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Burkina Faso: Flash Appeal 2009
Living conditions for the majority of the inhabitants of Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, have been worsening considerably over the past two years, linked to the increasing number of people moving from rural areas to the city and higher than normal prices of food and fuel. By 2007, half the capital’s population was considered food insecure and this number has since been steadily rising. Torrential rainfall on 1 September 2009 resulted in extensive flooding throughout Ouagadougou.
Almost 300 ml of rain was recorded in a twelve-hour period, which is about one-third of the city’s annual rainfall. In order to ensure a rapid response to the damage caused by the floods, protect the lives and livelihoods of affected populations and prepare for further flooding given the forecasts for continued rain, the United Nations and partners launched the Burkina Faso Flash Appeal 2009, seeking USD 18 449 092. A key priority area identified in the appeal was support to agricultural production in order to improve food security among vulnerable households living in and around Ouagadougou.
Challenges facing food security and agriculture
An assessment conducted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on 3 September 2009 highlighted the considerable damage to crop fields and agricultural infrastructure in the areas surrounding Ouagadougou. The floods significantly affected the livelihoods of the already vulnerable small traders and small-scale producers in urban and peri-urban areas of Ouagadougou.
Some 25 000 homes were destroyed and 300 hectares of crops (including vegetable gardens and rice fields) were damaged by the flood waters. These families have lost their houses and their only sources of income and require urgent assistance to begin replanting.
As part of the United Nations and partners’ 2009 Flash Appeal for Burkina Faso, FAO has appealed for USD 1 050 000 to assist communities dependent on agriculture to resume their food production and income-generation capacity. The agriculture sector response will focus on restoring the livelihoods of flood-affected farming households living in urban and peri-urban areas of Ouagadougou to enable them to generate income and reduce their food insecurity.
The main activities undertaken will include: identification of the worst-affected households; procurement and distribution of seeds, fertilizers and farming tools; construction of wells; training on nutritional education; and dissemination of best practices for farming.