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09OUAGADOUGOU703 2009-09-03 12:23:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Ouagadougou
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1. Summary. The rains in Ouagadougou have stopped for the time
being, giving some much needed respite to the city. Nonetheless,
damage is wide-spread and over 150,000 people have lost their homes.
Relief efforts continue as the government and donors work to
identify present conditions, key needs and the most appropriate
responses. End Summary.

2. Prime Minister Zongo reported on TV and radio September 2nd that
the total number of people in Ouagadougou who have lost their homes
to the floods is 150,000. (This is about 10% of Ouaga total
population.) Of this number, 110,000 are being lodged in schools,
mosques, churches, government buildings, etc. Up to 20,000 more are
expected to be lodged in this manner, while another 20,000 are
estimated to have sought shelter with friends and relatives.

3. The Minister of Social Action reported that there were 93 such
temporary shelter sites but that this number was excessive and
difficult to support. She said that efforts are underway to
consolidate so that there are fewer sites to support. NGOs are
devising plan to divide up work among themselves to support specific

5. Survey work is underway to ascertain the extent of the damage to
bridges, dams, water drainage canals, etc. The Prime Minister said
that twelve city bridges suffered damage and three of these bridges
could no longer be used. The central hospital also suffered from
severe flooding and is not yet in operation.

6. The national water company says that city water is potable but
many parts of the city (include where the Embassy is located) still
do not have water. The electric company says its main generators
were flooded and it is working around the clock to restore
electricity to those parts of the city that are still without power.

7. Five flood-related deaths have been reported thus far, several
due to buildings collapsing on top of people. Yesterday, there were
reports of a couple of multi-story buildings collapsing. The
weather service reports that there is a strong probability that more
rain will fall within 24 hours.

8. Post is coordinating with local authorities and other donors on
how to best meet current and anticipated needs. Clearly the
government of Burkina Faso will need considerable help in trying to
alleviate the effects of this disaster.