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2010.12.24

* UNICEF provides supplies and support for rehabilitation of schools in post-flood Benin
* 시간: 03 min 18 secs
* 촬영도시: Ganvie
* 촬영국가: Benin
* 촬영일자: 15 Dec 2010


In the past 2 months, Benin has experienced one of the worst floods since the 1960's.


Today, most of the water has receded and the United Nations, along with the government of Benin, are putting in place a longer-term response to the crisis.


In Benin, around 8 percent of the schools have been partially of totally destructed. Around 105 000 school children cannot benefit from a regular school year.Many schools are still inaccessible. In some places children sometimes started school in very harsh conditions.


In Ganvie for instance, a lake district of South Benin, the fast flowing water has caused the collapse of 3 classrooms.


The director had to relocate the children in those left still standing.


SOUNDBITE (French) David Houngbadji, director of Ganvie School group 1C:
"In this classroom, we have in fact the children of two classrooms, each of them had around 90 children before the floods. Now in this very room, we teach a class of 185 children, we don't even have the bench to sit them all, it's seriously difficult."


In other places, where the buildings have held firm, the classrooms themselves have been damaged by the water.In Gogbo, a village near the river Oueme, Ambroise Vignon Botondji, the director,still moans at the sight of the spoiled material in his classroom.


SOUNDBITE (French) Ambroise Vignon Botondji, director of the school :
"Every single school books we had to start the school year has been completely ruined by the floods, it all drowned. We only just received some material from the government to start the classes."


To help children get back to school as soon as possible, Unicef has started distributing school kits to the ones who lost everything in the floods.The distribution has just started in schools in the hardest hit villages, located next to the Oueme river.In Hetin Sotta for instance, some 450 children received books, pens and a school bag.


SOUNDBITE (French) Sulpice Dossou, UNICEF's education specialist:
"Parents have lost vast pieces of cultivable land, and some recoltes have been lost, so entire families are left without resources. In those conditions, when the school year finally started, they had no means to buy their children the necessary material."


An additional 100 000 school kits are to be distributed, and schools are slowly being rehabilitated.


For those lucky enough to go to school, the flooding has made the path even more difficult.


The good news is, improvements underway could lead to more children attending class rooms.

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