Big thanks to everyone for your donations to help the flood victims in Benin.
We raised $6000 through our Benin Flood Relief Campaign. Your support was truly appreciated. You can download a PDF report and more photos here.
The funds helped over 300 families in 39 villages, roughly 2200 individuals. Each family received a share of 18,000 tons of corn and other food products to help alleviate famine, as the flood destroyed many crops, homes and other properties.
To ensure the funds would go where they were needed most, I met with representatives of several other organizations already on the ground. The Red Cross, a delegation from the World Bank Group, and the Benin Ministry of Interior were kind enough to share their reports with me and help orient my efforts.
For once, politics were a blessing in an African country. Due to the upcoming elections in Benin, all the presidential candidates rushed to make monetary and in-kind donations to the flood victims (on camera of course), aiming to take advantage to gain publicity.
Most of the southern towns where homes were destroyed and families displaced received attention from the politicians. Unfortunately, many towns not seen as important to the electoral votes were ignored, including most of the northern provinces.
We decided that our main focus should be to help those families affected by flooding but not reached by aid. BEF local staff and a Peace Corps Volunteer worked intensively to identify families in areas recommended by the Red Cross, and distributed food to 39 villages in Northern Benin on November 28-29, 2010. Thanks to some local help, the transportation cost to deliver the food to the victims was minimal.
We have some funds remaining and plan to help additional villages identified in the coastal areas, near Porto Novo, where mosquito nets are still needed.
About the Floods
You may have seen pictures or read stories about the flood in Benin; in late rainy season during September and October 2010, numerous families lost their homes, farms (crops), due to unanticipated rain that caused serious flooding throughout the country of Benin. There were also many deaths among the losses.
The majority of the homes destroyed and the deaths occurred in the Southern villages but farms were wiped across the entire country. Most articles made no mention of lost crops which is very important as it has already created food crises in some areas of the country and will have a longer lasting effect on the families. A food crisis, triggered by the flood, is anticipated in the spring though the summer months in Benin.
Many thanks to all of you from the BEF Board in US, the staff in Benin, and the families that received your generous donations.
- Alphonse Kouagou, BEF Founder who traveled to Benin in November