The UN says thousands of people are forced to sleep outside and are without clean drinking water after ongoing floods damaged homes and water points in the Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville).
According to a recent report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), flooding that began in OCtober this year has now affected 8 of the 12 departments in the Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville).
The departments affected are Likouala, Cuvette, Plateaux, Sengha, Kouilou, Niari, Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire.
At least 170,000 people have now been affected by floods in Likouala, Cuvette and Plateaux departments alone. The government declared a state of natural disaster and humanitarian emergency in the 3 departments on 19 November 2019.
Flooding was caused by the overflow of the Oubangui and Congo rivers. Hundreds of villages along the river have been affected, many of which are completely submerged. Flooding has damaged infrastructure and impeded access to food, water, education and health care. Homes, schools and health centres in affected areas are flooded and only accessible by boat.
UN OCHA said “most water points and sanitation facilities are no longer functioning. Affected communities do not have access to safe drinking water, and hygiene and sanitation products are scarce, exacerbating the risks of contamination and epidemics caused by water and mosquitoes (typhoid, cholera, malaria).
“The floods destroyed or damaged many houses in affected areas and most families sleep outside. These people need emergency shelter, insulation and essential non-food items (jerry cans, treated mosquito nets, mats, etc.).
“Significant crop and livestock losses have also been reported. Half of the crop areas are flooded, and unharvested production destroyed, including cassava fields, a staple food. The next harvest will not take place until the last quarter of 2020. Losses are also significant in the breeding and fishing sectors. Food reserves are already quickly running out.”
The UN recently reported that flooding in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo has affected around 600,000 people. Along Congo Brazzaville’s northern border, parts of Central African Republic have also been affected during the same period.
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Landslides in Bundibugyo district in Western Region, Uganda, November 2019. Photo; Uganda Red Cross
Landslides in Bundibugyo district in Western Uganda have affected around 4,000 people and destroyed almost 350 homes.
Landslides have affected the district since mid-November. On 13 November, Uganda Red Cross said areas of Bundibugyo Town council as well as Tokwe, Bukonzo and Busaru sub-counties were all affected.
Recent reports from Uganda media said say that 349 homes have been destroyed and 4,000 people affected. According to the reports, the worst hit areas are Bundimulinga and Hikitara villages in Tokwe sub-county, Hamutoma, Humya villages in Bundibugyo and Buhundu in Bukonzo sub-county.
Affected communities are in need of shelter, wash facilities, food and other supplies, according to the Red Cross.
Roads have been cut and several bridges in the affected area destroyed, disrupting the transport network. Crops have also suffered damage.
At least 3 people died in nearby Kasese District, Western Region, after a house collapsed due to a landslide that occurred after a heavy on 30 October, 2019.
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Courtesy of Kenya Red Cross
Hours of heavy rain in western Kenya triggered massive landslides and flash floods in West Pokot County on 23 November, 2019.
The government of West Pokot County said that, as of 24 November, 54 people have been confirmed dead and 46 people are still missing. Sixteen survivors have been admitted to Kapenguria County Referral Hospital.
County officials said the catastrophic landslides hit Tapach, Weiwei and Batei Wards of West Pokot. Houses were damaged or destroyed by the gushing rivers of sludge, boulders and uprooted trees. Authorities said that more than 10,500 people have been displaced and there is an urgent need for humanitarian assistance.
The county government said that a multi-agency team comprising Kenya Defence Forces, Kenya Police, Kenya Red Cross and County Disaster Management Unit are on the ground. A medical team is also expected from Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital. Psychosocial support desk has been set up at Kapenguria County Referral Hospital.
Roads have been cut and bridges wiped out, severely hindering rescue and relief operations.
Heavy rain has also caused flooding and landslides in other areas of the country, including Taita Taveta, Tana River, Meru and Uasin Gishu counties.
Kenya Red Cross said that “Rains continue to pound Taita Taveta with heavy downpour experienced at the highlands of Wundanyi, Rongé and Vuria. Landslides have been reported at Mbengonyi, Mndangenyi, Msau and Mbale.”
In Tana River County, Kenya Red Cross reported that over 1,000 households have been displaced in Ziwani and other locations after the Tana River burst its banks.
According to Red Cross reports, a number of houses have been reportedly swept away after river Thanantu broke its banks in Mikinduri in Meru County. Families have been displaced in Turbo, Uasin Gishu County, after the Turbo River broke its banks.
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The World Food Program (WFP) reports that flooding has affected around 50,000 people in parts of the Republic of the Congo, also called Congo-Brazzaville.
Flooding began around the end of October. Media reported that thousands of houses and other buildings including schools have been severely damaged or washed away. Roads and infrastructure also suffered damage. According to local media, wide areas of crops have been destroyed causing concern about food shortages.
Much of the flooding has occurred in low-lying areas along the Ubangi river (also known as Oubangui) in the northern departments of Likouala and Cuvette, and where the Ubangi and Congo rivers meet in the central Plateaux department.
Flood water reached roof level in some areas and residents have moved to higher ground. A state of natural disaster has been confirmed by the Congo-Brazzaville government.
Levels of the Ubangi river upstream from Congo-Brazzaville have been high for several weeks now. In late October the river broke its banks flooding wide areas of Central African Republic. By mid-November around 60,000 people had been affected.
Around 40,000 people were displaced by flood waters from the river in Sud-Ubangi and Nord-Ubangi provinces in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
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A building is almost entirely submerged in water in the Cité Kolongo neighborhood of Bangui in the Central African Republic. Photo: Itunu Kuku/NRC
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) reports that flooding has affected thousands of people in the provinces of Haut-Uélé and Tshopo in the north of Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Meanwhile ongoing floods in neighbouring Central African Republic have destroyed 10,000 homes and affected almost 60,000 people, according to Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
According to UN OCHA, 18,000 people have been displaced by flooding in 45 villages in Isangi Territory, Tshopo Province. Isangi is located at the confluence of the Lomami and Congo rivers. Flooding has affected the territory since late October. The UN says no humanitarian relief has been provided to victims, who, according to local authorities, are in dire need for shelter, health and essential household items, as well as clean water and sanitation.
Meanwhile more than 10,600 people in Dungu and Niangara in Haut-Uélé Province are also in dire need of humanitarian support. Recent flooding in the two territories has destroyed shelters, health facilities and schools. Crops have also been damaged. Niangara is situated directly on the Uele river. Dungu is located at the confluence of the Dungu and Kibali Rivers where they join to form the Uele River.
Around 40,000 people have been displaced by flooding along the Ubangi River in the northern provinces of Sud-Ubangi and Nord-Ubangi. Flooding began in October after a period of heavy rain caused the Ubangi River to break its banks.
In neighbouring Central African Republic, ongoing floods that also began in late October have destroyed more than 10,000 homes and has impacted at least 57,000 people, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
Country Director for the NRC, David Manan, said “Thousands of homes have been destroyed, and this disaster is affecting many people who were already struggling to make ends meet. The flooding is so severe in some parts of the capital Bangui that the only way to get around is by canoe.”
The government has declared a natural catastrophe and is appealing for national and international solidarity to support its emergency response efforts.
“People are currently living in overcrowded displacement sites as they seek protection from the rain. There is an urgent need for clean drinking water, mosquito nets and materials to set up temporary shelters to ensure people are kept healthy and safe,” said Manan.
“Stagnant water left by floods are breeding grounds for mosquitoes. We fear there could be a rise in the number of people affected by malaria and an outbreak of waterborne diseases like cholera if emergency assistance isn’t received in time,” he added.
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Flooding in Rann, Borno State, Nigeria. Credit: GISCOR
Flooding has once again hit areas of northeast Nigeria, severely affecting thousands of people in Borno State. Meanwhile the flood situation in neighbouring Adamawa state continues, with almost 20,000 people displaced.
The UN says the floods in Borno and Adamawa state are the worst in seven years. About 300,000 people have been affected so far this year, which is five times more than expected.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), flooding in the town of Rann, Borno State, has affected around 40,000 people, leaving them with little or no access to food or services. Many of those affected are internally displaced people (IDPs) living in refugee camps.
Flooding began on 07 November, 2019, after the River Kaalia broke its banks in neighbouring Cameroon. Parts of Far North Region in Cameroon were hit by flooding in late October.
UN OCHA reports that flooding has damaged an estimated 4,000 hectares of farmland, “destroying crops that are the main source of food for internally displaced persons (IDPs) staying in Rann, a remote town in an area where violent attacks from non-State armed groups are frequent and access is difficult for humanitarian assistance due to the high insecurity and poor road conditions.”
“Stranded populations are running short of food and those who can afford it are paying high sums to be transported to the other areas, also putting their life at risk while crossing the river or travelling to safety. More than 300 people from Rann have managed to reach Ngala, a town some 40 km away, according to the International Organization for Migration. They had managed to leave Rann before the road became impassable,” the UN added.
Humanitarian partners are mobilizing resources to reach the stranded population via the UN Humanitarian Air Services until access is secured for small boats. Providing food is the main priority, along with water, shelters and emergency health services.
In neighbouring Adamawa State, more than 100,000 people are also affected by severe flooding across seven Local Government Areas since 27 October, following torrential rainfall and overflow of water from the Niger and Benue rivers. Around 19,000 people have been displaced from their homes.
The UN and humanitarian partners are scaling up assistance in Adamawa State as well and have already provided reproductive health kits to more than 56,000 people; non-food items to 400 families; and farming items to 4,000 families in areas that were not reached by Government assistance.
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Flood damage in Bangui Central African Republic, late October 2019. Photo: Equipe Nationale de Réponse aux Catastrophe de la CRCA
Around 40,000 people have been displaced by flooding along the Ubangi River in northern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Flooding began in October after a period of heavy rain caused the Ubangi River to break its banks in parts of Sud-Ubangi and Nord-Ubangi provinces in DRC. Thousands of people were also displaced in neighbouring areas of Central Africa Republic during this time.
In DRC the worst hit area is the town of Zongo in Sud-Ubangi province, situated on the south bank of the Ubangi River, across from Bangui in the Central African Republic. Libenge in Sud-Ubangi province has also been badly affected.
At least 1 person is thought to have died in the floods. In Sud-Ubangi province 14,200 houses have been damaged, along with 12 schools, 21 bridges, 48 public buildings and wide areas of crops, according to local media. Around 9,000 people have been displaced by the floods in neighbouring North-Ubangi province.
Heavy rain caused flash floods in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in early October this year, leaving at least 6 people dead and around 30 houses destroyed. Further heavy rain and floods hit the city during mid-October.
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