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.
International agency Oxfam will be flying out eight tons of water purification aid to Sierra Leone as it boosts its response to the cholera outbreak which is spreading across the country. The $96,000 aid package will leave the agency’s emergency warehouse on Tuesday morning 28 August. This is the second batch of Oxfam aid flown from the UK and is part of a $4.3m program which is aimed at helping at least 450,000 people.
In Sierra Leone 12,500 people have contracted the disease and there have been 224 deaths. Pouring rain continues to hamper the response as water can become easily contaminated. Oxfam is expanding its work in the capital and rural areas. It is chlorinating water so that it is safe to drink, handing out water purification tablets and running public information campaigns on how to avoid contracting cholera. The agency is also training community volunteers, called Blue Flag Volunteers, on ways to increase awareness and prevent the spread of cholera.
Notes to editors
For more information contact:
Claire Seaward in Sierra Leone: +232 7861 5470
Ian Bray in UK +44 7721 461339