September 17 2009

Emergency aid after floods in Senegal

17/09/2009 - Since the beginning of September, heavy rainfalls in West Africa have caused massive flooding in many countries of the region. One of these is Burkina Faso, where SOS Children's Villages has already started an emergency relief programme. Another seriously affected country is Senegal, especially the capital Dakar and the surrounding communities of Pikine West and Pikine East. SOS Children's Villages Senegal will help by providing equipment and manpower.

Photo: SOS Archives
In the "streets" of Dakar - Photo: SOS Archives

Please support this emergency relief with your donation. Every help counts! THANK YOU!

More than 2,000 people have lost their houses and all their belongings in the floods that have now become breeding grounds for mosquitoes spreading malaria and are increasing the danger of waterborne diseases such as cholera and diarrhoea - children are especially vulnerable to these threats. Senegal is affected by floods during the rainy season nearly every year, and SOS Children's Villages Senegal previously launched an emergency relief programme in the area of Pikine in 2008.

Pikine is a densely populated community with some 3,000 inhabitants per square kilometre; 55% of the population are under the age of 18. The small houses, usually consisting of two rooms, are separated by narrow streets; sewer systems and waste disposal are nearly non-existent. These facts may partly explain why this area is affected every year and why it is so important to help. Due to the recurrent flooding, SOS Children's Villages Senegal had already decided a while ago to start a family strengthening programme in Pikine as of 2010.

Photo: SOS Archives
Ideal breeding grounds for mosquitos - Photo: SOS Archives

Last year SOS Children's Villages Senegal provided children and families in Pikine with essential supplies i.e. staple foods (rice, oil, etc.), school stationery, sanitary articles, and mattresses. They also organised a day of free medical consultation with giving out free medicines and organised two cleaning days in the district.

This year SOS Children's Villages Senegal was asked again by the local authorities to help the flood victims of Pikine. A local organisation called "Amicale des Jeunes de Pikine Wakhinane" (AJWP) has set up a crises committee which is engaged in pumping the water out of the flooded houses and streets. However, their equipment does not perform well and last year's efforts showed that the weak motor pumps delayed relieving the dire situation.

Photo: Sandrine Houalet
Please help with your donation! - Photo: Sandrine Houalet
SOS Children's Villages Senegal therefore wants to offer the following support: the purchase of motor pumps and technical equipment to improve the sewer system, protective gear and torches. The purchased material will be handed over to the local partners "Amicale des Jeunes de Pikine Wakhinane de Pikine Est" and "Commission de l'environment de la Commune d'arrondissement de Pikine Ouest", who will be in charge of drainig the area. SOS Children's Villages Senegal will assign four SOS co-workers and 45 volunteers to the emergency relief programme. The start of the emergency relief (amount of costs: 59,000 USD)  is planned for 20 September.

Please support this emergency relief with your donation. Every help counts! THANK YOU!