A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Oxfam International is sending humanitarian staff and emergency supplies to Burkina Faso in response to the recent floods, which have devastated the country.
Oxfam International will send a humanitarian team to Burkina Faso in the next 48 hours to assess the situation. Flooding, which occurred in the night of August 31st, is estimated to have affected more than 150,000 people in the capital.
People living in the capital have been particularly affected by the floods; 110,000 people are now sheltering in schools and other public buildings. A further 40,000 are staying with relatives or neighbors. Villages in the north-central region of the country are also experiencing flooding although the number affected is unclear at this stage. In response to the emergency, the Government of Burkina Faso has launched an appeal for international aid.
“These are the worst floods in Burkina for 90 years. In the poorest neighborhoods around the capital Ouagadougou, 150,000 people have fled their homes due to rising waters. These people were already living in difficult conditions, housed in slums, and now they are homeless and forced to sleep on school floors and use plastic bags for a mattress,” says Marta Valdés, spokesperson for Oxfam in Burkina Faso.
Oxfam’s team on the ground have the ability to meet the water, sanitation and hygiene needs of 10,000-15,000 people. Looking forward, the team will work closely with the authorities to assess damage and prepare a joint response.
In addition, over the next few days Oxfam will send materials for the installation of water and sanitation systems, and hygiene kits for those affected.