West Africa Floods Emergency Appeal No. MDR61002 Operations Update No. 3 - Focus on Burkina Faso

GLIDE nos. FL-2007-000153-GHA, FL-2007-000158-TGO and FL-2007-000132-BFA

Period covered: 5 to 20 October 2007.

Appeal target: CHF 3,922,365 (USD 3.2m or EUR 2.3m) for the entire appeal; the Burkina Faso budget component is CHF 2,505,722 (USD 2.1m or EUR 1.4m).

Appeal coverage: 54% (for the entire appeal).

Remaining needs: CHF 1,181,827.

Targeted beneficiaries: 2,565 families in Burkina Faso.

Appeal history:

Preliminary Emergency Appeal for Ghana was launched on 17 September 2007 for CHF 1.47 million for 6 months to assist 60,000 people.

Revised Preliminary Emergency Appeal was issued on 18 September 2007 for CHF 2.5 million to assist some 82,000 people in Ghana and Togo for 6 months.

Revised Appeal (focus on Burkina Faso) was issued on 2 October for CHF 2.9 million (USD 2.5 million or EUR 1.7 million) to assist 94,825 beneficiaries in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Togo for 6 months.

Summary: The Burkinabe Red Cross Society, through its local committees, began its response in some of the affected areas in late August 2007. The National Society, with support from the International Federation and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), has provided much needed emergency assistance to local authorities in carrying out preliminary assessments and providing prompt assistance to affected people.

With the emergency phase complete, the focus is now on relief. Red Cross relief activities will be implemented between November 2007 and January 2008 and will include distribution of food since crop fields were completely wiped out by the floods.

A core Federation team is now in the final process of being put into place to support the National Societies of Burkina Faso, Ghana and Togo in implementing immediate relief operations and mid-term recovery and shelter activities. The Burkina operation will be supported by the team which will be based in the Lagos sub-office to coordinate for the three countries (comprised of an overall operations manager, a finance delegate and a reporting officer).

Background

Like several other West African countries, Burkina Faso was hard hit by flooding following heavy rains since the beginning of August 2007. According to government figures, approximately 40,000 people have been severely affected. There has been a considerable loss in terms of houses and household items, with crops washed away and food stocks destroyed. Some reports estimate that over 30 people may have been killed and 8,412 houses destroyed.

Findings of a joint assessment conducted by the World Food Programme (WFP) and Burkina Faso's National Agricultural Statistics and Forecasting Service (DGPSA) from 28 August to 2 September 2007, indicate that more than 22,000 hectares of farmland were washed away in the regions of Haut Bassin, Mouhoun, Cascades, North and Central-East. In Nahouri Province, 11,263 hectares of farmland are reported to have been affected. Huge crop losses have also been recorded in Mouhoun and Cascades.

The loss of livelihoods extends to poultry and livestock; it is estimated that at the minimum, 537 heads of cattle and sheep perished in the fast flowing floodwaters. Considering that the affected regions are the main food production areas in the country, a food insecurity crisis is foreseen; poor or low yields in these main food production areas of Burkina Faso are likely to have a great impact on other localities.

The combination of crop/harvest and livestock losses, in addition to the destruction caused to houses, has increased the vulnerability of the populations particularly because about 90 per cent of the affected populations are farmers who rely on their harvests to meet most needs. It will take time for the saturated land in affected areas to dry and food production activities to resume.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Burkina Faso: Wéléti Maiga, National Director, Burkinabe Red Cross Society, Ouagadougou; email: croixrouge.bf@fasonet.bf; croixrouge@cenatrin.bf; telephone +226.76.66.5677

In Nigeria: Andreas Koumo Gopina, Coordinator - West Africa Flood Operation, Lagos; email: debreng@yahoo.fr;

In Nigeria: Stephen Omollo, Head of Federation West Coast Sub-Zone Office, Lagos; email: stephen.omollo@ifrc.org; telephone: +234.12.695.228; Fax: +234.12.695.229

In Senegal: Alasan Senghore, Federation Head of Zone for West and Central Africa, Dakar; email: alasan.senghore@ifrc.org; telephone: +221.869.3641; Fax: +221.860.2002

In Senegal: Youcef Ait-Chellouche, Disaster Management Coordinator, West and Central Africa Zone, Dakar; email: youcef.aitchellouche@ifrc.org; telephone: +221.638.9861

In Dubai (for mobilization of relief items): Sera Coelho, Mobilization Officer; email: sera.coelho@ifrc.org, telephone: +971.50.818.4254

In Geneva: Niels Scott, Federation Operations Coordinator (Africa); email: niels.scott@ifrc.org; telephone +41.22.730.4527; fax + 41.22.733.0395