CAR

Central African Republic - Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 1

Source
Posted
Originally published
Ref:OCHA/GVA/2000/0001
Central African Republic - Floods
OCHA Situation Report No. 1
4 January 2000

Situation

1. This report represents a summary of a report from the UN Resident Co-ordinator, a.i., and the National Emergency Plan prepared by the Government in co-operation with UN agencies. The issuance of this situation report follows consultations concerning the assessment of damage and quantification of needs between the UN agencies in country and the Government.

2. During the last quarter of 1999, torrential rains created an exceptional rise in the water level of the main rivers and caused unprecedented and destructive floods in Bangui as well as in other provinces of the Central African Republic. It was reported that more than 2,300 households were affected, with some 20,000 dependants (70 % being women and infants under 10 years). While some of them have been accommodated by friends and relatives in crowded houses, nearly 14,000 persons are still living under precarious conditions. A breakdown is provided below:

Location
Households affected
Persons without shelter
Bangui
1,131
8,912
Begoua
52
250
Lobaye
101
383
Bimbo
145
868
Mpoko-Bac
40
510
Sibut
110
229
Nola
404
1,033
Paoua
235
1,025
Damara
10
70
Batangafo
33
250
Bouca
49
289
TOTAL
2,310
13,919

3. Thousands of hectares of cultivated land (cotton and food such as groundnuts, cassava, sorgho, potatoes and maize) were destroyed, which may result in famine. Persistent rains, stagnant water and overall precarious hygienic conditions expose the victims to health risks.

National Response

4. The Government, in particular the Ministry of Health and the National Solidarity Committee, with the assistance of a local team of the UN agencies, conducted a preliminary assessment of the situation in order to evaluate emergency needs. The initial humanitarian assistance, such as food and medicaments, was not sufficient to address the needs of the above-mentioned flood victims.

5. Considering the extent of the damage and needs, as well as its limited capacity to respond to the emergency, the Government has made an appeal for international assistance.

6. The Central African Red Cross Society allocated CHF 77,500 (approx. USD 48,742) to provide tents, blankets, clothes, kitchen utensils, basic medication and disinfectants for the most vulnerable 1,200 persons. Red Cross volunteers reviewed and assessed the number of polluted water points and the need for sanitation and repair measures.

International Response

7. WHO and UNICEF provided medical kits and equipment for water purification. WFP provided food assistance and UNHCR distributed tents. However, the assistance provided so far was not sufficient and rather focused on the victims in Bangui.

8. A team comprised of UN agencies has assisted the Government to prepare a National Emergency Plan. The plan aims:

  • To provide food, medical/sanitary services and shelters to the victims
  • To identify sites in Bangui and other provinces for relocation of displaced persons
  • To raise awareness of the disaster and the importance of relocation/resettlement operation
  • To support infrastructure rehabilitation (drinking water, sewage, roads)
  • To clean and rehabilitate the damaged areas
9. UN agencies are considering assisting the National Emergency Plan through provision of support for evaluation missions and logistics. UNDP is currently formulating a project to co-ordinate operations and provide logistics support, especially for resettlement of the affected persons, while funds are being sought.

Unmet Needs and Requirements

10. The following information is based on the National Emergency Plan which is available in French at OCHA Geneva.

  • Building materials: metal sheets, rafters, planks, paints, cement
  • Logistic equipment: grader, one truck, one 4x4 vehicle, fuel, bulldozer
  • Tents, bedding and household items: blankets, mattresses, soap, clothing, mosquito nets, hurricane lamp, buckets, kitchen sets
  • Food item: flour, rice, milk, sardine, soya oil, salt
  • Medical equipment: anti-inflammatory, anti-malaria, painkillers, anti-diarrhoea, anti-parasite, rehydration salts, anti-biotic
  • School supplies: notebooks, pencils, erasers, rulers
  • Cash grants for implementing relief activities
TOTAL: FCFA 1,407,192,500 (Approx. USD 2,160,375)

11. OCHA is prepared to serve, as a channel for cash contributions for relief needs. Funds channeled through OCHA will be spent in coordination with the relevant organizations of the UN system and OCHA will provide written confirmation of their use. Funds should be transferred to OCHA Account No. CO-590.160.1 SWIFT-code SBC0CHGG12A - at the UBS AG, PO Box 2770, CH-1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland, with reference: OCHA - Central African Republic- Floods 2000.

12. For co-ordination purposes, donors are requested to inform OCHA Geneva, as indicated below, of relief missions, pledges or contributions and their corresponding value by item.

13. This Situation Report and further information on ongoing emergencies are also available on the OCHA Internet Website at: http://www.reliefweb.int.

Telephone number: + 41-22-917-1234
In case of emergency only: + 41 22 917 2010

Desk Officers: Mr. Klaus Wiersing, Head, Africa Desk, Disaster Response Branch
Ms. Yasuko Sawada, Disaster Response Branch, direct Tel: + 41 22 917 22 70/1768

Contact person for the media: Mr. Donato Kiniger-Passigli, direct tel: +41-22-917-2653

Telex 41 42 42 ocha ch
Fax: + 41 22 917 0023
E-mail: ochagva@un.org

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.