In 2020, flooding has affected 2.7 million people in 18 countries in West and Central Africa, with many regions recording excess rainfalls. The impact has been particularly severe, and the number of people affected is more than double last year’s, when floods affected 1.1 million people in 11 countries. While seasonal rains have gradually subsided in parts of West Africa, recent flooding have occurred in the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This year 197,000 houses were reported destroyed in thirteen countries of the region. 422,000 hectares of farmland were affected by floods, which resulted in the destruction of crops and fields, threatening the livelihoods of communities whose majority rely on agriculture. The impact of additional shocks of extreme weather events pushes vulnerable families deep into crisis. Many of the affected regions were already struggling with insecurity, high levels of food insecurity and malnutrition, and climate change. Floods also risk increasing the incidence of water-borne diseases, impact hygiene and sanitation, and reduce the capacity to put in place effective preventative measures against COVID-19.
National and local authorities have led the response, including Civil Protection and Disaster Management Agencies, national Red Cross societies and NGOs, as well as community-based organizations. The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has allocated US$5 million to Niger, and ECHO has supported the flood response in 8 countries in the region with a total amount of $2.7 million. Humanitarian teams respond to the acute needs of the most vulnerable and displaced people and help communities to bounce back faster.