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Floods Leave Thousands Homeless in Chad and Cameroon

KAIKAI, NORTHERN CAMEROON VOA | Heavy rains and floods this week have left at least 100,000 people homeless on both sides of the border between northern Cameroon and Chad. It’s the worst flooding in the area since 2012. the military is working to evacuate those stranded by floodwaters in Kaikai.

Heavy rains have been pouring ceaselessly, destroying houses and farms in the northern Cameroon village of Kaikai over the past two weeks.

Residents say the downpours caused Lake Maga and the Logone River to overflow.

41-year-old Kaikai resident and cattle rancher Blaise Yunussa said he has lost his two houses and does not know where his goats, fowls and cattle are.

“Everything is damaged and so many inhabitants lost their houses. Many of our crops have been destroyed, that is why we are here. Maybe his excellency Paul Biya will try to help us,” he said.

Local officials say the flooding has affected 70,000 people in Cameroon and 30,000 across the border in Chad, where the Logone River broke its banks on October 1.

Makon ma Makon, the highest government official in the Maga administrative unit, said many of the victims are seeking refuge with relatives in safer localities while others are still trapped in hard-to-reach areas and are lacking basic goods, including water and food.

He said he has recommended that the central government in Yaounde should take immediate action to save the lives of the people because the situation is catastrophic and that while waiting he has ordered health officials under his command to provide first aid to those in need.

Cameroon’s military deployed earlier this week to assist the needy.

Roads are inundated and access to most villages is by boat. Some bridges have been damaged, but no deaths have been reported.

Lawmaker Julien Bara, who hails from the area, visited flood victims lodged in public buildings, churches and mosques.

Bara said it is deplorable especially as children will not be able to go to school soon since some of their schools have been destroyed. He said he has visited the victims to make an appraisal of their immediate needs and inform the government that has to take immediate action to help suffering people.

The worst floods in northern Cameroon claimed 60 lives in 2012 when heavy rainfall persisted in the area for over a month.

Residents say if the current floods persist, people displaced by the flooding and Boko Haram terrorism will be hugely affected.

Cameroon’s northern border area with Nigeria is home to about 500,000 IDPs and about 60,000 Nigerian refugees.

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