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Chad declares state of emergency as floods affect over 1M people

Houses are seen submerged by floods in N'Djamena on October 18, 2022.   -  
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Chad's transitional President Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno declared a state of emergency on Wednesday over flooding that is affecting more than a million people in the central African country.

The disposition, the leader said in a televised address, will enable the authorities to better contain and manage the disaster. 

With around half of the city underwater, residents of N'Djamena are building dykes, and using their dugout canoes to leave the flooded areas. 

The government announced it had put in place a response plan to provide shelter, food, and sanitation, but many like Aziza Marie Noel are still waiting.

"Our belongings are outside, everyone is outside, and we don't even have a place to stay, the N'djamena resident laments.

"We have no money. Even with the food we had, everything is lost. So, it's up to them [Editor's note: the authorities] now to see how we are."

Although parts of Chad are faced with heavy rainfall each year, the precipitation seen in 2022 is unprecedented, according to the UN's International Organization for Migration.

The hardest-hit provinces are mostly located in the south. 18 provinces out of the country's 23 have been disaster-stricken.

Transitional leader Deby Itno called for technical and financial support from allies and partners.

Swollen rivers have destroyed over 470,000 hectares of crops and farming land sparking fears of food shortage.

 In June Chad declared a food emergency. The United Nations estimated last year that 5.5 million Chadians or more than a third of the population needed urgent humanitarian aid. 

The situation has only worsened following the war in Ukraine and the climate crisis.

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