Benin + 11 more

West and Central Africa: Flood Preparedness Revised Emergency Appeal No. MDR61003

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Appeal revision and extension; Focus on actions in Togo, Benin and smaller-scale flooding operations

This Emergency Appeal has been revised and extended, and now seeks CHF 1,082,230 (USD 983,845 or EUR 670,111) in cash, kind, or services to support the National Societies in Togo and Benin to assist 2,205 families (some 11,000 beneficiaries) for 2 months while supporting additional National Societies to respond to smaller-scale flooding. This operation is extended to November 2008; a final report will be completed implemented over 2 months, and will therefore be completed by November 2008.

Appeal history:

- This Emergency Appeal was initially launched on a preliminary basis on 11 July 2008 for CHF 750,000 for 2 months to assist 47,500 beneficiaries.

- Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF): CHF 483,047 was allocated from the Federation's DREF to support national societies to start implementing the planned activities. In addition, in a linked operation, CHF 45,738 (USD 41,170 or EUR 28,392) was allocated to respond to cholera in Benin and CHF 108,967 (USD 99,000 or EUR 67,775) was allocated to respond to cholera in Guinea Bissau. Unearmarked funds to reimburse the DREF are encouraged.

Summary: Early predictions of an especially wet rainy season in West Africa have materialized. Multiple countries are currently affected by floods. The flood situation is most serious in Togo and Benin. Given the evolving climatic forecasts and current floods, this Revised Emergency Appeal responds to a request from National Societies in West and Central Africa, and focuses on the continuance of timely and appropriate pre-emptive flood preparations and the provision of rapid flood relief to heavily affected countries. This Revised Emergency Appeal is intended to assist Togo, Benin, and multiple countries that are experiencing smaller flood emergencies.

The preliminary appeal covered the purchase of stocks which are being deployed (Togo, Benin, Senegal and Gambia). The revised appeal is intended to replace those stocks. Preparations have been carried out through contingency plan development, flood relief supply pre-positioning, and volunteer training. With this revised Appeal the Federation is providing creative and flexible tactical support to national societies in the region to take appropriate action during disasters, with the main component being the creation of relief stocks strategically located in Dakar, Senegal, Accra, Ghana, and Yaoundé, Cameroon. This has enabled the Federation to provide timely and qualitative support to National Societies' emergency interventions when needed. This appeal was initially developed based on a country-based strategy with the launch of separate country appeals. While this continues to be the approach, the Zonal office initiated a limited response action in Togo and Benin based on funding resources remaining from the 2007 floods appeal for Togo, Ghana, and Burkina Faso (the Federation appreciates the flexibility in allowing the re-allocation of these funds).

The situation

Seasonal forecasts for July, August, and September 2008 indicated that the northern part of the West Africa region was likely to experience "wet" situations, the middle will experience "very wet" situations, while "near normal" situations will be expected in the south. Extreme events may occur, particularly floods, mainly in the Volta region. These predictions are being confirmed by the series of floods that occurred in The Gambia with 80 families left homeless; Liberia (Monrovia) with 68 families left homeless; Burkina (112 affected families); Cameroon (Yaoundé - Ekirozock, Nkomassi and Mdamvout) with an estimated 100 families left homeless; Guinea (840 affected families); Senegal (Dakar, Kaolack and Saint-Louis) with 1,996 affected families; Niger (Zender region with 860 families left homeless); Guinea Bissau with 150 families left homeless; Central African Republic (55 families affected).

Continuous rain over a large area is causing limited but serious floods in a variety of countries. While there have been no big emergency situations, a series of widespread smaller emergencies have occurred. National Societies and the Federation are responding to these emergencies, but further support is needed to respond to the multiple small emergencies. Increased cholera and malaria are a source of considerable concern and the Federation has taken appropriate action supported by its DREF.

Togo and Benin are experiencing medium size floods; in Togo more than 1,600 families have been left homeless and over 7,000 families have been affected, and in Benin the number of people affected by the floods is approximately 7,000, and 525 families are homeless (see attached map).

In Burkina Faso, according to the government's National Council for Emergency Aid (CONASUR), since the beginning of the year seven of the country's thirteen regions have been affected by the rains, and over 500 houses have been destroyed.

In 2007 the number of beneficiaries targeted by the emergency flood appeals in Togo, Burkina, Ghana, was 94,825, while the total number of persons affected by small emergency floods in other West and Central African countries was approximately 700,000. These disparate flood situations are difficult to manage, and demonstrated that when compiled smaller disasters constitute a large disaster.