Go to main content

Landing strip repairs in the Central African Republic to access the most vulnerable people

Emergency

Since January 2016, Handicap International has repaired landing strips across the Central African Republic. Implemented in coordination and conjunction with humanitarian organizations, including the United Nations and NGOs, this initiative aims at improving the distribution of humanitarian aid to the country’s most isolated regions.

The inhabitants of Sibut around the first plane landing on the runway since its rehabilitation.

The inhabitants of Sibut around the first plane landing on the runway since its rehabilitation. | Handicap International

To facilitate access to the most remote regions of the Central African Republic, Handicap International has repaired 12 landing strips since January 2016, in cooperation with humanitarian air services (UNHAS, ASF, CICR, MSF) working in the country.

This repair work is vital to enable the most vulnerable people to access humanitarian aid. The multifaceted crisis affecting the Central African Republic since 2014 has placed 2.5 million people - more than half of the country's population - in an extremely precarious situation, according to the United Nations. Many of these vulnerable people live in areas that are very difficult to access.

Around 230 to 250 local workers are employed on each landing strip. The work lasts between 3-15 days, depending on the size and state of the strip. Weeds are removed from 50,000 sq.m. of land on average and repairs are made to the beaten-earth strip.

Between January and March 2016, Handicap International offered logistical support to more than 20 humanitarian organizations including Action contre la Faim, International Medical Corps, and Solidarités International.

At the end of March 2016, Handicap International prepared the transport of 42 tonnes of humanitarian aid by 115 flights planned by the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) and Aviation Sans Frontières across the Central African Republic.

In tonnes distributed, the proportion of humanitarian aid transported by air is not huge, but due to problems on the ground, it’s an essential component of humanitarian operations in the Central African Republic. The roads are in an extremely bad state, and sometimes it takes three weeks for a truck to get from Birao to Bangui,” explains Allan Bernard, coordinator of Handicap International’s logistics platform in the Central African Republic. “In extreme emergencies, in areas that are difficult to access, the distribution of humanitarian aid by air is the most efficient way - indeed the only way - to reach those worst affected.”


FOCUS: TIRINGOULOU

In Tiringoulou, Handicap International’s logistical work centered on repairing the town’s landing strip. In March 2016, 230 people, including 80 women, were employed to weed a 69-170 sq.m. area to bring the strip back into operation.

In the first quarter of 2016, Handicap International’s airport pre-positioning service helped UNHAS distribute 12 tonnes of humanitarian aid by air to Tiringoulou, and provided the town’s population with access to medication and essential non-food items.

Tiringoulou is a town with more than 50,000 inhabitants in the north-east of the Central African Republic, close to the border with Chad. As a result of the crisis, the border has been closed and people are no longer able to access supplies of food and non-food items. The risk of malnutrition among the local population is now higher.

The state of the town’s landing strip and poor safety standards made it extremely difficult to regularly supply the town with humanitarian aid.


MAP : AIRSTRIPS REHABILITATED BY HANDICAP INTERNATIONAL

 

Where your
support
helps

PRESS CONTACT

CANADA

Gabriel PERRIAU

USA

Mica BEVINGTON

 

Help them
concretely

To go further

Covid-19: HI distributes food kits to more than 1,800 families in Pakistan
© HI
Emergency Health

Covid-19: HI distributes food kits to more than 1,800 families in Pakistan

More than 140,000 people have been affected by Covid-19 in Pakistan. Humanity & Inclusion (HI) is assisting the most vulnerable individuals, including Afghan refugees.

Covid-19 in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan: an alarming situation
© HI
Emergency

Covid-19 in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan: an alarming situation

Humanity & Inclusion (HI) works in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, where Covid-19 is spreading at an alarming rate.

HI assisting thousands of Venezuelan refugees in Colombia
© HI
Emergency

HI assisting thousands of Venezuelan refugees in Colombia

Some 1.8 million Venezuelans have fled their country to live in Colombia. Humanity & Inclusion (HI) provides these vulnerable individuals and their host communities with emergency assistance.