Torrential rainfall has triggered unprecedented flooding in Chad, affecting more than 340,000 people living in 55,000 households – surpassing last year's figure of more than 250,000 impacted, according to a report released on Friday by the UN humanitarian coordination office, OCHA.
Swollen rivers have destroyed nearly 2,700 hectares of crops and farming land as well as hundreds of homes, while record rains over the past month threaten food security and livelihoods.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is supporting national and humanitarian efforts to address the emergency and provide urgent relief to those hardest hit.
Through its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), the agency is working with authorities and local actors to develop and roll-out a flood data collection mechanism to capture the extent of the inundation and number of victims, including those displaced.
“The data collected will include information on the impacts of flood on populations and key infrastructures such as houses, schools and health centres, as well as information on affected populations’ profiles and primary needs, in order to better inform the humanitarian response,” said IOM’s Yakin Mwanza, the DTM Coordinator in Chad.
The new mechanism will include an information sharing platform to enable key actors and informants to report and publish useful flood data on a regular basis.
“This new flood data collection mechanism will be implemented by clusters’ actors and local authorities and will be activated each year during flooding season in order to inform life-saving responses at early stage of the flooding,” she added.
Although parts of Chad are faced with heavy rainfall each year, the precipitation seen in 2022 is unprecedented, according to IOM.
Extreme weather patterns illustrate the adverse effect of climate change in the region.
They are characterized by increased storms and a higher degree of variability, which causes stronger flash floods with devastating consequences for populations, especially in rural areas.
As the rains continue, we expect that more people will be displaced – IOM official
Despite the urgency of the situation, assistance such as shelter, food, and non-food items for those most affected remains hampered by inadequate funding.
“The rainy season lasts until October but the humanitarian situation we are witnessing now is already critical,” said IOM Chad Mission Chief Anne Kathrin Schaefer.
“As the rains continue, we expect that more people will be displaced but all humanitarian actors are already running out of emergency stocks to assist people”.
As of this month, only 33 per cent of 2022’s humanitarian funding required for Chad has been received by humanitarian actors on the ground.
In a joint flash appeal, the Government of Chad and humanitarian community are calling for $5.2 million to provide shelter, basic necessities, and protection to those affected by the floods.