Botswana: Floods DREF operation n° MDRBW003, Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA)

A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

Between 18 and 23 February 2017, Botswana was hit by the tropical depression, ex-Dineo which caused significant flooding across the country. As a result of inundations, bridges have collapsed, roads have been closed, and health facilities have been flooded. The Government has closed schools in some districts to reduce the risk of children drowning, however in some districts children must still travel long distances to school in sometimes hazardous flood conditions. Gaborone Dam, the water source in the capitol city, was at high risk of overflowing, which posed a risk to those residing in flood plains adjacent to the river. The Department of Water Affairs has indicated that water levels from rivers and dams have increased significantly. To exacerbate the impact of the depression, ex-Dineo hit Botswana at the height of the rainy season, which had already over-saturated the ground and raised the likelihood of significant overland flooding. Throughout the 2016/17 rainy season, Botswana recorded precipitation levels ranging between 110mm and 220mm.

According to National Disaster management Office (NDMO), by the end of February 650 households had been severely affected by flooding as a result of ex-Dineo. Over 500 houses have been destroyed and infrastructure, telecommunication lines and livelihoods have been disrupted in the affected districts. The situation resulted in moderate population displacement, which required the hosting of some 300 households in community halls, schools and churches.

Water sources have also been negatively affected, which poses a further threat to the displaced. Destroyed latrines, stagnant water, and contaminated boreholes have heightened the health risks as well as the risk of waterborne and communicable diseases. To ensure that the health profile of the displaced population does not deteriorate, preventative WASH interventions are a priority for the humanitarian community.

The Department of Metrological services is still anticipating continued heavy rains to spread across the country in the beginning of March. The National Society will continue conducting assessment during the operation to find if there are any needs arising.