Cameroon Hopes of a better life washed away by rain. Taher Liman / ICRC

Cameroon: Hopes of a better life washed away by rain

In the department of Logone-et-Chari, in the Far North Region of Cameroon, heavy rainfall has destroyed 70 per cent of the sorghum, bean and rice fields. Hopes are being washed away in a part of the country where many people are already struggling under the burden of war.
Article 25 November 2020 Cameroon

Since 2014, fighting in the Lake Chad basin has repeatedly forced a large number of people to flee their homes. To survive, they have often depended on the support of host communities and humanitarian aid. In the last few years, these communities have had to face an additional threat, which has challenged their resilience.

Irregular, and sometimes very severe, rainfall has led to cycles of flooding and drought, aggravating the vulnerable situation that displaced people and host communities already find themselves in because of the fighting. This year, the flooding means there will be no rice, bean or sorghum harvest.

"My family and I fled our village because it was no longer safe. We eventually ended up in Ndogoré where we built ourselves a second home. We are worried about the rain and the flooding because it destroys our fields and our crops. This year, our resources are limited, and food is scarce."

Itta Abali, a displaced person

At the end of October, we delivered food and other household items to vulnerable people in the towns of Blangoua, Makary and Tildé in the department of Logone-et-Chari.

With some roads partially blocked, flat-bottomed boats were used to carry the supplies to the communities hardest hit by the flooding. 

In order to limit the damage caused by future floods, we hired nearly 250 local people to help us rebuild the dyke in Tildé. The dyke should protect around 5,500 people in the area.

Flooding has underscored the fault lines between communities, already present because of the conflict. With many households dependent on their herds, tensions are rising between crop and livestock farmers over access to land.

In collaboration with the Cameroon Red Cross Society, we have distributed 25,000 kilograms of rice, 5,000 litres of oil and other essential household items to 1,500 households to help them meet their most pressing needs.

We will continue our efforts to assist these communities during this difficult time, helping them to rebuild their homes and give them money to cover their immediate needs. We will also distribute seed and tools to help them safeguard their upcoming harvests.