Côte d'Ivoire

Côte d'Ivoire: OCHA Weekly Update No. 11

Source
Posted
Originally published
10 - 17 July 2005

I. Key political and security highlights

On 15 July 2005, in his address to the Nation, President Laurent Gbagbo, in virtue of the powers granted to him by article 48 of the Constitution, decided to amend laws concerning: 1) the funding of political parties and candidates to the presidential election; 2) personal identification and residence permit of foreigners in Côte d'ivoire; 3) the National Human Right Commission (CNDHCI); 4) the composition, organization, attributions and functioning of the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI); 5) special procedures on naturalization; and 6) the nationality code. The contents of these laws - that will enter into force on 15 July 2005 - are still to be issued.

This week, cases of exactions and murders were reported in the western region, in particular in Duékoué, and Danané. Two cases of murder were perpetrated in Duékoué. According to the local authorities and UNOCI, two people (a Malian trader and a Senegalese jeweller) were shot at night in "Bellevue" and "Latif" districts. In addition, on 12 July 2005 the Impartial Forces reported that a national of Burkina Faso slit the throat of a woman and wounded her husband in the village of Trogui, in Danané. Both victims were members of the Yacouba community. While in Guiglo there were several cases of extorsions of pedestrians and cyclists carried out by young militias late at night and in the early morning.

Due to alleged "lack of professionalism in news gathering and broadcasting" the diffusion in frequency modulation (FM) of Radio International France (RFI) will be suspended in Côte d'ivoire as from Friday 15 July 2005 at midnight, until further notice. This was announced in an official statement delivered on national television on Thursday 14 July 2005. To justify its decision, the National Council for Audio-visual Communication ("Conseil National de la Communication audio-visuelle"- CNCA) criticized RFI for "lack of impartiality" in the coverage of two recent events. The first relates to colonel Bakassa Traoré's death, on 02 July 2005, a few days after his questioning by soldiers after a dinner at the France ambassador's residence in Abidjan. The second event relates to the Duékoué massacre in early June 2005, which left about one hundred persons dead. CNCA said that RFI mentioned a UN report that would incriminate the Ivorian authorities, however UNOCI denied the existence of such a report, and therefore their reporting was considered biased.

II. Humanitarian Situation

Humanitarian access

The Forces Nouvelles have stopped searching UN staff and vehicles at the Logouale checkpoint, however NGOs are still subjected to searches after a meeting with the OCHA staff in Man. Humanitarian workers were regularly searched and identity checks were thoroughly investigated.

Movement of internally displaced persons (IDPs)

In Duékoué, the return of displaced population to various districts of the city and to some secured villages like Baoubli is steady. There are still about 3,000 internal displaced persons (IDPs) in the catholic mission (as against 5,000 reported last week). These are mostly inhabitants of Fengolo, Petit Duékoué and Guitrozon.

Water and Sanitation

In Bouna, only part of the population living in the districts located in the lower part of the city have access to running water; the water level in the tower being too low to supply the entire city. Moreover, despite their fair prices, people have difficulties in buying the spare parts for the pumps made available to Caritas (an NGO operating in Bouna) by UNICEF. In Téhini, (north-eastern tip of the country) the water tower is not functioning any more and only one pump out of 7 is functioning.

According to a WFP mission that visited Niakara and Katiola, the water supply in these localities has improved significantly after the last rains. The population encounters less and less difficulties in the supply of running water. In Bouaké however, the water cuts persist in certain districts. This situation may be due to technical problems.

OIM/Guiglo conducted an assessment mission of boreholes and wells in Fengolo. The results of the mission indicate that, out of three boreholes in the non-Guere district two are functioning and one is non operational. According to the tests done, the quality of borehole water is good. All in all, in the locality of Fengolo there are thirty wells, but only three are regularly used by residents. Water tests carried out on wells indicate that the water is not safe because the wells are too close to showers and latrines. As a response, OIM will rehabilitate one borehole in the district of the local community (Guéré) and will drill a new borehole in the non-Guere district. UNICEF will provide a drilling machine.

On 12 July 2005, at the request of the village of Bouagleu, in the locality of Danané (western region in the Forces Nouvelles controlled zone), CARE International carried out the repair of one village pump.

Health, incl. Nutrition and HIV/AIDS

UNICEF opened an antenna in Bouna. The medical district, the health center for women and children (PMI) and the maternity ward of the Regional Hospital Center (CHR) of Bouna were rehabilitated and equipped with mattresses. In addition, training activities and other support activities aimed to improving the access to health services were carried out. A water supply bladder of 5,000 litres was installed in the maternity ward of the regional hospital center. In spite of these actions, the lack of qualified staff in the health services remains a major concern.

MSF-France continues its action in support of malnourished children in its Therapeutic Nutritional Centre of Guiglo. On 12 July 2005, the Nutritional Centre opened by UNICEF in Duékoué main hospital center, received five children. In addition, on 11 July 2005, in the locality of Man (western region) the cases of malnutrition reported in the three Supplementary Nutrition Centres run by ACF, are decreasing. Nevertheless, from 02 to 09 July 2005, the Therapeutic Nutrition Centre of Zouan-Hounien received 19 new cases, 11 of which recovered and only one was transferred to Danané Hospital managed by MSF/Holland.

Protection

Birth registration is one of the major concerns of the local authorities and population in Bouna because no birth certificate was delivered in the zone since the beginning of the crisis in September 2002.

A joint mission was carried out by UNICEF, Save the children, IRC, UNOCI, PNDDR and Ministers for Justice, Family and Children, and Solidarity in Korhogo, on Thursday 14 July 2005, within the framework of the integrated DDR plan for child soldiers. The main objective of this mission was to get a better knowledge of the DDR process with a particular focus on children. A meeting was held with various stakeholders at the ANAED (Association Nationale d'Aide à l'Enfance en Danger), to discuss the possibility of opening a Technical Observation Center (CTO) in Korhogo.

UNHCR resumed its programme for the asylum of Liberian refugees in the USA. This week more than 300 refugees left Guiglo for Abidjan to be interviewed at the US Embassy. Within the framework of the UNHCR programme of voluntary repatriation, more than 200 Liberians refugees of Bin Houyé were repatriated this week. About 7,000 Liberians refugees were repatriated to Liberia since the beginning of this operation.

Education

In Bouna, the collaborative partnership between UNICEF and WFP has enabled the partial restoration of school activities. 18 schools - out of the original 65, including a private nursery school - are now operational. Only 3,415 pupils - i.e. one third of the total number of pupils before the crisis - have resumed school activities. These pupils are supervised by 47 appointed teachers and 24 voluntary ones (247 teachers worked in the school system before the crisis). The needs for the school year 2005-2006 are as follows: school kits, latrines and potable water in the schools, office equipment and benches. In Téhini (70 Km from Bouna), the situation is even more alarming with only one school of 250 pupils open out of the original 14. According to the NGO MOREB, in the rural zones the schools of Kalamou and Vonko (45 and 30 km from Bouna) are operating only with assistance of voluntary teachers.

The first results of "Baccalauréat 2005" were published on Monday 11 July 2005 in the whole western region. Compared to the one in 2004, the rate of success in 2005 is much lower. This may be related to the recurrent interruptions of regular school activities due to the crisis in the western region.

Food security

In this sector, the situation remains of concern. OCHA/Korhogo reports that the price on Bouna markets for 7 kg of maize is currently between 1800 and 2000 fcfa whereas last year, in the same period, it was between 500 fcfa - in periods of abundance - and 1100 fcfa. Bouna is no longer the great yams production zone it used to be. Farmers have reduced their production, for lack of outlets and in Téhini, food security is threatened also because of lack of rains. The lean season is expected to be hard. The male nurse of Téhini health center indicated that, as a result of unbalanced and deficient nutrition, cases of malnutrition, among children from 0 to 14 years, and of anaemia especially among pregnant women and nursing mothers, are regularly reported at the infirmary.

From 11 to 13 July 2005, WPF/Bouaké sub-office conducted a monitoring and evaluation mission of the school canteens in the localities of Niakara and Katiola and reported that preliminary results showed that school canteens are having a positive effect on the attendance rates in the afternoon.

In Duékoué, WFP completed the food distribution in the catholic mission. 5,665 people benefited from food delivery, but food needs are still high among certain vulnerable groups that were not targeted by this distribution, as in the case, in particular, of the elderly. WFP was requested to carry out a specific assistance action in support of this group. On 14 July 2005, WFP provided 2,500 internally displaced persons hosted at the "Palais de Justice" with food assistance.

In the western town of Man, FAO distributed seeds of maize to 55 persons of the locality of Flanpleu, in the area of Danané. 550 kg seeds of maize - representing 10 kg per person for an estimated cultivable surface of approximately 27,5 hectares - were made available to farmers.

III. Humanitarian Coordination

It is important to highlight that in Man, the water shortage is still a matter of great concern. This issue was discussed again during the coordination meeting on 15 July 2005 at the OCHA man Office when the French peacekeeping announced that if the repair of the damaged power line is not carried out within a reasonable time, it will be forced to withdraw its generators. OCHA approached the electricity company (CIE) to replace the damaged electric cables and called on the civil authorities of the "Forces Nouvelles" to convince the local population to pay their electricity bills.

USAID and ACF - in collaboration with WFP and OCHA - carried out a joint mission to Korhogo from 14 to 17 July 2005 in order to assess the humanitarian situation in the region, with a particular focus on water needs. The mission visited the Nutritional Centre of the local Red Cross in Korhogo and the Health Center in Dikodougou (about 50 Km south of Korhogo) that, in collaboration with PAM/Korhogo, provides assistance to malnourished children and women. The mission met representatives of ICRC, ARK (local NGO), French peacekeeping forces and "Forces Nouvelles" local civil authorities and the organizations participating in the "water and sanitation sectoral group".

OCHA is expected to establish an antenna in Bouna in early September.

IV. Resources mobilisation (as of 17 July 2005 according to FTS)

No new contributions reported on Financial Tracking Service (FTS)

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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