accessibility & help

Burkina Faso: floods threaten health and livelihoods

8 November 2010

More than 133,000 people are in need of help following extensive flooding throughout Burkina Faso, which was caused by torrential rains from the end of July through to September.

At least 13 provinces remain flooded, with more than 16,000 households directly affected by the floods, and 14 people reported dead. Villages have been devastated with damage to shelters, granaries, livestock, properties, fields, roads, wells and boreholes. Some villages remain isolated and inaccessible by road.

The British Red Cross has donated £100,000 from its Disaster Fund to help people with water and sanitation needs, and with restarting their livelihoods.

Health risks

Destroyed home after floodsThere is a potential risk of water-borne diseases and an increase in malaria. The prolonged stay of displaced families has strained already poor sanitation facilities in larger villages, in schools and in administrative buildings, where conditions were already marked by limited access to water, insufficient number of latrines and the overuse of existing ones.

In addition, the devastation of subsistence homesteads and small family crops has left most communities under threat of malnourishment.

Red Cross support

With experience from past floods, the Burkina Faso Red Cross took a lead in assessing the situation early on, during the onset of the rains in July, and identified key needs in shelter, livelihoods, water and sanitation, and emergency relief goods, such as blankets and hygiene kits.

The money donated by the British Red Cross will be used to support the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies operation which is assisting 80,000 of the most vulnerable people. This represents 80 per cent of the total population affected.

Read more about our emergency response work overseas

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