Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso: Floods Operations Update No. 1 - Focus on the Field Assessment and Coordination Teams (FACT) and Emergency Response Units (ERUs)

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Situation Report
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Period covered by this Ops Update: 9-14 September 2009;

Appeal target (current): CHF 2,719,053 Appeal coverage: 32%;

Appeal history:

- This preliminary Emergency Appeal was initially launched on 9 September 2009 for CHF 2.7m for 6 months to assist 40,000 beneficiaries.

- Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF): CHF 200,000 was initially allocated on a regional basis from the Federation's DREF to support the National Society to respond.

Summary:

Since 2007, the Burkina Red Cross Society (BRCS) has benefited from the support of the International Federation within the framework of floods preparedness in the form of training, visibility and provision of security materials. Throughout these previous operations, the operational capacities of the BRCS have been enhanced following the "learning by doing" approach. The BRCS has extensive experience in responding to flood-related disasters, relief operations and social mobilization during health epidemics. However it is difficult for the National Society to cope with the current situation in the flood-affected areas due to its limited capacity, and for this reason has requested the support of the Federation. The FACT is proving instrumental in this respect in supporting the National Society to finalize the assessment and the global plan of action. Despite the progress and achievements to date and the clear commitment of the BRCS, donor support to this appeal has been limited, and the Federation is concerned that the overall operation (particularly the initial relief phase) will be compromised unless the anticipated support is received.

The situation

Heavy and persistent rainfall in late August and into September 2009 affected an estimated 150,000 people; the Burkinabe Red Cross Society (BRCS) carried out assessment and developed plans to assist 8,000 of the most vulnerable families. Based on a request from the BRCS, a preliminary Emergency Appeal was launched on 9 September 2009, seeking CHF 2.7m in cash, kind, or services to support the National Society to assist some 40,000 beneficiaries for six months to mount an appropriate and timely response in delivering assistance and relief in the following sectors: non-food relief item distribution, emergency shelter, emergency health (basic care), water, sanitation, and hygiene promotion. The BRCS mobilized its teams of volunteers to assist the affected communities to reduce the impact of the disaster and prevent the outbreak of water related diseases, and the Federation has deployed a Field Assessment and Coordination Team (FACT) to support the assessment and coordination efforts, and to work with the regional disaster response team members already in place. Two Emergency Response Units (ERUs) for relief and logistics were deployed. This operations update reflects the activities of the work undertaken by these Federation resources.

CHF 200,000 allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) was vital in supporting the National Societies in carrying out preparatory-type activities. The situation in the region continues to evolve, and the Federation is adjusting its operation accordingly.

Emergency operations are underway and coordination mechanisms have been put in place by the Government in the form of a Crisis Committee to coordinate all operations with authorities (National, Regional, Central, Districts and Sectors) with BRCS/IFRC, UNDAC and UN agencies and NGOs.

The BRCS continues to closely monitor the situation. It appears that the number of people living in emergency centres is declining and some people have found solutions to return home or to friends/relatives. It is already apparent that those staying in the emergency centres are the most vulnerable as they have no other option available to them at this time. Ongoing assessments will provide more up-to-date information in the coming days.

In preparation for Phase 2 (re-settlement sites), the authorities have identified 37 potential sites within Ouagadougou's five districts (arrondissements). In the pilot phase, six sites (in two districts/arrondissements) have been identified and site planning has been elaborated by the government authorities and shared with humanitarian actors. The capacity of the six pilot sites is estimated by government authorities at 10,660 people.

The BRCS, with the support of the Movement partners, have offered to provide water distribution, sanitation and hygiene promotion to one of the pilot sites (Hippodrome). The BRCS and the Federation will review site planning with authorities and other actors in line with SHERE guidelines. The BRCS is providing vital assessment information to all parties. Below is a summary of the most recent BRCS assessment:

Greater Ouagadougou (urban):

- Some 150,000 total affected. 853 wounded; 12 people deceased.

- Accommodated in 97 temporary shelters: 52,976 people (9,647 families).

- Accommodated with host families: 97,025 people (19,405 families); assessment is ongoing to confirm exact figures and locations).

Outside Ouagadougou (remainder of the country): the BRCS's initial assessments show that 19,212 people (2,015 families).

The emergency response timeline established by Government and humanitarian actors is divided into 3 phases:

- Phase 1: Emergency phase. Temporary shelters in public building until 21 September (Schools open on 01 October).

- Phase 2: Re-settlement of families from 97 emergency centres to 37 temporary re-settlement sites for approximately. 3 months.

- Phase 3: Re-construction and re-location.