On 16th May 2017, Bangassou, in the south-east of the Central African Republic, was attacked by an armed group. About 100 people were killed in the attack and nearly 8,000 people fled their neighbourhood to the city church they considered safer for them and their families.
Two days after the attack, ACTED teams visited the area to identify the needs of displaced families.
Displaced people used an old well with unsafe water for drinking and washing, and there were no toilets on the site. In a hurry, many families did not carry essential items (mattresses, blankets, cans, saucepans) and were forced to sleep on the floor, with no mosquito nets that were essential during the rainy season. Apart from a clinic set up by another humanitarian actor, no service was available at the time and the insecurity on the surrounding roads prevented people from going out to buy commodities or equipment.
After an assessment of the needs has been completed and shared with all humanitarian actors in the Central African Republic, ACTED has coordinated with other humanitarian organisations active in the locality to implement an efficient response.
The needs assessment and ACTED’s response were carried out under the UNICEF-funded “Rapid Response Mechanism” programme. Under this programme, ACTED monitors the humanitarian situation in the south-eastern region of the Central African Republic (attacks by armed groups on villages, displacements of populations, etc.) and alerts the humanitarian community when events occur. Needs assessments are shared with all stakeholders in order to support the organisation of the response and direct interventions to respond to the most urgent needs. If no actor is present in the affected locality or is unable to intervene, the steering committee of the mechanism may mandate ACTED for rapid intervention with the distribution of essential goods and activities for the improvement of the environment, access to water, hygiene and sanitation.
ACTED has sent kits containing basic items (soaps, tarps, blankets, mosquito nets, kitchen items, articles) from its operational base in Bambari in the center of the country, that have been distributed to families on sites. Emergency toilets and showers have also been built and ACTED has identified among the displaced people, contact persons who have been trained and have received the necessary equipment to clean the sanitary facilities. Finally, ACTED has taken care of the delivery of water from the nearest river to the sites, using trucks and water tanks. Once on the sites the water was stored in bladders and chlorinated to ensure that it was clean for consumption.