Ethiopia + 3 more

Thousands left homeless and isolated due to heavy rains, floods and mud slides across Africa

CARE International staff throughout Africa are on high alert as a result of the torrential rains and flooding that is affecting large parts of the continent.

United Nation agencies estimate that close to one million people might be affected in across a broad band of land stretching from East to West Africa. Many more may be at risk if the rains continue past the end of the rainy season and hit areas that have so far escaped the floods.

CARE's immediate responses in Ethiopia, Uganda, Ghana and Mali include distributing food, ensuring access to safe water supplies, providing shelter for displaced people and non-food items, such as blankets, plastic sheeting and pots and pans. CARE is coordinating with government agencies and other NGO's in all the affected areas.

In Ethiopia, CARE is providing relief to areas inundated by the collapse of a dam. About 4,500 people are isolated and surrounded by water. The organization is also planning to support the people of the Amhara Region, who have been affected by the flooding of Lake Tana.

In Uganda, floods are forcing people who had recently abandoned refugee camps in the wake of a peace agreement between the government and rebels, to return to the camps.

"The people most affected by the flooding in the northeastern part of Uganda are the same people who have endured twenty years of civil war and have lived in internally displaced camps for more than a decade," says Kevin Fitzcharles, Country Director for CARE International in Uganda. "The recent peace agreement between the Government and the Lords Resistance Army had finally given the green light for people to return to their native villages. The sanitary conditions are extremely poor and the mortality rate is high. People are back to where they started."

All eight districts in Upper East Region of Ghana have been severely affected by the torrential rains and consequential flooding. Five out of 18 districts in Northern Region are badly affected, meaning that more than 75% of the crop is damaged. CARE is likely to distribute food in two of these districts.

In Mali three communities were affected by floods July of this year. This was a result of heavy rain that flooded the Yame River. About 404 houses were partially or totally destroyed, more than 1 500 people affected, and 5 bridges collapsed. CARE is distributing 12 tons of cereals,providing basic household equipment, such as tents and lamps and assessing how the flooding will impact harvest and food security in the country.

Media Contacts:

Bea Spadacini in Kenya at +254 (0) 725 22 10 36 / spadacini@ci.or.ke

Amber Miekle in London at +44 (0) 20 7934 9348 / meikle@careinternational.org.uk