Chad – Thousands Affected by Floods in Five Regions

Flooding in Chad has affected thousands of people across the regions of Tandjilé, Mandoul, Ennedi-Ouest, N’Djamena and Batha over the last few weeks. More rain is forecast, increasing fears of a repeat of the flooding of 2020, which caused widespread damage and affected over 300,000 people.

Flooding struck in south-western Tandjilé Region in late June 2021, where 5 people died and 231 were injured. Furthermore around 4,413 houses were destroyed and over 30 educational and health buildings were severely damaged or destroyed. Livestock also suffered. The UN said the damage in Tandjilé Prefecture left 20,000 people in need of shelter, food, and health assistance.

Since then the NGO MSF-Holland deployed a medical team and the French Red Cross worked with the national Red Cross to provide emergency assistance. European Union donor European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) pledged 350,000 EUR for the response to flood-affected people in Tandjilé.

In Ennedi-Ouest region, flooding on 07 July destroyed almost 100 homes and damaged a further 120 in communities of Wadi Doum, causing severe hardship. The International Organization for Migration conducted a rapid assessment mission and provided food and other relief items.

Heavy rain on 18 July caused flooding in Koumra in Mandoul Region. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said caused one person died and several were wounded. Furthermore as many as 1,588 houses collapsed as a result of the rain and floods.

Flooding also affected parts of the capital, N’Djamena, when 53 mm of rain fell on 23 July 2021. Roads were rendered impassable and some buildings were damaged, mostly in the north of the city.

It was a similar picture in the city of Ati, capital of Batha Region, where heavy rain on 27 July swamped roads and damaged buildings. There have been no reports of casualties in Ati or N’Djamena.

Weather forecasts project heavy rains for the next two weeks. OCHA said, “this could result in floods of the Sudanese and Sudanese-Sahelian areas with overall precipitations of 700mm. OCHA continues to monitor the situation.”

In a recent report When the desert becomes flooded – Climate change in Chad, the United Nations said that Chad is “one of the world’s most environmentally degraded countries, particularly its western, northern and eastern provinces.”

The UN explained that “climate change exacerbates weather variability, meaning droughts and floods are increasing.” Temperature increases are projected to be 1.5 times higher than in the rest of the world, yet last year’s rainy season was marked by record rainfall in most of Chad and across the Sahel.

Floods in N’Djamena, Chad, August 2020. Photo: IOM