Environment & Climate ChangeNews

Flooding Sinks N’Djamena, Triggers Protest By Chadians

Hundreds of Chadians in the capital city N’Djamena came out August 20, 2020 to protest the havoc that floods were wreaking and the seeming inaction of the government. 

Properties worth millions of FCFA were destroyed in most quarters forcing residents to flee their habitations in search of safety. Household items were being moved into open streets by residents desperate to salvage a few of their belongings.

The floods followed several hours of heavy rains and were helped by the poor drainage system in the Chadian capital.

Quarters most hit include Amriguebe within the 5th District and Amtoukoui within the zone commonly called Roma Quarter.

The storm that heralded the heavy downpour in the city had uprooted several electric poles across the streets. In Amriguebe, naked cables on fallen electricity poles were seen sparking fire. Residents fled from the impending danger of electrocution.

“We are not even asking the government to provide us with food but just for it to come to our aid as we face these floods,” an inhabitant of Dembe told HumAngle. He pointed our reporter to his belongings scattered around him in the flooded street.

In Amtoukoui zone, inhabitants blocked the streets with their belongings, forcing a halt in vehicular traffic.

Police were called in to free the streets for traffic and it took about two hours for the police to remove the belongings of the protesting inhabitants in the area.

“What we want now is for the government to settle us in an area free from floods because we are tired of suffering every year from these devastating floods which have damaged all our meagre assets,” shouted another protester.

Following the floods and protests, a highly placed official of government representing the President, Kalzuebe Payimi Deubet summoned a meeting of stakeholders including members of government and Mayors of the various councils in the capital to seek for immediate solutions to the flood problems.

“We have to save N’Djamena. We cannot continue to cross our arms while the capital is buried under water,” declared the Minister.

Nothing is known yet of what the government’s plans are following the emergency meeting.

The Mayor of N’Djamena, Oumar Boukar said the continued flooding in the capital was because the measures already taken were not sufficient to contain the floods.

Meanwhile, the delegation general of government in the N’Djamena Council has revealed that it has elaborated an emergency plan to alleviate the sufferings of those affected by the floods. The plan has been submitted to the Presidency of the Republic for adoption and subsequent execution.

“The plan previews urgent actions to be taken immediately within the means at the disposal of the authorities and long term plans to forestall further floods,” a Council official who took part in the meeting told HumAngle on condition of anonymity.

The immediate fear now is that of health issues that may be provoked by the floods.

According to the Presidency, the “government intends to make available the means in order to avoid complications arising from the situation and to largely find lasting solutions to the perennial cycle of floods in the capital.”

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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