou neighbourhoods. Assessment of affected areas outside the capital is ongoing following reports of significant needs.
Humanitarian organisations and the Government initiated a swift response in all accessible areas, so far using in-country stocks. According to the National Multi-Hazard Disaster Preparedness and Response Plan approved in March 2009, the overall humanitarian response is being organised through the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), which is headed by the UN System Resident Coordinator (RC) and comprises the National Committee for Emergency Aid and Rehabilitation (CONASUR), local authorities, UN agencies and NGOs. In addition to CONASUR which is a permanent emergency management body, the Government established a special National Crisis Committee on September 2, which is meeting daily to monitor the situation and reports to the Prime Minister’s cabinet, to improve the coordination of assistance.
Although assessment of all affected areas is still in progress, the immediate needs in Ouagadougou have been identified through joint assessments, supported by the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team. Priority humanitarian needs include:
- support for food security, including activities in support of agriculture;
- health, including preventive medicine and basic care to address waterborne diseases;
- improvement of access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene;
- support to the rehabilitation of basic shelter;
- support to the rehabilitation of schools;
- provision of non-food items (NFIs).
In coordination with the Government of Burkina Faso (GoBF), the HCT has prepared this Flash Appeal to cover the identified and estimated needs of a projected caseload of 150,000 people affected by flooding. Actions are planned for sixmonths until the end of February 2010, beyond which humanitarian actions if still needed will be organized in a new strategy. In consultation with the GoBF, the UN system, participating NGOs, and other partners are seeking to mobilise a total of US$18,449,092 for activities for six months, to sustain life-saving activities, as well as assist affected populations to regain their dignity and livelihoods. The appeal includes 13 UN organization projects and one NGO project.