Gambia - Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 1

Situation Report
Originally published
General Situation

1. Prolonged and heavy rainfall between June to August 1999 caused flooding in several divisions of the country. On 25 August the Government declared a state of emergency and appealed for assistance.

2. A multi-agency team from UNDP, UNICEF, WFP, WHO, joined by representatives from Catholic Relief Services undertook a three day assessment mission in the affected areas at the end of August. The results confirmed a serious situation, particularly for communities in the Central River and Upper River Divisions. A total of 27,000 people were affected. The team also reported heavy damage to roads and bridges. In the estimate of the UN Resident Coordinator the cost of repair will weigh heavily on the budget of a country as poor as Gambia.

3. In coordination with the National Emergency Committee in the Office of the Vice-President as well as with local authorities, UN assistance targeted communities in the two most severely affected divisions. Resources came from the respective emergency funds of the agencies and from on-going projects.

WFP: 27 mt cereals and 17.5 mt. oil for 23,000 people. Volunteers from the US Peace Corps were involved in the distribution.

  • UNICEF: provision of drugs, health education, water chlorinating and sanitation.
  • UNDP: 80,000 USD for coordination and logistical support toward transport and delivery of aid to victims
  • WHO: 860 kg of drugs
The extent of crop damage will be looked at by a joint FAO/WFP mission in October. The Resident Coordinator is the focal point for UN assistance, and continues to monitor developments. Additional international requirements will be communicated, if the situation so warrants.

4. OCHA is prepared to serve as a channel for cash contributions for the immediate relief needs. Funds channelled 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 at the UBS AG, PO Box 2770, CH-1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland, with reference: OCHA -Djibouti Drought 1999.

5. For coordination purposes, donors are requested to inform OCHA Geneva, as indicated below, of relief missions, pledges or contributions and their corresponding values by item.

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

Telephone number: + 41-22-917-12 34
In case of emergency only: + 41-22- 917 20 10
Desk Officers: Mr. Klaus Wiersing, Head, Africa Desk
Disaster Response Branch, direct Tel:41 22 917 2270
Contact person for the media: Ms. Elena Ponomareva, direct tel:+41-22-917 23 36
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Fax: + 41-22 917 00 23
E-mail: info at at Internet @ccmail

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