Extreme floods hit 760 000 individuals in West and Central Africa

Nigerien scholar Hachimou Abdou has needed to catch a ship to lessons since river water swamped his route to school within the capital Niamey – certainly one of about 760 000 individuals hit by extreme flooding in current weeks in components of West and Central Africa.

Floods are widespread through the wet season, however lately local weather change, land degradation and poor city planning have led to extra frequent disasters as rapidly-growing cities wrestle with heavier-than-normal rainfall.

Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Ghana, Niger, Mali, Nigeria, Congo Republic and Senegal are amongst these worst-hit this yr, with no less than 111 individuals killed, in accordance with newest figures from the UN Workplace for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Waters have but to recede in components of Niamey since torrential rains in August brought on rivers to burst their banks, destroying almost 32 000 homes and 5 768 hectares of farmland throughout Niger.

“I’ve to get to school – both I take a ship or I stroll within the water,” Abdou mentioned, earlier than settling into a standard wood pirogue to journey up the flooded freeway.

Flooding throughout landlocked Niger alone has up to now impacted almost 333 000 individuals. Over 188 000 individuals have been affected in neighbouring Chad, with OCHA warning of potential meals shortages as a result of inundated land.

With additional rain anticipated, significantly in Central Africa, the state of affairs is anticipated to worsen, mentioned OCHA’s director for West and Central Africa, Julie Belanger.

Communities’ skill to deal with pure disasters has been eroded by instability, meals shortages and mass displacement in some areas. Over 25 million individuals are in want of humanitarian help within the violence-plagued Sahel space, which incorporates Niger, Chad and Mali.

“Lots of these populations dwell in flood-prone areas. It’s only a matter of time for them to be liable to epidemics,” Belanger mentioned, describing how shortly illnesses can unfold as soon as floods wipe out entry to scrub water and sanitation.