Benin Floods: “People need water, shelter and food”
October 2, 2012. Heavy floods are currently affecting the north of Benin in West Africa. In the past months, the neighboring Republic of Niger has experienced heavy rains which resulted in flooding of the Niger river – and the water masses have crossed the border into northern Benin, washing away bridges and houses, destroying farmlands and crops.
“At the moment, more than 50,000 people in five communes are severely affected. Other communes are at risk as more rains are expected during the coming weeks”, says Rotimy Djossaya, CARE’s Country Director in Benin. “Some of the affected areas are only accessible by boat, as one major bridge has been destroyed by the floods. This makes it very difficult to reach people in need.”
Many people have sought shelter in schools and public buildings, while others are staying with relatives. “People now need safe water, food, shelter and basic household items”, says Djossaya.
“CARE is planning to respond in the affected areas of Malanville, Karimama, N’Dali and Tchaourou to support people with basic relief items.”
Benin has experienced devastating floods in the years 2008 and 2010. CARE Benin provided emergency relief and worked with partners and local actors to support with water, hygiene and sanitation, food distribution and shelter for 150,000 persons.
About CARE: CARE started working in Benin in 1999 and today is recognized for its education, gender-based violence, and microfinance interventions. Nearly half the population of Benin is under the age of 15, and one of the major challenges to be addressed is the improvement of the legal and political status of women in Benin. CARE conducted a study in 2009 and then designed, together with partners and participants, a strategy for the empowerment of women and girls. CARE Benin also oversees operations in neighboring Togo, which began in 1986. Since then, CARE Togo has been involved in programs in health, water infrastructure, prevention of child trafficking, and capacity building for community organizations.