West and Central Africa: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (10 - 16 October 2017)
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
ARMED FIGHTING DISPLACES 8,000 IN SOUTH-EAST
Around 8,000 people were forced to flee for safety to the central Bambari town between 18 September and 10 October following armed clashes in Basse Kotto, Mbomou and Haute Kotto prefectures in the country’s south-east. The latest displacement raises to 31,632 the number of people forced from their homes in the region by clashes. Humanitarian organizations are mobilizing assistance.
OVER 26,000 RETURN FROM DISPLACEMENT
An assessment carried out between 5 - 9 October in Dimbelenge locality in Kasai Central, one of the provinces in the country’s central region where violence erupted last year, found that more than 26,000 people have returned to their homes (80 per cent of the population). The presence of soldiers in Dimbelenge and lack of assistance in areas of refuge are likely to have encouraged the return. Food, basic household items, health assistance and protection are the main needs of the returnees. Some 1.4 million people remain displaced in Kasai region.
ATTACK ON IDP-HOSTING LOCALITY REPELLED
The army reported on 11 October that they fought off an advance onto Gwoza locality by Boko Haram fighters aboard an armoured personnel carrier and four other explosiveladen vehicles. Humanitarian operations have not been disrupted by the incident. The locality hosts more than 45,000 people displaced by the protracted conflict in the country’s north-east. The militants previously occupied Gwoza before being pushed out by a military offensive.
INSECURITY SHUTS 42 SCHOOLS IN GAO REGION
Forty-two of the 287 schools in the northern Gao region are still shut since the start of the new school year on 9 October due to insecurity. During the 2016 -2017 school year, 500 schools remained shut across Mali’s insecure northern and central regions, up from 296 the year before. Aid organizations are supporting community initiatives to provide education in the affected regions.
POOR RAINS, VIOLENCE THREATEN FOOD SECURITY
Destruction by armed groups and erratic rains are projected to stoke food insecurity in 45 of the 108 communes in the central Mopti region. In Kouakourou locality, for instance, armed attackers destroyed water pumps used for irrigating 108 hectares of rice fields. Humanitarian workers are planning an assessment in Kouakourou when security condition permits. The local authority in the area say they are working to improve security.
FOOD INSECURITY FEARED IN NORTHERN REGION
Low rainfall in northern Senegal in the just ending rainy season has raised food insecurity fears in Matam, Louga and Podor regions, Action Contre la Faim warned in a 10 October report. The shortfall is likely to make the current season the third driest since 2011. In areas around Podor border region, pasture growth is down by at least 50 per cent. Crop maturity has been curtailed in certain areas, while maize and sorghum output from the Senegal river valley will be low due to reduced water levels.