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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 14, 2009
4:21 PM

CONTACT: Action Against Hunger

James L. Phelan, Senior External Relations Officer, ACF-USA
James Phelan
Direct: 212-967-7800 x108

Flooding in Burkina Faso Leaves Tens of Thousands Homeless

ACF responds to assist displaced, restore water and sanitation facilities

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso - September 14 - International humanitarian organization Action Against Hunger | ACF International has mounted an emergency response after the heaviest rainfall in almost a century destroyed major parts of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. The flooding has affected more than 150,000 people, a third of whom have sought refuge in dozens of temporary shelters throughout the city.

Earlier this month, more than 10 inches of rainfall fell over a 12-hour period, flooding half the capital and leaving tens of thousands of people homeless. The displaced have sought refuge at 88 temporary sites across the city, each housing between 200 and 1500 individuals. Authorities are concerned about outbreaks of disease due to inadequate water and sanitation facilities in the shelters, as the country's current systems are not equipped to deal with an emergency of this proportion.

Action Against Hunger, in collaboration with local authorities and other humanitarian actors, has begun to improve sanitation and provide basic hygiene for 6,000 people affected by the flooding in 12 temporary shelters. With funding from the City of Paris and the French Foreign Ministry, the humanitarian organization will construct latrines, washing areas, and showers, and distribute hygiene kits to the displaced. Action Against Hunger will also monitor water distribution to ensure the availability of a minimum of 15 liters of safe water per person per day, according to international minimum standards in disaster response.

Burkina Faso has experienced the worst torrential rainfall since 1914. The situation is also precarious in neighboring countries, where flooding has affected some 600,000 people.

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Action Against Hunger / Action Contre la Faim (ACF), an international relief and development organization committed to saving the lives of malnourished children and families, provides sustainable access to safe water and long-term solutions to hunger. For nearly three decades, ACF has pursued its vision of a world without hunger by combating hunger in emergency situations of conflict, natural disaster, and chronic food insecurity.



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