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SOS helps Benin flood victims

SOS helps Benin flood victims

SOS Children has launched an Emergency Relief Programme to support 500 children and families affected by flooding in Benin.

After Benin suffered the heaviest rainfall the West African country has seen in decades, SOS Children has decided to help children and their families in the municipality of Bonou, in the Ouémé district. Here, several hectares of crops have been destroyed, houses have been damaged and livestock killed. SOS Children will provide children and their families, some 500 people in total, with basic necessities such as food, mosquito nets, medical supplies, drinking water, blankets, and tents.

An alarming number of cholera infections have been recorded and sanitation has become the primary concern. As thousands of displaced people have taken shelter in public buildings, access to clean water is restricted or non-existent. The floods have lead to the contamination of water used for drinking and cooking, and health officials say that an outbreak of water-borne diseases - to which children are especially vulnerable - is likely.

Nearly two thirds of the West African country have been affected by the recent floods. More than 360,000 people have either lost their homes, been displaced, or were otherwise affected, according to UN sources. Unusually heavy seasonal rains, more than twice the normal amount, have caused a level of flooding that by far exceeds what the population is used to.

At present there are three SOS Children's Villages in Benin, two SOS Youth Homes, three SOS Nurseries, four SOS Schools, four SOS Social Centres, one SOS Medical Centre and a regional mother and staff training centre. One SOS Medical Centre is currently under construction and will start operation soon. SOS Children's Villages' facilities and programmes in Abomey-Calavi, Dassa-Zoumé and Natitingou are not affected.