wednesday, september 26:
ShelterBox is sending disaster relief tents and other lifesaving supplies to families affected by the widespread flooding in Senegal through working with the West African country's First Lady's charity.
Foundation Servir Le Senegal (Fss) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ShelterBox, which outlines how the two humanitarian organisations are working in partnership to bring shelter to the most vulnerable displaced families in and around the capital Dakar.
'There is an exhibition centre in the capital that houses many homeless families. It seems fairly organised with medical centres, shared cooking facilities, well managed waste and fresh water on site,' said ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) member Ed Owen (UK). 'But the roof leaks every time it rains as it is not sealed making everything and everyone wet.
'Not only this but the centre has to be vacated in a few weeks time and there will still be nowhere for them to live.'
With the help and support from Fss, ShelterBox is sending disaster relief tents, solar lamps, ground sheets, water filters and carriers, and mosquito nets to Dakar from its headquarters in the UK, bringing shelter and dignity to families who lost everything in the floods.
SRT member Rick Commiso (US) lives in country and will be working closely with Fss to identify a suitable site to set up a camp housing the families in need.
'Through the MoU, it has been agreed that Fss will supply members of the Senegalese military to assist me in putting up the tents and organising the camp,' said Rick. 'I'll train the volunteers before the tents arrive so I can have a team at my disposal to set up the camp quickly and efficiently.'
tuesday, september 25:
The team carried out needs assessments of the affected areas but there is no immediate need as the displaced families are staying in schools and an exhibition centre until six weeks time when they will have to leave as schools start again. ShelterBox will reassess the situation in six weeks time. The team have returned, apart from Rick who lives in country and will continue to monitor the situation.
thursday, september 13:
Heavy rains in Senegal have caused widespread flooding in the capital Dakar and other regions, claiming over 15 people's lives and leaving thousands of families homeless.
A ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) has been assessing the need for emergency shelter in the West African country with assistance from the Senegal Red Cross. Working with Ed Owen (UK) and Rick Commiso (US), SRT member Sanchia Gallagher (UK) is on her first deployment:
'It has only been a few days into the deployment but already I feel like we have achieved a lot. We met with Ibrahima Taye Thome from the Red Cross who pointed us towards three schools, which were being used as temporary shelters for people who had to leave their homes because of the flooding. We visited two of the schools and it was obvious there was a need.
'Another site we went to on our first day was in the International Center for Foreign Trade of Senegal (CICES) in Dakar, where an Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camp has been set up that is currently housing 1,100 people.
'We were lucky enough to meet the First Lady, Marième Faye Sall, and also members of her charity, Foundation Servir Le Senegal, who were running the camp. Subsequently, we arranged a meeting with them to discuss the setting up of camps for further displaced families and the possible distribution of ShelterBox disaster relief tents.
'We are currently waiting to see further affected regions in the country where we can assess if any more aid is needed.
'It's been a really interesting and diverse couple of days and I have learnt so much already. Seeing the affected areas and families on the first day is humbling and really brings it home to you what ShelterBox can do to help people and what a difference the tents can make. And on the flip side, we were advised that many families want to remain in their homes and neighbourhoods and therefore will continue to live in the flooded areas.
'It's been great working with Ed, who has deployed many times, as I am learning from his experiences and feel comfortable and confident in getting involved, asking many questions and also offering my own opinions and suggestions.
'It was exciting but daunting to get the call on Friday, but I'm happy to be able to put my training into practice and also hopefully we will be in a position next week where we could be setting up camps.
'Rick and Keri our interpreter have also been amazing and together we have really made a lot of progress in such a short amount of time.'
Floods continue to affect other parts of West Africa including Niger, where ShelterBox also has a Response Team working collaboratively with partners in the field to bring shelter to those families in need.
monday, september 10:
A ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) is assessing the need for emergency shelter in Senegal, following heavy rains that have caused flooding in various areas over the past few weeks.
Ibrahima Laye Thiome, the disaster management coordinator for the Senegalese Red Cross, contacted SRT member Rick Commiso (US) who lives in the West African country, requesting ShelterBoxes for the affected regions.
'Dakar, the capital, has been hit pretty hard,' said Rick. 'There are over 1,800 families displaced here who are currently staying in schools and other structures across the city.
'I visited one internally displaced persons (IDPs) camp that was housing 850 people equating to 175 families in a large warehouse-like building. At first I thought it was a pretty good set up as they are indoors. However, the roof is not sealed and when it rains everyone still gets wet. Also, I was told that by the end of this month or the next everyone will be forced to leave and most people will have nothing to return to.'
There are several more camps similar to this scattered throughout the city varying in size.
SRT members Ed Owen (UK) and Sanchia Gallagher (UK) have joined Rick in Senegal to assess the damage and need for emergency shelter and liaise with the Red Cross. back