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Cablegate: Fy 2010 Renewal of Disaster Declaration for Flooding In

VZCZCXRO2042
OO RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHDK #1257/01 2781627
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 051627Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY DAKAR
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3154
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RHMFIUU/CDR USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE IMMEDIATE
RUEHOU/AMEMBASSY OUAGADOUGOU 1912
RUEHNM/AMEMBASSY NIAMEY 1856
RUEHBP/AMEMBASSY BAMAKO 1202
RUEHNK/AMEMBASSY NOUAKCHOTT 5188
RUEHAB/AMEMBASSY ABIDJAN 1600
RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1770
RUEHCO/AMEMBASSY COTONOU 1332
RUEHPC/AMEMBASSY LOME 1600
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0921
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0444
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DAKAR 001257

SIPDIS
AIDAC

AFR/WA FOR NFREEMAN, LDOORES-FENDELL, GBERTOLIN
OFDA/W FOR ACONVERY, CCHAN, FSHANKS, MSHIRLEY, JMCINTOSH,
TDENYSENKO
FFP/W FOR JBORNS, ASINK, TMCRAE
DAKAR FOR RDAVIS
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH
ROME FOR US MISSION RNEWBERG, HSPANOS
BRUSSELS FOR USAID PBROWN
NEW YORK FOR DMERCADO
NSC FOR CPRATT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID EAGR EAGR MI
SUBJECT: FY 2010 RENEWAL OF DISASTER DECLARATION FOR FLOODING IN
SENEGAL

REF: DAKAR 01179
-------

DAKAR 00001257 001.2 OF 002

SUMMARY
-------

1. SUMMARY. On September 17, post declared a disaster due to the
effects of severe flooding throughout Senegal (reftel). In
response, USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance
(USAID/OFDA) has provided USD 50,000 in emergency assistance to
date. However, limited Government of Senegal (GoS) efforts to
assist severely flood-affected populations in urban and peri-urban
areas of the capital, Dakar, as well as limited relief efforts in
rural areas, could necessitate additional assistance in the weeks to
come. Accordingly, post re-declares a disaster for Fiscal Year (FY)
2010 due to ongoing humanitarian needs. END SUMMARY.

------------------------------------------
CURRENT FLOOD EFFECTS AND RESPONSE EFFORTS
------------------------------------------

2. On September 17, post declared a disaster (reftel) due to
extensive flooding that has persisted in urban and rural areas since
mid-August, including Dakar, Pikine, Rufisque, and Guediawaye
departments, all in Dakar Region, and Diourbel, Kaffrine, Kaolack,
Kedougou, Kolda, Matam, Saint Louis, Sedhiou, Tambacounda, and Thies
regions. Relief agencies identify water, sanitation, and hygiene
(WASH) interventions and provision of shelter as the primary
humanitarian needs throughout flood-affected areas.

3. According to the GoS, the floods at their height affected as
many as 720,000 people, the highest total of any West African
nation. However, due to receding flood waters in areas of Dakar
city, the GoS estimates a total of approximately 370,000
flood-affected people as of September 30, including 350,000 people
in Dakar Region -- the vast majority in Pikine Department -- and
20,000 people in other parts of Senegal. Floods have affected more
than 9,000 people in Kaolack Region, central Senegal, and more than
6,000 people in Kolda Region, southern Senegal. In Kedougou Region,
southern Senegal, rising water levels in the Gambia River have
flooded Kedougou town and surrounding agricultural areas, and in
Saint Louis Region, northern Senegal, residents have abandoned three
flooded villages.

4. To date, the majority of relief efforts have focused on urban
and peri-urban areas of Dakar. USAID/Senegal reports that local
communes, community members, and relief agencies -- rather than the
GoS -- are currently conducting the bulk of relief efforts. In
Pikine East, the most heavily-affected section of Pikine Department,
relief agencies are conducting WASH activities to mitigate the
effects of stagnant flood waters, contaminated water sources, and a
non-functioning sewage system. While local communes have mobilized
pumps and work crews to drain flood waters, the combination of
continued rainfall, a shallow water table, and poor drainage makes
water removal extremely difficult. Relief agencies express concern
regarding the potential spread of waterborne diseases in
flood-affected urban, peri-urban, and rural areas.

--------------------------------------------- ---------
USG EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE AND ONGOING NEEDS ASSESSMENTS
--------------------------------------------- ---------

5. In response to the floods to date, USAID/OFDA has provided USD

DAKAR 00001257 002.2 OF 002


50,000 through USAID/Senegal to Catholic Relief Services for WASH
activities and the provision of equipment and supplies for the flood
victims in Pikine East. USAID/OFDA and USAID/Senegal continue to
meet with relief agencies to assess humanitarian conditions and
identify gaps in the emergency response, both in areas of Pikine
Department not yet covered by relief efforts and in other parts of
the country. In response to a request from the mayor of Saint Louis
city, USAID/Senegal and USAID/OFDA staff plan to meet with city
officials on October 5 to ascertain the extent of flood damages and
humanitarian needs in the region.

-------------------------------------------
RENEWAL OF DISASTER DECLARATION FOR FY 2010
-------------------------------------------

6. Given the scope of ongoing humanitarian needs, and pursuant to
Section 062, Volume 2, of the Foreign Affairs Manual and USAID ADS
251, post hereby renews the disaster declaration in response to the
floods for FY 2010. Post finds that it is in the best interests of
the USG to provide continued assistance in response to the disaster
and that it is beyond the capacity of the host government to provide
adequate support to flood-affected populations. Local authorities
have requested assistance, and post finds that the GoS will accept
continued USG assistance. The USAID/OFDA regional office in Dakar
continues to monitor the situation in conjunction with USAID/Senegal
and humanitarian partners to clarify needs.

SMITH

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