Dakar — Tadateru Konoé, President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), recently paid a visit to families affected by severe flooding in Pikine Guinaw Rail, in the suburbs of Dakar, Senegal.
Although flood waters have receded, scenes of desolation remain. Dwellings lie in ruins, rubble and rubbish lay strewn on the ground.
"The rainy season is now over, but some houses are still flooded despite the pumping systems," said Amadou Niass, one of the one hundred Senegalese Red Cross Society volunteers mobilized to help residents cope with the devastation.
President Konoé expressed his support for the commitment and professionalism demonstrated by staff and volunteers from the organization. "I'm really impressed by the work and commitment of the Red Cross volunteers. The challenges are immense in this area, however, we will continue to support the Senegalese Red Cross Society to reinforce its efforts," he said.
Abdoul Aziz Diallo, president of the Senegalese Red Cross Society stressed that his team was always ready to help. "It is our role to assist the population in need, to try to reduce the risks, including those related to disease," he said.
In Senegal, the severity and magnitude of the damage caused by the floods in Dakar pushed the government to launch the "Plan ORSEC" (rescue organization) following the heavy rains on 26 August.
"We are supporting the plan initiated by the government," Diallo said. "In Pikine in particular, we have provided hygiene kits and mosquito nets to families in order to prevent malaria."
Prior to his visit in Pikine Guinaw Rail, Mr Konoé, who is also president of the Japanese Red Cross Society, met with officials from the Ministry of Health. He was also granted an audience with his Excellency, the Head of State, Maky Sall.
The IFRC President reiterated the commitment of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement to reinforce its efforts that aim to mitigate food insecurity and others disasters currently affecting Senegal. He also took advantage of the meeting to advocate in favour of more support from the government to the Senegalese Red Cross Society and the IFRC.