Many villages in Benin regularly face flooding due to the rise of the Niger River, especially in areas where low-income housing structural vulnerability is very high. Homes are traditionally
built with mud and wood, using designs and materials that have low resistance to water.
Although there is regular annual flooding, the floods of September 2010 were the worst since 1963. They destroyed an estimated 55,000 houses and affected 680,000 people (8% of the population). Housing damage was largely caused by standing water, not the first impact. Most of the existing housing materials were not carried away by the flood. Many people were forced to leave their homes to find shelter
in collective centres or with host families, either outside of their villages or in non-affected areas. Three self-settled camps were also formed, where families built make-shift shelters.
This project assisted over 5,000 flood-affected households in two phases, with a specific focus on reducing vulnerabilities of women and girls. In the emergency phase, shelter repair kits were distributed to support returns and host families, along with unconditional cash grants. The longer-term recovery phase involved a range of multisectoral interventions to support returnees to rebuild their villages, including cash for work, technical training on Build Back Safer, and dissemination of key messages on land tenure, WASH activities and awareness of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) issues.
Read the full case study here.
Thank you to Shelter Projects for contributing this learning.
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