(Bangui, 25 February 2016): Following multiple fire outbreaks on some sites hosting internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Central African Republic (CAR), the humanitarian community has rapidly increased support to hundreds of affected families. The fire incidents occurred in January and February in the Bambari (Ouaka province), Batangafo (Ouham province) and Kaga-Bandoro (Nana Gribizi province) regions. In Bambari, humanitarian actors are providing food, tarpaulins, water and sanitation kits, mats and blankets to the people affected. Meanwhile in Kaga-Bandoro and Batangafo, the priority humanitarian needs of the people affected were covered by humanitarian actors.
In addition to the assistance already provided by humanitarian actors, preventive actions such as the re-structuring of sites are underway in Kaga-Bandoro to prevent further fire outbreaks. Humanitarian actors are also increasing awareness campaigns and sensitizing IDPs on the risks of constructing rudimentary make-shift shelters. These actions are being implemented in the affected sites of Kaga-Bandoro, Batangafo and Bambari.
“I understand the additional suffering these incidents have caused those affected and the humanitarian community in CAR empathizes with them. Humanitarian actors in the country continue to respond to the urgent needs of the people affected by these fires,” said the Humanitarian Coordinator in CAR, Aurélien A. Agbénonci.
In the Ouaka province, about 156 shelters were destroyed by a fire outbreak on 22 January at the Notre Dame des Victoires IDP site in Bambari while another fire on 20 January destroyed seven huts on the S site. On 14 February, another fire destroyed 28 shelters on the Cotonnerie site. Since December 2015, five accidental, domestic fire outbreaks have been registered in Bambari.
Similarly in Batangafo, between 5 and 9 February, about 580 families became homeless following a fire disaster that destroyed 493 shelters. During a fire on 2 February at the Catholic Mission site in Kaga-Bandoro - hosting about 6,256 IDPs - over 1,069 households lost their shelter and belongings.
“I can reassure the victims of these fires that the humanitarian community stands beside them and continues to support them. I reiterate the humanitarian community’s commitment to provide immediate assistance to those affected,” added Mr. Agbénonci.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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