Gabon: Violent winds DREF Operation No. MDRGA002

Situation Report
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The International Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) is a source of un-earmarked money created by the Federation in 1985 to ensure that immediate financial support is available for Red Cross and Red Crescent response to emergencies. The DREF is a vital part of the International Federation's disaster response system and increases the ability of national societies to respond to disasters.

CHF 58'070 (USD 50,509 or EUR 38,186) has been allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the national society in delivering immediate assistance to some 800 beneficiaries. Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.

Summary: During the last three months, Gabon has been exposed to violent winds followed by floods. On the night of 05 to 06 April, 2009 again strong winds have been recorded in Mouila, headquarters of the Ngounie council and in Libreville. This new event worsened the situation of the victims who had not yet found solutions to the first damages they have faced. About 100 houses were initially destroyed (52 totally and 48 partially) within five localities across the country, including the capital Libreville. The number has increased to 150 houses, 58 completely destroyed and 92 partially. As a result, many families become homeless, and roofs of schools destroyed. The number of victims has considerably increased this month as compared to March. About 481 vulnerable people (pregnant women, children under five years and elderly) were initially recorded. However, after a field action by the president of the Gabonese Red Cross Society and a representative of the Ministry of disasters, statistics show that the number of victims has increased and children under 5 years and the elderly are most exposed to the severe cold in the temporary shelters. The number of the most vulnerable has almost doubled making it to be approximately 800 people (160 families). Moreover, the rains continue to fall in the country and if nothing is done urgently this might increase the risks of malaria among a population that is already afflicted. For the time being, despite local solidarity, the victims live in precarious conditions and need assistance. The most urgent needs of these 160 families relocated in schools and churches are: soap, kitchen sets, tarpaulins, treated mosquito nets, blankets and mats. This operation is expected to be implemented over three months, and will therefore be completed by July 2009; a Final Report will be made available three months after the end of the operation (by October 2009).