News / Africa

Worst Flooding in Decades Strikes Chad

Lisa Schlein

The United Nations Refugee Agency reports that flooding is affecting up to 9,000 people in Chad, following the heaviest rainfall recorded in 40 years.  The agency says it is distributing essential survival items, including blankets, plastic sheeting and bed mats to thousands of flood victims.  

Heavy flooding has affected large areas of Chad since mid-July.  But the destruction there has been largely overshadowed by the catastrophic flooding in Pakistan.  

Spokesman for the U.N. refugee agency Adrian Edwards says the size and scope of the Chadian disaster pales in comparison to what is happening in Pakistan.  But, he says, that is no reason to overlook the great needs of thousands of people in Chad who are caught in a desperate situation.

What's being done

He says the agency is doing its best to reach the victims.

"Our staff trying to reach these areas are facing difficulties," said Adrian Edwards. "In doing so, we have had vehicles washed away in trying to cross what are normally dry riverbeds, but now can be very precarious to try and cross.  Our staff are frequently having to overnight on routes to camps and back.  So the information about the situation is quite slow to come through."  

The flooding follows two years of drought.  The torrential rains have brought hope for a productive farming season for some people.  But, others have seen their villages destroyed and their cultivated lands inundated.  

The UNHCR reports at least 1,800 families are homeless in the northern town of Faya Largeau.  But, it says no region has been spared.  Heavy rains are falling in the North, West, Southeast and East.  And, it notes some districts of the capital N'Djamena also are affected.

The agency provides aid to more than one-quarter of a million Sudanese refugees who fled to Chad to escape the conflict in Darfur.  It also assists many of the 170,000 people internally displaced in Chad.

Primary focus

UNHCR spokesman Edwards says the agency is primarily focused on these refugees and displaced persons.

"But, where we see communities affected that include those that we care for, we do our best to provide for or help all members of the community," he said. "We have a humanitarian duty at the end of the day that extends to a rather wider population than purely refugees."  

Edwards says the situation is still evolving, and it will be awhile before the full extent of the disaster is known.  He says the UNHCR has received reports that some families have had to flee their homes as the riverbanks overflowed.

He says some of the people made homeless by the floods are being hosted by neighbors or are staying in schools.  He says many are without any shelter and are in need of tents, tarpaulin and plastic sheeting to protect themselves from the ongoing rains.

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid