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A rapid response to flooding in Mali

  • by Milli Cooper
  • 10 Oct 19

Credit: Islamic Relief

Blog Post

Heavy rainfall in early May triggered devastating flash floods in Bamako city, Mali. Over a dozen people lost their lives in the deluge, which also damaged and destroyed homes. Start Fund awarded funds to Islamic Relief and Save the Children to rapidly reach those affected with cash vouchers for food and essential items.

Stories of survival by Islamic Relief

Lamine Traore was carried from his flooded bedroom in Mali’s capital city. He and others talk about their experience of flash flooding and the lifeline Islamic Relief provided in the aftermath.

Start Network member, Islamic Relief, helped eighty-year old Ba Lamine Traore to buy food and essential items.

“When the disaster happened, I was powerless. I was sitting on my bed. I was completely submerged by water,” says Ba Lamine Traore.

His landlord, Moussa Diakite, explains that mobility problems had left the eighty-year old unable to escape his bedroom as it flooded.

“Water rose above my waist, so my children came and carried me out,” adds Ba Lamine Traore, who lost his stock of food to the floodwaters. “It caused so much damage. Even today I am still suffering from this disaster, I swear to God.”

Islamic Relief, one of just a handful of humanitarian organisations operating in the area, was there to assist Ba Lamine Traore. His household was one of 368 that received money to buy food supplies and items like soap, clothing, and cooking utensils through a rapid response funded by the Start Fund.

Awa Diarra receiving her money, with which she has replaced her family’s food stocks.

“We lost all our food stocks,” says Awa Diarra, who is also aged 80 and received cash support. “[With the] money I have received I am going to buy millet, rice, soap, clothes and oil.”

The disaster wreaked food supplies and clothing belonging to Yoru Doumbia’s family. It also damaged parts of their house.

“[The assistance] will help me with my children’s school fees. I will buy food, clothes, and anything that I lost which I can afford [to replace],” he says.

The emergency project implemented by Islamic Relief Somalia was made possible through the support of the Start Fund and met the immediate needs of 6000 people in 45 days.

Further flooding within the country in early September saw the Start Fund disburse further rapid response funding to Islamic Relief, Plan International and Action Against Hunger.

Use the Start Fund interactive mapping tool to browse through global Start Fund projects


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  • by Milli Cooper

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