Unprecedented flooding in Burkina Faso
02 September 2009
Caritas is assessing the damage caused by torrential rain in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, which has left three people dead and thousands homeless.
A road that has been washed away after several hours of rain fell in Burkina Faso.
Over 100,000 people in five neighbourhoods in and around the capital have been affected by floods. Those who have lost homes and possessions urgently need access to shelter, food, water, clothes and medicines. In some cases, people have been taking shelter in schools.
Awa Ouédréogo, 55, a widow and mother of five who has been flooded out, said, “ It’s the first time in my life that I’ve seen so much water. The floods took away our house and livestock. We’ve lost everything.”
Caritas has sent teams out to the affected areas to find out what help people need. Beyond food and tents, people also need cooking utensils, sleeping bags and mosquito nets. There are fears that the stagnant water will cause outbreaks of cholera and malaria.
Over 26cm of rain fell over several hours on the morning of 1 September. Such a large volume of rain in such a short space of time is rare for Burkina Faso. The weather has been unpredictable for most of this year, with no rain at the beginning of the growing season and too much at the end.
Following floods in 2007, Caritas set up projects grain stores to help protect farming communities whose crops were at risk. Weather reports indicate that showers will continue over the next few days.
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