|A horse-drawn cart trudges through muddy water in a flooded region of Dakar.
|Operation Blessing provided $10,000 worth of aid to flood victims - supplying over 50 percent of the relief coming from Action Compassion's faith-based partners.
- Officials have called an end to the need for flood relief
efforts as waters recede from low-lying suburbs in West Africa.
Operation Blessing, along with a local church organization, the Fraternité Evangelique
du Senegal and United World Mission, formed the group ‘Action Compassion’ to bring aid to
thousands of flood victims living in unofficial refugee camps.
"We focused our efforts on reaching those in the unofficial sites," said Jon Cassel,
OBI’s regional representative in Dakar. "They received very little as most of the efforts by
the government were concentrated on the already full official sites."
After nearly a month of torrential rains last August, residents of Dakar found themselves
bailing water out of their homes and wading inches deep through muddied streets. Mosquitoes bred
in the stagnant, sewage-filled waters, and cholera cases became common throughout the city.
Thousands fled to government camps for relief, but over-crowding forced many to seek shelter in
unused buildings and other unofficial sites.
OBI purchased rice, cereals, milk, mosquito netting, medicines, and various cleaning supplies
and distributed aid to those evacuees living in unofficial camps.
In addition to the distribution of goods, OBI with Action Compassion, organized medical teams
and treated victims at clinics in various locations. A local volunteer coordinator told OBI teams
that although many people and organizations had passed through, none had returned to bring aid to
the camps. Only OBI, with Action Compassion, had returned as promised to the unofficial camps.
"We had several women come up to us, with tears in their eyes and voices breaking, expressing
their thanks to us from the bottom of their hearts," Cassel said.
When OBI made their final distribution at the end of December, relief activities officially came
to a close. "Fraternité Evangelique leaders have asked the committee to become 'inactive,' ready to
spring into action for any future needs in any number of areas," he said.
"It was a pleasure to work with the Action Compassion committee. We were able to accomplish much
thanks to Operation Blessing making it possible," he added.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
You can help by making an online donation toward OBI's disaster relief efforts. With your support, we can continue to provide emergency relief and recovery. Please make an on-line donation today.
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