Botswana - Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 2

Ref: OCHA/GVA-2000/0021
Botswana - Floods
OCHA Situation Report No. 2
16 February 2000

Government Reiterates Appeal for International Assistance


1. Since the Government appeal for humanitarian assistance on 10 February, continuous rainfall has created the heaviest flood situation in Botswana in thirty years: 18 administrative districts and towns have been affected. Although torrential downpours occurred in the northeast and central districts, east and southern Botswana, where more than two thirds of the population are concentrated, is taking the brunt of the flood impact.

2. Four rivers in the east and southern parts have burst their banks. The Nywane, Shashe, Letsibogo, Gaborone and Bokaa dams are overflowing. Gaborone, the capital, is cut from the rest of the country; the main railway linking the north and south of the country has been interrupted in four places.

3. Assessments carried out by the national emergency services, the Red Cross and Medical Rescue international-Botswana confirmed severe damage to infrastructure and property. An estimated 10,000 households, around 60,000 people have been affected. Over 34,000 people, including some 13,000 children under 12 years, require emergency assistance:

5,000 tents, 6-8 persons capacity with ground sheets
30,000 blankets
5,000 resettlements kits ( pots, mugs, plates, bowls, spoons)
details on the foods rations will be communicated (OCHA sitrep No.1 refers)

National and international response

4. Coordination, reception and distribution of emergency assistance is in the hands of the Botswana's National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), located in the Office of the President. In the affected areas the NDMO works through district disaster management committees. So far the Government has mobilised financial and material resources for an amount of 706,000 USD, in response to the emergency. This covers the services of the Defence Force, the Red Cross and Med.-Rescue International as well as the provision of tents and other supplies to the affected population.

5. These immediate response activities however are not sufficient to meet the needs of the most seriously affected people. The Government therefore reiterates its appeal for national solidarity and assistance from the international community. If the weather forecasts prove correct, the situation for thousands of people, already affected, will become more serious. Assessments of damage to the national infrastructure, health and agricultural sectors are ongoing.

6. OCHA has made an emergency grant of 30,000 USD, including 10,000 from Norway and 10,000 from DFID.

7. OCHA is prepared to serve as a channel for cash contributions for the immediate relief needs. Funds channelled through OCHA will be spent in co-ordination with the relevant organizations of the UN system and OCHA will provide written confirmation of their use. Funds should be transferred to OCHA Account No. CO-590.160.1 SWIFT-code SBC0CHGG12A - at the UBS AG, PO Box 2770, CH-1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland, with reference: OCHA - Botswana - Floods 2000.

8. For co-ordination purposes, donors are requested to inform OCHA Geneva, as indicated below, of relief missions, pledges or contributions and their corresponding value by item.

9. This Situation Report and further information on ongoing emergencies are also available on the OCHA Internet Website at:

Telephone number: + 41-22-917-1234
In case of emergency only: + 41 22 917 2010

Desk Officers: Mr. Klaus Wiersing/ Ms. Yasuko Sawada, Disaster Response Branch, direct Tel: + 41 22 917 2770/1768

Contact person for the media: Mr. Donato Kiniger-Passigli, direct tel: +41-22-917-2653

Telex 41 42 42 ocha ch
Fax: + 41 22 917 0023


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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