Benin

Benin: Severe Storms DREF Operation No. MDRBJ005 Update No. 1

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Situation Report
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GLIDE n=B0 ST-2009-000090-BEN

The International Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) is a source of un-earmarked money created by the Federation in 1985 to ensure that immediate financial support is available for Red Cross and Red Crescent response to emergencies. The DREF is a vital part of the International Federation's disaster response system and increases the ability of national societies to respond to disasters.

Period covered by this update: 5 May to 31 May, 2009.

Summary: CHF 21,010 (USD 19,798 or EUR 13,744) was allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 5 May, 2009 to support the Red Cross of Benin in delivering assistance to some 300 beneficiaries. The Red Cross of Benin (RCB) continued to provide assistance to the people affected by the severe storms that caused heavy material damage in Challa Ogoï community of Ouessè. The National Society procured some building materials for distribution to 60 selected most affected households. The National Society organized a training session for 10 selected Red Cross volunteers to carry out distribution and sensitization on good hygiene and sanitation practices in the affected community. The Red Cross collaborated with the local chiefs and authorities for an effective intervention. No major constraints have been recorded during this reporting period apart from the difficulty the volunteers have faced to get to the venue for the training.

The operation was expected to be implemented over two months and completed by 4 July, 2009. In line with Federation reporting standards, the Final Report (narrative and financial) is 90 days after the end of the operation (by 3 October, 2009).

The situation

The severe storms that occurred during the last week of April 2009 in Benin caused heavy material damage in Challa Ogoï in Ouèsse community of the Collines region. An estimated 95 residential houses including a school had their roof partially or completely destroyed by the storms. The heavy downpour that followed the storms resulted in the collapse of some of the mud made houses. According to the RCB, more than 800 persons including children and elderly were affected with over 475 were accommodated by family members or friends. Some 95 houses have been severely affected by the disaster.

The situation in some households sheltering the affected people was becoming of concern as their houses were overcrowded. They were living in very poor conditions and the rain was exposing them to epidemics such as malaria, cholera, diarrhea and some other water borne diseases. The local authorities called for humanitarian assistance. The local branch of the Red Cross carried out a preliminary assessment to know the extent of damages and discussed with local authorities as for the assistance to the most affected families.