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Cablegate: Burkina Faso: Disaster Declaration for Floods

INFO LOG-00 EEB-00 AF-00 AGRE-00 A-00 CIAE-00 INL-00
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H-00 TEDE-00 IO-00 LAB-01 MOFM-00 MOF-00 VCIE-00
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SAS-00 FA-00 /002W


P 021553Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY OUAGADOUGOU
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5349
AMEMBASSY NIAMEY
AMEMBASSY BAMAKO

UNCLAS OUAGADOUGOU 000694


AIDAC
US MISSION ROME

ACCRA FOR USAID
DAKAR FOR USAID/OFDA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID EAGR NG XI XY UV

SUBJECT: BURKINA FASO: DISASTER DECLARATION FOR FLOODS

1. THIS IS AN ACTION MESSAGE. PLEASE SEE PARA 7.

2. PURSUANT TO SECTION 062, VOLUME 2 OF THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS MANUAL
AND AID ADS 251, THE CHARGE HAS DETERMINED THAT A DISASTER EXISTS IN
BURKINA FASO AND CERTIFIES THAT THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS EXIST.

3. ON SEPTEMBER 1, UNPRECEDENTED TORRENTIAL RAINS FLOODED LARGE
SECTIONS OF OUAGADOUGOU. OVER 10.5 INCHES OF RAIN FELL ON BURKINA'S
CAPITAL CITY OF ABOUT 1.5 MILLION PEOPLE IN A 12-HOUR PERIOD.
GOVERNMENT OF BURKINA FASO (GOBF) DISASTER UNIT IS REPORTING
109,0000 PEOPLE (ABOUT 17,300 HOUSEHOLDS) ARE HOMELESS AND STAYING
IN 30 TEMPORARY SITES (SCHOOLS, CHURCHES, MOSQUES, ETC.) GOBF
OFFICIALS EXPECT THE NUMBER OF HOMELESS TO GROW AS WELL AS THE
NUMBER OF SITES FOR TEMPORARY SHELTER.

4. ALL OF OUAGADOUGOU'S FIVE ARRONDISSEMENTS HAVE BEEN AFFECTED
BUT THE AREAS OF BOULMIOUGOU AND BOGODOGO ARE THE MOST AFFECTED WITH
85,000 (78% OF TOTAL) OF CURRENT HOMELESS PEOPLE. THE
ARRONDISSMENTS OF BASKUY, NONGR-MASSOM AND SIGNOGHIN ARE REPORTED TO
HAVE, RESPECTIVELY, 15,000, 5,000 AND 4,000 HOMELESS PEOPLE.

5. DONORS, NGOS AND GOBF REPS MET FOR THE FIRST TIME ON SEPTEMBER 2
TO BEGIN ORGANIZING THE RELIEF EFFORT. TEAMS WILL BE OUT TODAY TO
SURVEY AND COLLECT MORE INFORMATION ON THE EXTENT OF DAMAGE AND TO
ASSESS IN MORE DETAIL THE NEEDS. A SECOND EMERGENCY MEETING WILL BE
HELD ON SEPTEMBER 4. THE GOBF IS EXPECTED TO ISSUE ON SEPTEMBER 2 A
DISASTER DECLARATION AND AN APPEAL FOR ASSISTANCE.

6. IT IS CLEAR THAT THE MAGNITUDE OF THIS DISASTER EXCEEDS THE
CAPACITY OF THE GOBF TO RESPOND. ONE OF THE MOST URGENT NEEDS
EXPRESSED BY GOBF OFFICIALS IS FOR POLYETHENE WATER TANKS TO PROVIDE
POTABLE WATER AT A NUMBER OF THE DISPLACED PEOPLE SITES. TO RESPOND
TO THIS NEED, THE CHARGE REQUESTS THE IMMEDIATE CONTRIBUTION OF
50,000 USD FOR THE PURCHASE OF 5,000, 3,000 AND 2,000 LITER
POLYTANKS (COSTING FROM $630 TO $1,740 PER UNIT). THE EMBASSY
PROPOSES TO PROCURE THESE TANKS UNDER A PURCHASE ORDER FROM LOCAL
VENDORS AND USE THE BURKINA RED CROSS AND/OR CRS FOR THEIR PLACEMENT
AND MANAGEMENT.

7. THESE PORTABLE WATER TANKS WILL BE FILLED AS OFTEN AS NEED FROM
CITY WATER SOURCES AND TRUCKED TO THE SITES WHERE THEY ARE NEEDED BY
GOBF, WHICH SAYS IT HAS ENOUGH TRUCKS FOR THIS PURPOSE. IT IS
ESTIMATED THAT A 5,000-LITER TANK CAN PROVIDE DRINKING WATER TO
1,000 PEOPLE PER DAY. THESE TANKS REPRESENT ONLY PART OF TOTAL
NUMBER OF WATER TANKS REQUIRED.

8. THE EMBASSY WILL WORK WITH THE FLOOD DISASTER RESPONSE
COORDINATION GROUP THAT HAS BEEN SET UP BY THE UNDP TO ENSURE THESE
TANKS ARE UTILIZED WHERE THEY ARE NEEDED THE MOST. AT THE END OF
THIS RELIEF EFFORT, THE TANKS WILL BE KEPT BY THE GOBF DISASTER UNIT
OR UNICEF FOR FUTURE EMERGENCY USE. PLEASE CONFIRM CONCURRENCE AND
PROVIDE ADVICE FOR OBLIGATION OF FUNDS.

9. ONCE MORE INFORMATION ON THE FULL EXTENT OF THE DAMAGE IS
AVAILABLE AND THE NEEDS OF THOSE AFFECTED BY THE FLOODS ARE BETTER
KNOWN, EMBASSY WILL LIKELY REQUEST ADDITIONAL EMERGENCY FUNDING FOR
RESPONDING TO THIS SERIOUS DISASTER SITUATION.

LAEUCHLI

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