September 9 2009

Help for flood-affected children in Burkina Faso

09/09/2009 - In the night to 1 September, heavy rainfalls hit the West African state Burkina Faso. Especially the capital Ouagadougou and its surroundings were seriously affected by the torrential rains. SOS Children's Villages supports up to 2,300 children with most-needed supplies.

Photo: SOS Archives
Streets are turning into rivers - Photo: SOS Archives

Please help us help the children in Burkina Faso! THANK YOU!

According to meteorologists such heavy rainfalls have never happened before in Burkina Faso. Other regions in Burkina Faso are also affected by this catastrophe: Central Plateau, Centre South, Centre North, Centre East and Centre West, Sahel and Boucle du Mouhoun.

The SOS Children's Village in Ouagadougou is located in the district of Nongr-Maasom, which is one of the most affected areas. In this district more than 5.000 people including over 2.200 children are suffering from the consequences of the heavy rains.

Photo: SOS Archives
The living conditions in the provisional shelters are absolutely insufficient - Photo: SOS Archives

SOS Children's Villages Burkina Faso will offer its support to all affected people in Nongr-Maasom. SOS co-workers together with the help of volunteers from the community will provide items like food (rice, oil, cornflower, milk, biscuits etc), blankets, sanitary articles and medicines. The emergency relief programme is due to start as soon as possible and will last for one month.

Months ago, the district of Nongr-Maasom has been selected as target area for a family strengthening programme by SOS Children's Villages which had to be postponed due to the global financial crisis. Facing the desperate situation many families are confronted with following the floods, this programme will start now although in a first phase as emergency aid.

Photo: SOS Archives
SOS Children's Villages will support up to 2,300 affected children - Photo: SOS Archives
The impacts of the torrential rainfalls are terrible. Houses were destroyed and filled with mud, power supply lines were cut off, leaving part of the city without electricity. Streets were flooded; bridges collapsed which both led to traffic jams and even the shut down of important traffic routes.

An outbreak of diseases like malaria, typhus and cholera is very much anticipated. This will worsen the current situation as a lot of hospitals are already non-operational as a consequence of the floods.

So far eight people have already died in Burkina Faso. In Ouagadougou 24.449 houses have been destroyed and more than 150.000 people are victims of these floods, among them 70.000 children under the age of 14. Only 20.000 people could find shelter with their families and friends, but the big majority is dependant on help of the government. According to the Prime Minister of Burkina Faso, 130.000 people were offered temporary lodging in public schools and colleges which are available due to summer holidays.

At the moment there is a desperate need for food, drinking water, blankets, clothes and sanitary facilities. The government of Burkina Faso is appealing to all national and international organisations for help and support in these difficult times.

Please help us help the children in Burkina Faso! For this the emergency relief programme we would need 55,000 USD. Your donation can make a difference. THANK YOU!