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More than 35,000 people affected by floods in Benin

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A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

Benin has suffered from heavy rains in the past weeks, with 38 communes out of 77 suffering from rising waters with at least 9 flood related deaths and dozens more due to water-related accidents. Numerous socio-community infrastructures, including above fifty elementary school and a dozen colleges, were affected. In addition, several houses were destroyed or damaged, as well as crossing structures. Significant agricultural and livestock losses were recorded.

Following the intensification of heavy rains over the past two weeks, and the release of water at the Nagbeto dam, municipalities located on the coasts of the Mono, Ouémé and Niger rivers in Benin experienced a peak in the overflow of the river by mid-September. This situation led to widespread flooding in the Municipalities of Karimama, Malanville, Zangnanado, Zogbodomey, Ouinhi, Aguégués, Dangbo, Athiémé, Grand-Popo, and Zè, with several villages currently under water. This has placed these areas on red alert. It should also be noted that, according to Benin Meteorology, heavy rains will continue until the end of November 2021, and water is likely to be released from the Nagbeto dam in the coming days, which could worsen the situation.

A session of the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction was urgently convened by the Minister of Interior, Chairman of the Platform under the aegis of the Minister of State in charge of Development and Coordination of Government Action to review the situation. Following this session, a set of actionable recommendations were agreed with partners to reduce the exposure to floods and assist the affected families. These recommendations were officially submitted to Red Cross of Benin (RCB) on 17 September 2021. Since then, several municipalities have requested the intervention of Benin Red Cross, including the municipality of Zangnanado (one of the most affected localities), which made a request on 20 September. Municipalities called on the National Society (NS) to support with the relocation of the affected families to safe areas and provide immediate relief with through a range of services including shelter, WASH and basic needs, and to ensure diseases are prevented. The NS has completed a rapid assessment, through the local committees and started providing support by relocating the affected people to safe areas.