September 10, 2013 - Heavy rains in Niger and Mali over the last month have affected neighbouring Benin, with areas close to the Niger River – Malanville and Karimama – being severely flooded. The floods have washed away homes built of black earth, damaged farmlands and crops and endangered human lives; nearly 10,000 people have been displaced, more than 33,000 people have lost their homes, and over 21,000 hectares of crops have been destroyed.
The population of the two mainly affected areas in northern Benin is approximately 200,000 people, but others are also at risk as more rains are predicted during the coming weeks.
CARE has been conducting assessments in the flooded areas in collaboration with Government agencies to determine the best way to respond, and come to the aid of those most affected. CARE Benin and Togo’s Programs Director Bonaventure Nzavugambonyimana said: “These areas along the Niger River are regularly flooded and the people are struggling to cope, and bounce back each time they are being hit. Their livelihoods are severely affected when the crops are destroyed as Benin is dependent on subsistence farming and cotton production. Their nutritional status also remains precarious as a result of this.”
“Our teams could not access the affected areas by road as this has been rendered inaccessible and had to reach the areas by boat. We have seen people taking shelter in classrooms and public buildings that have not been destroyed. Others are staying in temporary evacuation centres or with family members who have been more fortunate, and still have a home. They are in desperate need of access to clean water, food, shelter and other emergency items.”
“CARE Benin has responded to floods in 2012, 2010 and 2008, distributing food, providing shelter and access to water and sanitation facilities to 150,000 people in the south and north of the country. We are planning to help those affected by the current floods but we need to secure funding in order to ensure that our response is adequate, and we can reach those affected in good time.”
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