Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso: Floods DREF Operation No. MDRBF002 Final Report

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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 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.

Summary: CHF 59,111 (USD 55,394 or EUR 38,996) was allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 19 August 2006 to support the Burkinabe Red Cross Society (BRCS) in delivering assistance to some 6,000 beneficiaries.

After a delay in rains in most Sahel countries, unexpected torrential rains caused flooding in the northern part of Burkina Faso, leaving thousands of families homeless after their houses were washed away. The floods which occurred on 9 August, 2006 also washed away many crops, food reserves and personal belongings of poor farming communities. With the support of the Federation, the Burkinabe Red Cross Society and other partners assisted 200 families with food, and non-food items (sleeping mats and impregnated mosquito nets). About 100 volunteers were mobilized, trained, and equipped to carry out sensitization and distribution activities. This assistance improved the life of affected people and increased Red Cross visibility within the affected region as well as the volunteers' capacity in disaster management.

The major donors to the DREF are the Irish, Italian, Netherlands and Norwegian governments and the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO). Details of all donors can be found on:

The situation

The Northern Burkina Faso is a pastoral and agricultural area with intensive cropping activities during the raining season. Three provinces (Oudalan, Seum and Yatenga), mainly arid but containing many seasonal rivers and water ponds, received more than 136 mm of rains during that period. The torrential rains caused flooding in the northern part of Burkina Faso, leaving thousands of families homeless after their houses were washed away. They hit a region that has endured 30 years of successive droughts, locust invasions and loss of grain to birds.

With the floods washing away crops, food insecurity loomed up, hence the need for an immediate intervention. The 2004-2005 agricultural production in this area was far below average due to lack of rains that resulted in severe drought conditions. The town of Gorom-Gorom (close to the Niger and Mali border) - 270 km north of the capital city Ouagadougou together with some neighbouring villages, registered around 6,000 people seeking temporary shelter in strong structured schools and town halls. The National Society, in close collaboration with the local authorities and partners organized assistance for the most vulnerable people affected in the northern part of the country.