Massive Rain Floods Burkina Faso Capital

CRS is responding to flooding that has driven over 100,000 people from their homes in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso.

Working with the OCADES, the development organization of the Burkina Catholic church which has distributed blankets and paid for a breakfast that fed many of those left homeless, CRS personnel have visited many of the affected areas and are planning a larger response in coordination with the Burkina government and other aid groups.
As a major storm stalled over the city, more than 10 inches of rain poured down on Ouagadougou in a 12 hour period, breaking a record that had stood since 1919. The flooding has been devastating, particularly in poorer areas, the shantytowns around the city’s periphery and neighborhoods along drainage canals. Houses built of mud bricks have collapsed and the national hospital was flooded.

Many of those affected have moved in with relatives but others have gathered in public places including schools and churches. CRS is working to get help to these people.

CRS has been in Burkina Faso since 1960, shortly after its independence from France, when the country was known as Upper Volta. Staring with humanitarian and food aid, CRS now supports a wide variety of agriculture, education, health and microfinance programs in this West African country that is home to 15 million people.

– Michael Hill, CRS communications officer for Africa.

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