Zambia – Families Displaced After More Floods in Luapula Province

Disaster authorities in Zambia report that flooding has recently affected Samfya district of Luapula province.

Flooding in destroyed a bridge in Samfya district, Luapula province, Zambia, March 2020. Photo: DMMU / Facebook

In a statement of 22 March, the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) said it is deeply saddened by the increasing number of people being displaced due to floods, with the latest being Samfya district of Luapula province.

According to DMMU National Coordinator Chanda Kabwe, approximately 700,000 people in a total of 28 districts have been affected by floods and are in need of relief support. DMMU said the affected provinces are North-western, Copperbelt, Luapula, Northern, Muchinga, Eastern, Western and Lusaka.

Mr. Kabwe added that flooding has damaged farmland and crops in 22 districts, which may lead to food insecurity.

In Samfya district of Luapula province, recent flooding has caused displacements and destroyed a bridge. Displaced families have been housed in camps or local public buildings. DMMU teams have been dispatched to assess the extent of damage.

DMMU said further heavy rain has affected Luapula, Northern, Muchinga and North western provinces from 17 March.

Flooding Since December 2019

Parts of Zambia have seen flooding since December last year. Recently flooding displaced hundreds of people in Eastern Province in early February 2020. This followed earlier waves of flooding in the province, first from late December 2019, and again in late January 2020.

In January, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) reported flooding in Gwembe and Siavonga districts in Southern Province, fearing it could aggravate the already fragile food insecurity situation, with more than 2.3 million people expected to be severely food insecure during the lean season following severe drought.

More recently satellite images revealed widespread flooding in northern parts of Zambia, with an estimated 7,000 people affected, including around 3,000 in Lunga District and also 1,500 in Samfya District, both in Luapula Province. Around 1,500 were estimated to be affected in Chilubi District, Northern Province.