Floods Force Over 40,000 People From Their Homes In Far North Cameroon

International humanitarian organisations have said the people lack safe water to drink after being displaced, and more flooding is expected along the banks of the Chari river.

Over 40,000 people have been forced from their homes by floods in the northernmost region of Cameroon, according to an international refugee organisation.

Since mid August, there has been heavy flooding in the Mayo-Danay, Logone et Chari and Mayo-Tsanaga divisions of the Far North region.

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said “the persons were forced to displace after the destruction of their belongings and habitations by floods.”

While there has been a relative reduction in the amount of rainfall since mid-September, “a significant rise of waters in the Logone et Chari as well as in the Maga and Wina lakes has been observed”, the Cameroon Ministry of Territorial Administration has revealed.

“After heavy torrential rains, the floods happen due to the overflow of river banks and the rupture of dykes”, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said Tuesday October 25.

“The Mayo-Danay and Logone et Chari dwellers along the two rivers have been particularly affected and several localities have been invaded by water resulting in the collapse of houses generally constructed with earth, as well as the destruction of farms, the loss of cattle and other goods”, UNOCHA declared.

Floods have also stopped the operation of basic social services, notably schools, health facilities and markets. The towns of Yagoua and Kousseri, which are divisional chief towns, were also affected with some quarters completely submerged in water, according to government authorities.

“The populations are sometimes forced to abandon their houses to seek refuge in more secure zones, sometimes living in precarious conditions with difficult access to potable water, insufficient latrines and little foodstuff”, the mayor of Kousseri, Isseini Darkadre revealed.

Government authorities expect the situation to stabilise soon with a progressive drop in the level of water in the Mayo-Danay river within the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, in the Logone et Chari near Lake Chad, a rise in the level of waters of the Chari river is expected. Authorities fear the floods will get worse and more communities along the banks of the river will be affected.

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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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