UN Agencies Offer Emergency Help As Floods Strike
As Floods Strike Niger And Burkina Faso, UN Agencies Offer Emergency Help
New York, Sep 8 2006 5:00PM
United Nations humanitarian agencies are rushing to provide emergency assistance, including food, clothes and bedding, to nearly 26,000 people left homeless or otherwise stricken by floods that have followed almost four weeks of torrential rains in Niger and Burkina Faso.
The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a press release issued yesterday in Dakar, Senegal, that it is working with Niger and Burkina Faso, as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs), to help those most affected in the neighbouring Africanᾠcountries.
OCHA reported that food, medicines, clothes, tents, blankets, mattresses, soaps, cooking utensils and mosquito nets are being deployed to assist more than 15,000 people in Niger and another 10,000 others in Burkina Faso. Those countries have also opened schools and administrative buildings to shelter those people left without homes in the floods.
Four people have been killed in Niger, the country struck hardest by the floods. At Bilma, about 700 kilometres northeast of the city of Agadez, the rainfall hit levels never reached since locals began keeping records in 1923.
OCHA said it is also concerned about the possibility of outbreaks of diseases such as cholera and malaria in the wake of the floods, as well as cattle losses and damage to local infrastructure.