Central African Republic – Floods in 12 Prefectures Leave Thousands Displaced, 11 Dead

At least 11 people have died and thousands have lost their homes after weeks of flooding in Central African Republic (CAR).

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

The United Nations reported that 11 people have died in flooding that has affected wide areas of the country since June this year.

Flooding struck in areas of the capital Bangui in July 2022, where dozens of homes were damaged or destroyed. Local media reported in late September that high levels of the Oubangui river had resulted in flooding and damages in several districts of the city.

Severe flooding affected Vakaga prefecture from late August 2022, in particular affecting areas around the prefecture capital Birao. As of 05 September approximately 12,000 people were affected. Homes, schools, health facilities, latrines, water points all suffered damage and fields and crops were submerged. Almost all water points were also submerged and contaminated, leaving communities restricted access to drinking water.

By late September the UN reported flooding had affected 85,300 people, destroyed more than 2,600 houses and 18,500 hectares of crops, damaged numerous other infrastructures and displaced more than 6,000 people in 176 towns and villages across 12 of the country’s 17 prefectures.

The northern Vakaga Prefecture has been the hardest hit with 24,000 residents affected, followed by the capital Bangui (20,400) and the Ouham Prefecture (13,000). Floods and heavy rain also affected populations in the prefectures of Lobaye (150 people affected); Basse Kotto (150); Nana Mambéré (270); Ouaka (500); Mbomou (2,000); Nana Gribizi (5,000); Ouham Péndé (6,000); Bamingui Bangoran (6,000); and Ombella M’Poko (7,000).

According the the UN, the floods come at a time when humanitarian needs have increased exponentially across the country, with 63 per cent of the Central African population in need of assistance and protection.

As of late September, six schools were still occupied by flood victims, jeopardizing the start of the 2022-2023 school year for 10,000 children, the UN said.

Floods in Bangui, Central African Republic, July 2022. Phot credit: OCHA / Maxime Nama