Summary: CHF 119,220 was allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 12 January, 2012 to support the Gambia Red Cross Society in delivering assistance to some 30,000 persons travelling in and out of Senegal.
The Gambia is surrounded by Senegal and people move in and out of the country daily. On 6 January 2012, the Government of the Gambia, through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare sent out a press release through the media regarding a cholera outbreak in the neighbouring Senegal, where 10 cases were confirmed.
The Gambia was therefore exposed to a risk of cholera outbreak which was all the more serious since Gambian pilgrims who were travelling to Senegal for the Magal Muslim festival in the Senegalese town of Touba were returning. The nation was therefore prepared for an eventuality of cholera spread.
The Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) supported by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) made a DREF request to implement country wide preparedness, prevention, surveillance and response activities in collaboration with the regional health teams and the national disaster management agency. The National Society prepared all its regional branches and mobilized 270 volunteers for the implementation of activities. GRCS started deploying teams in all border crossing points with Senegal, weekly open markets and border communities. Schools and fish landing sites were also covered during sensitization activities. Coordination meetings were conducted by both Senegal and The Gambia border security and health officers. Furthermore, the National Society used its prepositioned stock comprising 60,0000 bars of soap, 870 hand towels, 348 buckets, 348 kettles, 870 bottles of detergents and 30,000 bottles of 1.5 water bottles, distributed to people travelling from Senegal to the Gambia and on transit to the Magal festival.
The major donors and partners of the DREF include the Red Cross Societies and governments of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, USA, DG ECHO, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Medtronic, Z Zurich and Coca Cola Foundations including other corporate and private donors.
Details of all contributions to the DREF for 2012 can be found on: http://www.ifrc.org/docs/appeals/Active/MAA00010_2012.pdf.
The IFRC, on behalf of the Gambia Red Cross Society, would like to extend thanks to all partners for their generous contributions.
The remaining balance of CHF 5,269 has been returned to the DREF.