Saturday 30 November 2019

Unprecedented rainfall kills hundreds in Central Africa with nearly one million displaced and thousands of hectares flooded: Rainfall 300% above average

Credit Global Citizen Festival

An incredible downpour delivered two years of rainfall in just one day on the small East African nation of Djibouti as East Africa continues to suffer astonishing downpours which started in October. Apparently, rainfall from October to mid-November has been up to 300% above average in the Horn of Africa region affecting more than 250,000 people.

Meanwhile, flooding in nearby Kenya has affected more than 160,000 people since the onset of the rains in October, according to the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS). At least 120 people have reportedly died, including dozens who lost their lives after a landslide in West Pokot County on 23 November. KRCS said that nearly 18,000 who are displaced countrywide, including 10,000 in West Pokot County. According to the Kenyan government, 16,000 houses have been destroyed across the country. Full story

In neighbouring Somalia, over half a million people have now been affected by the ongoing floods. With homes destroyed and crops devastated, flood-hit communities are in desperate need of assistance, says the UN. Heavy rains in Somalia and the Ethiopian highlands caused the Shabelle and Juba Rivers to overflow. Flooding has now affected over half a million people in Somalia, of whom 370,000 are displaced from their homes, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Flooding began around 21 October and has destroyed farmland and infrastructure and devastated livelihoods in some of the worst-hit areas. At least 17 people have died, roads and homes destroyed, and about 10,000 hectares of crops flooded. Full story

While the capital city Kinshasa is dealing with devastating flash floods and landslides which have left more than 40 people dead, northern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo are experiencing some of the worst flooding for 25 years. Flooding began back in October after heavy rains caused the Ubangi and Congo rivers and tributaries to overflow. Initially, Wide areas of North and South Ubangi provinces were affected. Since then the flood situation has worsened, affecting other provinces, including Mongala, Maniema, Bas-Uélé, Haut-Uélé and Tshopo. North Ubangi, South Ubangi and Mongala are the worst affected provinces, according to the UN. Schools, bridges, water points, churches, hygiene facilities, farmland and hundreds of shelters have been destroyed. As of 27 November, the UN says that over 225,000 people across the 3 provinces are in need of humanitarian assistance. It is estimated that over 235,000 people have been affected by the flooding South Ubangi. Charity Caritas-Congo reported 10 flood-related deaths in North Ubangi, where around 180,000 people have been affected. The situation is expected to deteriorate as the rainy season extends into December. Full story

In the Central African Republic, flooding began around 21 October after a period of heavy rain caused rivers, including the Ubangi, to overflow. By mid-November, flooding had destroyed 10,000 homes and impacted 57,000 people, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). Many of those homes were in areas around the capital, Bangui. In a report of 22 November, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) said that about 100,000 people are now affected by the floods, including more than 33,000 people in Bangui and Bimbo. Other areas affected are the prefectures of Basse-Kotto, Lobaye, Mbomou, Nana-Gribizi, Ombella M’Poko, Ouaka and Ouham. Full story

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