September 1 2005
Help for flood victims in Senegal
01/09/2005 - After torrential rains, neighbourhoods and the outskirts of the Senegalese capital of Dakar were flooded; some 11,000 people have been affected. SOS Children's Villages is providing desperately needed relief supplies.
Storms and continuous rain have not only had devastating effects in Central Europe and in the south of the USA, but in vast areas of Africa people are also distressed due to flooding. The most severely affected areas are countries in West, East and Central Africa.
Last week, continuous rain flooded the outskirts and neighbourhoods of Dakar. Among those affected are thousands of children. Entire sections and roads of the city are under water and private homes are uninhabitable. Approximately 11,000 residents of Dakar have been affected by the flood and many have lost their humble homes and belongings.
The government has asked for help in assisting the population and they are seeking living quarters for the families that lost their homes. These families are being placed first of all in publicly-run schools. An SOS Children's Village team present on the ground witnessed dispiritedness and despair in those affected.
The greatest challenges for the authorities and relief organisations are: to drain the water out of the affected areas, to avoid the spread of diseases, to provide the flood victims with what they need most, and to cope with disastrous hygienic conditions. Sewage, garbage and animal carcasses mixed with the rainwater can lead to diarrhoea, especially among children, and to an explosive increase in malaria and yellow fever. In addition, there is a rampant cholera bacillus, and drinking water and food are in short supply.
SOS Children's Villages Senegal will help about 1,000 flood victims by providing them with basic goods and will concentrate on assisting children. Basic foodstuffs (milk, rice, oil, sugar), medication against diarrhoea and malaria, disinfectants, beds, mattresses, school supplies and mosquito nets will be handed out. SOS Children's Villages will also offer people support in finding appropriate living quarters.