Floods have hit 18 of the country's 23 provinces, affecting millions and "swallowing up more than 465,000 hectares of fields and 19,000 heads of livestock," says President Mahamat Idriss Deby.
Chad's leader Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno has declared a state of emergency as the African country struggles to deal with exceptional flooding that has affected hundreds of thousands of lives.
The floods, caused by heavy rains in the south and central areas, have hit 18 of the country's 23 provinces and affected "more than a million people", Deby said on Wednesday in a TV address, adding that no one had yet died as a result.
The flood water has "swallowed up more than 465,000 hectares of fields and 19,000 heads of livestock," he added.
"A state of emergency will be instituted to better contain and manage this natural disaster situation," Deby announced.
"The areas most at risk are the capital N'Djamena and surrounding areas," the president said, calling the situation "increasingly worrying".
Chad is the world's third poorest country, according to the benchmark of the UN's Human Development Index.
Faced with the scale of flooding🌊 in N'Djamena🇹🇩, the U-Reporters are on the ground to provide #emergency assistance to the victims and to support @UNICEFChad teams in the distribution of kits to the victims.@OnuTchad @UNICEFAfrica @UReportGlobal— UNICEF Tchad (@UNICEFChad) October 17, 2022
👉🏾 https://t.co/e51H74hlf1 pic.twitter.com/Ou42pXL4r0
Millions need humanitarian aid
The United Nations says 5.5 million Chadians need "emergency humanitarian aid", while the World Bank says 42 percent of the 16 million population live in poverty.
"We have to provide shelter, basic necessities and health protection," Deby said.
"We have to thank the Almighty who has spared us the loss of life until now," he added.
He urged "friendly countries" and "technical and financial partners" to support the government's efforts.
The 38-year-old five-star general took the helm in April 2021 after his father, Idriss Deby Itno — Chad's iron-fisted ruler for three decades — was killed during an operation against rebels.
Chad has two main rivers, the Chari and Logone, which flow through its southern provinces and empty into Lake Chad, at the border area with Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon.
This year the lake was fed early on by other tributaries and its water level became higher than that of the two rivers, causing them to flow instead into surrounding towns and villages, said Hamid Abakar Souleymane, a hydrologist at Chad's National Meteorological Agency.
"You will have noticed that all the countries which share Lake Chad are also flooded and the phenomenon will continue until the end of the year," he said.
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