Central African Republic – Floods Cause Fatalities, Hundreds of Homes Destroyed

Torrential rain in parts of Central African Republic caused damage and flash flooding in the capital Bangui and other regions of the the country from 21 July 2022. Strong winds were also reported, downing trees and causing further damages. At least 13 people have died or are missing, and thousands of houses have been flooded or destroyed.

Flood damage in Bangui, Central African Republic, July 2022. Photo: Croix-Rouge Centrafricaine

According to local media reports, heavy rain and flash flooding affected the capital Bangui and surrounding areas. The city recorded 183 mm of rain in 48 hours to 23 July 2022.

At least 3 children were reported missing after being swept away on the floods in two separate incidents. Six people were taken to hospital to be treated for injuries sustained during the severe weather. Around 250 homes collapsed and many more were damaged or flooded, leaving thousands homeless. Some of those left homeless took refuge in religious buildings or schools. There were no reports that the Ubangi River had broken its banks.

Severe weather also affected other areas of the country. In the prefecture of Lobaye, situated south of the capital, 9 people from the same family died in the village of Bouchia due to falling trees. Further north in Haute-Kotto prefecture, heavy rain caused the walls of a house to collapse in Bria, leaving one person dead and 3 injured.

The government and Red Cross are carrying out full damage assessments and the numbers of affected could increase.

Bangui saw severe flooding in May last year, and again in August. Lack of an adequate drainage system and channels often blocked with waste and garbage increase the risk of flooding in the city.

Flooding from overflowing rivers from October 2019 affected over 100,000 people in Bangui and in the prefectures of Basse-Kotto, Lobaye, Mbomou, Nana-Gribizi, Ombella M’Poko, Ouaka and Ouham.