Nearly 400,000 people affected by the floods in Chad
The 2020 rainy season has been marked by record rainfall in the Sahel and most of Chad. A total of 20 out of 23 provinces are affected by the floods in Chad, mainly the central, eastern and southern provinces. Across the country, and based on government statistics and humanitarian partners’, some 64,670 households (or 388,000 people) have been affected in one way or another by the floods this year. Floods caused the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people as well as the loss of food stocks (especially cereals) of affected households. In addition, as reported by the Food Security cluster, hundreds of thousands of hectares of cultivated land have been destroyed, thousands of cattle have been washed away, and storekeepers’ stocks in flooded markets have been seriously affected.
Floods do not spare the capital N’Djamena
Following heavy rains in August and September, over 32,000 people (or 5,812 households) were initially affected by the flooding in N’Djaména. Many of the victims, who lost their homes to the floods, have been hosted by family members and friends in less affected areas of the capital. About 100 households have been relocated to the Tradex site.
Affected populations urgently need food, WASH, non-food items (NFI) and livelihoods. Last September, MSF, WFP, ONASA, UNICEF and UNHCR provided food and NFI assistance to 2,648 affected households in the 1st, 7th, 9th and 10th arrondissements. During the month of October, ONASA, with logistical support from WFP, continued food distributions to 2,257 additional households in the same districts in N’Djaména; the NGO Qatar Charity also provided food kits (sugar, rice, oil) but also mats, insecticide-treated mosquito nets, soap and buckets to the victims.
Regarding the Tradex temporary site, the Government funded the construction of emergency shelters with technical support from UNHCR. UNICEF provided tarpaulins and built around 30 showers and toilets with the support of OXFAM; hygiene and sanitation awareness activities were conducted by IRC. Management and improvement activities are underway, particularly the distribution of solar lights (IOM), the installation of 14 solar lampposts throughout the site (IOM), the improvement of shelters through the construction of doors and windows (IOM), the creation and facilitation of child-friendly spaces (UNICEF and IOM), health care (currently, people at the site are forced to go to far-away health centers); strengthening security on the site and raising awareness among security officers on humanitarian and protection principles (including GBV, child protection and PSEA), and raising awareness among communities on specific protection risks to which flood-affected people are exposed (Cluster Protection). Given the temporary nature of the site, which must be vacated by December, there are still many medium-term actions to be undertaken, such as the development of an exit strategy (humanitarian actors and the Government); an assessment of the health needs of the affected people (MSF-Holland); sensitization of disaster victims on the closure of the site by December (humanitarian actors and authorities). Humanitarian partners continue to work with the Government through its Crisis Committee to follow up on the situation and monitor the response provided and still required.
3 000 N'Djamenois affected by the flooding of the Logone river
On the night of 29-30 October, the rupture of a dyke in Toukra, in the 9th arrondissement of N’Djaména, caused flooding in this neighborhood, located along the Logone river. A joint mission comprising United Nations agencies, NGOs, the Governor of N’Djaména and SPONGAH visited the flooded area on 30 October to rapidly assess the damages. According to figures provided by SPONGAH (not yet been taken into account by the Crisis Committee and not included in the official count of 32,000 people affected in the capital), the current toll is 3,000 new affected people, hundreds of them are now homeless with important needs in food, essential household items, WASH, and shelter. Some people settled on an old site built in 2012 in Toukra, while others settled on a vacant lot located in front of the 9th arrondissement municipality. The Government has provided initial emergency assistance through ONASA, which is in the process of preparing an equitable distribution of food kits between the IDPs at Tradex and the newly affected people. The humanitarian community is planning the next steps of the response to support the efforts of the Government of Chad to alleviate the suffering of the affected people in N’Djaména. A meeting of the Crisis Committee will be held early in November to determine the extent of the humanitarian response to be provided.
The Lac province is facing a double security and environmental crisis
Since the beginning of 2020, the Lac Province has been the theatre of recurrent attacks and incursions by non-state armed groups. The upsurge in attacks prompted the Chadian government in March 2020 to declare the departments of Fouli and Kaya "war zones". The volatile security situation, combined with flooding caused by heavy rains, has disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, forcing them to leave their villages and communities.
Heavy rains and the subsequent rising waters flooded fields and villages and contributed to increased insecurity. In addition to the 33,000 people directly affected by the floods, 11,380 hectares of cultivated land, belonging to 55,645 farmers, were destroyed and will therefore not be able to produce the food necessary for the subsistence of their owners and their families.
In mid-October, a severe storm hit the Baga Sola sub-prefecture, causing extensive damage to IDP and refugee sites, including the Dar es Salaam refugee camp. The CCCM / Shelter-NFI sub-cluster undertook several assessments at the affected sites to identify people’s priority needs and plan the required assistance. An assessment conducted at the Dar Al Kheir IDP site reported seven injured and 1,368 shelters destroyed, affecting 6,840 people. Around 100 shelters have already been rebuilt by the victims using materials recovered from the rubble. The CCCM / Shelter-NFI sub-cluster is reviewing the results of the assessments in order to plan the next steps of the response in light of the growing need for additional assistance.
Mayo-Kebbi East: a province ravaged by heavy flooding
Since July 2020, the province of Mayo-Kebbi East has been severely affected by torrential rains causing extensive flooding in riverside localities, as well as in other villages located inland. The most affected departments are Mayo-Boneye, Mayo-Lémié, Kabia and Mont-Illi. In light of the extent of the damage and following the recommendation of the inter-cluster coordination (ICC), a joint multisectoral assessment mission (humanitarian agencies and government technical services) took place from 4 to 11 October to assess the needs of communities and plan emergency assistance, in support of the efforts of the provincial authorities and the Government of Chad.
The number of flood-affected people in the 33 villages visited or monitored is estimated at 66,997, including 31,943 people in need of emergency assistance. The most affected sectors in terms of severity are WASH, education, health, shelter, food security and protection. In addition, residents living by the Logone river have expressed the urgent need to build durable dykes along the river to prevent the situation from repeating itself in the future.
In terms of response, insecticide-treated mosquito nets were distributed in July by UNICEF through the Chadian Red Cross, but not all needs could be met. The French Red Cross provided a motorized pirogue to the Chadian Red Cross and plans to finance two other non-motorized pirogues for two villages (Goum and Dougoul). On the basis of the identification of needs carried out, an initial assistance from the inter-agency contingency stock was provided to the flood-affected people of Mayo-Kebbi East, of tarpaulins, blankets, plastic mats, basic family water kits, mosquito nets, and soap.
The impact of floods on food security and livelihoods
At the national level, heavy rains have destroyed 150,000 hectares of cultivated land and caused the loss of 10,000 cattle as well as of cereal stocks of affected households, posing a serious threat to the country's food security. Of the 353,136 people in need of food assistance in flood-affected provinces, 255,570 (or 72%) have already received assistance in food (ONASA) or High Energy Biscuits (PAM). In contrast, of the 353,136 people in need of livelihood support in flood-affected provinces, none have received any assistance so far.
It is important to support households that have lost agricultural production during the rainy season with inputs for the off-season, in order to allow them to have cash crops that allow them to meet, at least partially, their food needs and have minimum access to basic social services. If emergency livelihood support is not delivered on time to this part of the population, the risk of them remaining dependent on food assistance until next year's rainfed harvest is very high. In addition, if these households are not reached by emergency food assistance, along with health care for children and for pregnant and breastfeeding women affected by malnutrition, the risk of them adopting harmful food strategies will be very high and could lead to a significant increase in global acute malnutrition rates.
The humanitarian community and the Government have started to draw lessons learned from this year, in order to plan a better risk mitigation strategy for the years to come, which will prevent the occurrence of similar disasters or at least mitigate their effects.