International humanitarian organisation Action Against Hunger | ACF International has mounted an emergency response after the heaviest rainfall in almost a century destroyed major parts of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, affecting more than 150,000 people. 50,000 people have sought refuge in dozens of temporary shelter sites throughout the capital.
On 1st September , more than 10 inches of rainfall dropped in a 12-hour period, flooding 50% of the capital and leaving tens of thousands of people homeless. The displaced have sought refuge at 88 temporary sites across the capital, each sheltering between 200 and 1500 people. The authorities are concerned about the inappropriate water and sanitation facilities at the temporary shelter sites and worsening hygiene conditions.
Working closely with the authorities and other humanitarian actors on the ground, Action Against Hunger is launching an emergency response to assist 6,000 people affected by the flooding by improving hygiene conditions in 12 temporary shelters with funding from the City of Paris and the French Foreign Ministry. Action Against Hunger plans to put in place sanitation systems to provide basic hygiene standards. 150 latrines as well as washing areas and showers will be constructed and hygiene kits will be distributed to the displaced. Action Against Hunger will also monitor the water and sanitation situation to ensure that a minimum of 15 litres of safe water per person per day is available in line with international minimum standards in disaster response.
The torrential rainfall in Burkina Faso was the worst since 1914. Existing systems are not adapted to deal with an emergency of this proportion. The situation also is precarious in neighbouring countries where torrential rainfall and flooding have affected 600,000 people.
Source: ACF International, 10 Sep 2009