Benin – Over 40 Dead, 1,300 Households Displaced After Weeks of Flooding

Over 40 people have lost their lives and hundreds of homes have been destroyed by flooding in Benin since September this year.

Floods in Adhamè in Benin, September 2022. Photo: Agence Nationale de Protection Civile Benin

According to reports from the Benin Red Cross and International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) significant rain fell throughout September 2022 in Benin.

Several rivers including the Mono, Oueme and Niger broke their banks. The situation was worsened by the release of waters from the the Nagbéto dam in Togo.

High levels of the Niger river among others have also resulted in widespread flooding in neighbouring countries Niger, where over 160 people have died, and Nigeria, where 1.3 million have been displaced and 603 people have died.

Flooding was reported in 27 municipalities (out of 77) in Benin, impacting the lives of thousands. The 10 most affected municipalities are: Athieme (20,326 people affected), Bonou (20,519), Karimama (15,087) and Zagnanado (6,584). Other significant impacts were in Ouesse (124 people affected), Savalou (1,590), Zogbodomey (1,683), Tchaourou (850), Dangbo (2,700) and Ze (1,807).

According to Benin’s National Civil Protection Agency (ANPC) as many as 41 people lost their lives as a result of the flooding, with 3 people reported missing.

Over 73,000 people have been affected and close to 1,400 houses damaged by the waters, including at least 670 that have been completely destroyed. Around 1,328 households have been rendered homeless by the damage or destruction of their homes. Over fifty primary schools and a dozen colleges were also submerged by floods and 11 health centres have been closed.

Significant livestock losses were recorded and around 18,769 hectares of crops and farmland flooded.

The Red Cross reported significant damage to roads, bridges, and dams which will likely impact the livelihoods of communities and the socio-economic fabric, as well as restrict population movement and access by relief agencies.

Previously flooding affected parts of the country in August this year. Civil Protection reported the overflow of the Klou river in Gobada district, Savalou commune, Collines department on 15 August 2022. More than a dozen houses were destroyed, creating more than a hundred homeless, Civil Protection said. Media, quoting local officials said 2 people died, and crops, roads, a bridge were damaged or destroyed. Some areas of the region are cut off and inaccessible by road. Little rain was reported in the area, although some parts of the country have seen heavy rain from around mid-August.

On 29 August IFRC reported heavy rainfall has caused flooding in several towns across the country. The Oueme river broke it banks in Zagnanado around mid-August. An overflowing river damaged a bridge and road connection near Nikki on 26 August 2022.

Flood damage in Gobada District, Colines Department, Benin, August 2022. Photo: Agence Nationale de Protection Civile