UNICEF to respond to the needs of flood-affected populations in Burkina Faso
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 4 September 2009 - Humanitarian workers are working to keep safe ten of thousands of children displaced with their families after some of the worst floods to hit the capital of Burkina Faso in living memory.
The government says 130,000 people are living in schools, mosques and other temporary sites at a total of 93 locations. The immediate task for UNICEF, the government and other humanitarian agencies is to ensure that people are fed, have access to clean water and that disease does not spread.
Immediately after the floods UNICEF made available its emergency intervention supplies which include blankets, impregnated bednets, water purification tablets and hygiene kits and is now working with the government to disinfect the sites where people are seeking shelter.
"These are the conditions where disease can spread easily, said Sylvana Nzirorera, UNICEF’s Deputy Representative in the country. "60,000 children are among the total displaced, and it has to be said that there is now a struggle for food, shelter and survival, and survival will be made even more difficult by the real and growing threat of disease and epidemic spreading through the flooded areas".
There is also an urgent need to ensure that people are able to move out of school buildings before the start of the academic year early next month. The cost of providing for the immediate needs of people is being estimated at $8.6 million dollars, but the total cost to repair classrooms, clinics and damaged homes will be much higher.
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