Cameroon: Floods in the North and Far North Regions, DREF operation n° MDRCD014

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CHF 299,707 has been allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Cameroon Red Cross National Society in delivering immediate assistance to some 1,000 families, about 5,000 beneficiaries. Un-earmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.

Summary: Since 15 August 2012, areas in the North and Far North Regions of Cameroon have been experiencing heavy rainfall. The situation has worsened in the Far North region following the rupture of the Maga dyke which has caused water from the dam to further flood Doreissou, Begué, Palam, Dougui, Pouss and Tekele villages. In the North Region, the regional capital Garoua has been flooded and the Lagdo area situated some 80 km from Garoua is also suffering the same fate. In both regions, the floods have left many people injured and houses destroyed, leaving about 25,000 people homeless. Most of these have sought refuge with host families, but 5,000 remain homeless (1,000 families) distributed as follows: 400 families in the North Region, and 600 in the Far North who have sought refuge in school premises. Since schools are expected to reopen this week for the 2012-2013 academic year, it is urgent to prepare emergency shelter for these internally displaced persons (IDPs). Almost all crops and granaries of the affected families have been destroyed, and livestock lost.

Local committees of the Cameroon Red Cross (CRC) have mobilized about sixty volunteers who have provided first aid to the wounded and referred serious cases to health facilities. The volunteers are also supporting affected population with transport to temporary shelter in classrooms, since the only means of transport for now is by motorized canoes. They are also participating in crisis meetings organized in each affected region by the governor. A Government delegation headed by the Director of Civil Protection has been dispatched to the field to carry out a rapid assessment of the situation for possible future response to the floods. Given the precarious situation in which these IDPs find themselves, their needs in terms of safe water supply (treatment of water points) and environmental sanitation (construction of latrines and hygiene promotion), non-food items (blankets, mats, soap, mosquito nets, kitchen sets and hygiene kits for women of childbearing age) and the construction of emergency shelter have been expressed. Furthermore, since many lost their crops and granaries, they have expressed the need for seeds and farming tools to cultivate their farms once more.

Considering this situation, it is urgent to provide assistance to the most vulnerable; the IDPs who are currently living in school premises. This DREF will not only enable a detailed assessment of the situation, but will also allow the distribution of non-food items to 1000 most vulnerable families, carry out water and sanitation activities in order to prevent water-related diseases (the cholera outbreak that was declared in these regions since 2010 is not yet over), and construct emergency shelter for these IDPs to leave the presently occupied classrooms early enough for the resumption of classes.

This operation is expected to be implemented over 3 months, and will therefore be completed by 5 December 2012; a Final Report will be made available three months after the end of the operation (by March 2013).