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17 September 2020
Following floods that have caused hundreds of thousands of people to be displaced in the Sahel region at the end of August, Luxembourg Red Cross teams are strongly mobilised in the countries where it regularly intervenes: Chad, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.
The situation is becoming increasingly tense in Niger, with more than 432,000 people affected and 36,000 homes destroyed, according to the Niger Ministry of Humanitarian Action. The Luxembourg Red Cross supports the Regional Red Cross Committee of Niamey, which started distributing 100 emergency shelters with its volunteers this week. “Our stocks enable us to provide shelter for some of the families. But it simply isn’t enough to meet needs of such magnitude,” warns Prosper Zombre, Head of Mission for the Luxembourg Red Cross in Niger.
The situation in the neighbouring countries is similar to that in Niger: in Burkina Faso, major damage due to flooding and high winds has been recorded. The scale of the situation led the government of Burkina Faso to declare a state of natural disaster at the Council of Ministers on 8 September 2020. Indeed, the tally so far is 13 people dead, 50 injured and 563 made homeless. The material damage is also significant: more than 3,300 houses have been destroyed, 1,600 damaged and nearly 1,800 emergency shelters used by internally displaced persons have been destroyed or damaged.
In N’Djamena, the capital of Chad, more than 6,000 shelters have been destroyed, leaving 5,800 people in need of shelter. Here too, families have found refuge in schools or with other families. “Those displaced need everything: shelter, latrines, hygiene kits. We are organising ourselves to be able to help them as a matter of urgency,” continues Clara Bretin from the Chad desk at the Luxembourg Red Cross.