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IOM Aids Flood Victims in Chad

By International Office of Migration (IOM)
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GENEVA, Switzerland, February 15, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- IOM is supporting the Chadian Government in the provision of life-saving aid to an estimated 34,000 people following floods which affected some 560,000 Chadians, leaving 98,000 homeless in the worst hit regions of Bongor, Hadjer Lamis and around the capital, N'Djamena.

The IOM programme, supported with a EUR 500,000 contribution from Germany, has already provided transport, emergency shelter, essential non-food relief items, medical care and food provided by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) to some 15,000 vulnerable people in the three regions.

Torrential rainfall in late 2012 affected central, eastern and southern regions of Chad. N'Djamena's Chari and Logone rivers, in particular, have caused extensive flooding south of the city, destroying villages and farmland.

Many flooded communities were already suffering from scarce resources and hosting large numbers of migrant workers recently returned from Libya and Nigeria.

IOM, working with the local authorities, the Chad Red Cross, WFP and the NGO Merlin, will next week start to resettle 103 flood-affected, homeless families currently living in spontaneous temporary sites in Bongor.

In addition to its focus on transport and non-food relief items, IOM is also working to improve access to water and sanitation for flood-affected families. Community mobilizers are promoting hygiene and sanitation awareness, while latrines are constructed and boreholes for clean water drilled and repaired.

At the end of 2012, at the request of the Chadian authorities, IOM carried out a needs assessment in some of the worst-affected areas.

It identified massive population displacement, a lack of adequate shelter, increased risk of malaria and water borne diseases, and a lack of non-food relief items. Communities that had lost their crops were in urgent need of new seeds to replant their fields and re-establish their self-sufficiency.