Unprecedented flooding in Chad hits more than 340,000 people

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© Aurélie Bazzara-Kibangula / RFI

Flooding due to torrential rains across Chad has affected more than 340,000 people, a report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has found.

The flooding has destroyed nearly 2,700 hectares of crops and farming land, increased food insecurity.

The numbers of those affected by rains have gone up by 90,000 people since last year, says OCHA.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) is working with local and national aid workers to help those in need.

“The rainy season lasts until October but the humanitarian situation we are witnessing now is already critical,” says Anne Kathrin Schaefer, IOM Chad chief of mission.

Climate change

While Chad, a landlocked country in the Sahel, receives periods of heavy rainfall each year, this latest development is unprecedented with an increase in rainfall as well as bigger changes in the amount of precipitation.

Those in the rural areas have been caught off guard as these extreme weather patterns are a result of climate change.

OCHA announced earlier this month that 22 people had been killed due to heavy rains.

UN agencies have signaled the urgency of this situation, but have limited funding to help the displaced and hungry.

“As the rains continue, we expect that more people will be displaced but all humanitarian actors are already running out of emergency stocks to assist people,” says OCHA’s Schaefer.

As of August, only 33 percent of the humanitarian funding required for Chad in 2022 has been received.

In a joint flash appeal, the Government of Chad and the humanitarian community are calling for 5.2 million euros to provide shelter, basic necessities, and protection to those affected by the floods.