Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Floods hit hundreds of thousands in Chad after heavy August rains

The Guardian (UK) via IRIN: Tens of thousands of people have been affected by flooding in parts of central, eastern and southern Chad following heavy rains in August. Thousands of hectares of crops and hundreds of houses have also been destroyed.

The floods have caused at least 13 deaths, affected 445,725 people and inundated about 255,720 hectares of cropland, according to a 3 September update by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Some 73,412 houses have been destroyed.

The flooding has come when Chad is still grappling with food insecurity. In late August, residents and officials in an affected area of the Mouraye department, in the south-eastern region of Salamat, told medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) that "this year's flooding in the area, although having lasted a shorter time than the flooding in 2010, is much more serious due to the extension of the floodwaters and the impact on crops," according to Stefano Argenziano, the head of Mission of MSF in Chad.

The flooding occurred after the Bahr Azoum wadi (river) breached its banks, affecting around 4,000 people in 37 different villages, according to the local authorities of the Mouraye department.

At present, all families previously displaced in the Mouraye area have returned home. But about 3,000 hectares of maize and 170 hectares of rice have been flooded for at least two weeks, Argenziano said, noting that residents had told MSF that the already precarious food-security situation there may be aggravated well into 2013 by the destruction of crops....

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