Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso: 2009 Flooding Situation Report No.1

Situation Report
Originally published


This report was issued by the OCHA-ROWA. It covers the period 1-4 September 2009. The next report is expected on 6 September 2009.


- 8 people have died and 150,000 others have been affected by flooding in the capital Ouagadougou; 50% of the city is affected.

- A UN Disaster (UNDAC) arrived in the country on 4 September.

- The Government, UN agencies, NGOs and donors are actively involved in coordination response.

- WFP has started distribution of food covering 150,000 people for two weeks, while CRS and Africare have enough food to supplement for an additional 15 days.

- UNICEF has provided survival material to the authorities; UNFPA has provided "dignity kits" for women.

- UNDP has activated an emergency grant for $50,000.

II. Situation Overview

Whilst Burkina Faso suffers annual flooding during the rainy season, severe rains on 1 September, when 263mm fell in 12 hours (according to the Burkina Faso Meteorological Department), caused flooding and widespread displacement within and around the capital, Ouagadougou. Floods have also occurred in neighbouring countries with an estimated 350,000 people affected in the West African region. Several teams have visited the affected areas to observe and estimate the extent of the problems and the inter-agency humanitarian group undertook a rapid assessment of the Ouagadougou environs on 3 September. The Burkina Faso Red Cross are collecting demographic data in each site sheltering the flood affected populations and will report this weekend.

The Government reported that all five districts of Ouagadougou had been affected. The fire service reported that 50 percent of the city's territory has been affected. The Government reports that 8 people have died and estimates that 130,000 people are sheltering in temporary accommodation such as schools, churches and public buildings. In many buildings the capacity is severely overstretched (especially sanitation). An additional 20,000 are staying with host families. There is a need to ensure schools are vacated before the school year starts on 1 October.

The Central University Hospital was severely damaged. Damage has also been reported to primary infrastructure such as bridges, roads, schools and agricultural land. An FAO survey undertaken on 3 September identified the need to support the many small farmers affected by the floods with technical and livelihood support. It warns that many of these small farmers have no other source of income.

One of the main water purification plants for the city (supplying 30 percent of the population) is out of use but needs are being covered by water from another plant outside the city. Sanitation and hygiene are priority areas of concern.

III. Humanitarian Needs and Response

Immediate needs that have identified include:

- Food - covered for 1 month

- Shelter - overcrowded with men sleeping in the open air to allow women and children to use the buildings.

- Water and Sanitation - whilst most of the affected populations appear to have access to potable water, the sanitation facilities are insufficient.

- There is a need to assess the displaced populations in regard to protection issues.

- There is a need to assess the environmental impact of the flooding.

In-country response

- CONASUR has 7 water tanks and one mobile water tanker. CONASUR have a stock of 60 x 24-36 person tents.

- WFP has started distribution of food covering 150,000 people for two weeks. CRS and Africare have enough food to supplement for an additional 15 days. Food requirements for under-five are included. UNICEF provided survival material (value US$ 51,000) to the CONASUR and can provide additional assistance as needs are identified.

- UNFPA have provided 500 'dignity kits' for women and pledged an additional contribution of $10,000.

- UNDP has activated Track III emergency grant for $50,000 for technical support to the government for coordination and needs assessment at the Arrondissement level.

- WHO has provided disinfection material and medical items to the Ministry of Health for prevention and treatment of cholera and financial support of $211,000 and provided 3 tents to house the state hospital damaged during the floods.

- The Burkina Faso Red Cross have capacity to undertake distributions of relief items and awareness training.

- Plan International is able to provide 40 polytanks and 40 latrines. Save the Children has sent an expert.

Bi-lateral response

- The ECHO Regional Humanitarian Advisor is in Ouagadougou assessing the situation.

- The World Bank and USAID have each sent an expert to assess the situation.

- USAID have 40 water tanks on stand-by.

IV. Coordination

The Government of Burkina Faso has established a Crisis Committee which meets daily to monitor the situation and reports to the Prime Minister's cabinet.

The RC convened an inter-agency coordination meeting with the National Committee for Emergency Aid and Rehabilitation (CONASUR), local authorities and over 60 UN agencies, NGOs and the 10 sector leads according to the National Multi-Hazard Disaster Preparedness and Response Plan approved in March 2009. Three Inter-agency coordination meetings have been held: on 2, 4 and 5 September. The next meeting will be on Tuesday 8 September at 9.00 a.m.

The UNDAC team, including an EU MIC associate, arrived in Ouagadougou at 4.30 p.m. local (GMT) on 4 September and received a briefing from the Resident Coordinator's Office.

An OSOCC has been established in the Azalai Hotel Independance, 01 BP 127 Ouaga 01, Ouagadougou [N:12 °22'17.3" E:01°30'56.7"]. The contact number for the OSOCC is: +226 7626 4747. The email address is undac.burkinafaso@gmail.com.

UNDAC will meet with the Sector leads on 5 September.

The Civil Protection is mapping the affected area of Ouagadougou and should have maps available by Monday 6 September. There is a requirement for additional mapping capacity to the UN.

A meeting is planned 5 September at the OSOCC with all relevant partners to consolidate data of affected populations and their needs.

V. Contact

UNDAC Burkina Faso
+226 7626 4747

Hervé Ludovic De Lys
Head of OCHA Regional Office for West Africa
Delys1@un.org, +221.77.569.3871

Yvon Edoumou,
Public Information, Advocacy and Donor Relations Officer
OCHA Regional Office for West Africa
+221.77.569.9653, Edoumou@un.org

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.