Central African Republic: Floods Minor Emergency Appeal No. 05ME048 Final Report


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In Brief

Period covered by this Final Report: 23 August to 23 October 2005.

History of this Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF)-funded operation:

CHF 46,000 was allocated from the Federation's DREF on 22 August 2005 to respond to the needs of this operation, or to replenish disaster preparedness stocks distributed to the affected population. For the Minor Emergency, refer to:

This operation was expected to be implemented in two months, and completed by 23 October, 2005; in line with Federation reporting standards, the DREF Bulletin Final Report was due 30 days after the end of the operation.

This operation is aligned with the International Federation's Global Agenda, which sets out four broad goals to meet the Federation's mission to "improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity".

Global Agenda Goals:

- Reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.

- Reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies.

- Increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.

- Reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion and promote respect for diversity and human dignity.

Background and Summary

During the night of 6 to 7 August 2005, nine-hour torrential rains fell in Bangui, the capital of Central African Republic (CAR), resulting in floods which caused extensive destruction to property. By 18 August 2005, close to 2,160 households (14,517 people) were reported to be affected. The rains continued throughout Bangui, and floods continued to affect all the neighbourhoods. By 7 September 2005, close to 4,388 households were reported to have been affected as houses partially destroyed or the ones that were still standing were collapsing on a daily basis.

The neighbourhoods mostly affected by the disaster did not have potable water points. With official data indicating that 3 out of 10 people in Bangui lacked access to potable water, the floods had deprived majority of the populations of their sole water sources =BE traditional water wells. Septic tanks overflowed and their contents poured into the wells and stagnant water ponds. Consequently, the populations who were fetching water from wells that were located near latrines (for cooking, drinking and other household use), were exposed to waterborne diseases such as typhoid, cholera, diarrhoea and hepatitis E since the water was contaminated. In addition, the waste and stagnant waters that were found throughout those localities constituted breeding places for mosquitoes that were responsible for malaria which is the leading cause of infant mortality in CAR; the risk of epidemics increased and a resurgence of malaria was looming.

On the onset of the floods, the Central African Red Cross Society (CARCS) deployed volunteers to assess the situation in the field. Data was collected by the volunteers trained in first aid, data collection during disasters and in the use of evaluation sheets. The results of the assessment were used as the basis for developing a plan of action to respond to immediate needs. Out of the 2,610 households affected, 800 were identified to benefit from the non-food items offered to CARS by the Federation and 500 blankets donated by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Priority was given to families whose houses were completely destroyed and large families (with a lot of members).

Statistics presented on 25 August 2005 indicated that in the affected areas (1st subdivision, 2nd subdivision, 3rd subdivision, 4th subdivision, 5th subdivision, 6th subdivision, 7th subdivision, 8th subdivision, Begoua, Che- Boeing and Bimbo), the total number of household heads was 4,388; number of people in charge, 23,798; men, 4,925; women, 4,494 and children, 11,584. A total of 1,674 houses had been completely destroyed while 2,897 others were partially destroyed. In addition, the towns of Bambari and Bakala =BE located 386 km and 506 km from Bangui respectively =BE were also reported to be affected; an estimated 160 households in Bambari and 25 in Bakala.

Though earlier indicators showed a dire need for food assistance, after a second evaluation it became clearer that essential emphasis of the Red Cross intervention should be on sanitation activities as they are among the solutions with a lasting effect; they would reduce the vulnerability of the populations during the rainy season. Subsequently, the most urgent needs were identified as: blankets, cooking utensils, soap and clothing; training and well-furnished water and sanitation (WatSan) kits, to enable volunteers to effectively carry out the cleaning of gutters and the drainage of waste water. A third evaluation further reinforced the fact that emphasis should be laid on sanitation if a sustainable solution to the problem of floods is to be found. To this end, the NS would continue advocating for the development of a community-based disaster preparedness plan with the full participation of authorities, partners and the communities themselves.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In CAR: Antoine Mbao Bogo, President, Central African Red Cross Society, Bangui; Email: ; ;; Phone +, +; Tollfree phone: 00236.50.59.11; Fax: +

In Cameroon: Moulaye Camara, Acting Federation Head of Central Africa Sub-Regional Office, Yaoundé; Email:; Phone +; Mobile +237.950.11.38

In Senegal: Alasan Senghore, Federation Head of West and Central Africa Regional Delegation, Dakar; Email:; Phone +221.869.36.41; Fax +221.860.20.02

In Geneva: Jaime Duran, Federation Regional Officer for Central Africa, Africa Dept., Geneva; Email:; Phone: +41.22.730.49.14, Fax: +41.22.733.03.95.

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal.

For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at

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