Cameroon: Flash Floods in Santchou - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF operation: MDRCM025

A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

Since 04 August 2017, the Menoua Division, in the West Region of Cameroon, has been experiencing heavy rainfalls, causing a significant rise of water levels and mudslides to settlements. Resulting from this situation, severe flooding has ensued in the area, causing extensive material damage and loss of life.

As of 07 August 2017, four (04) main localities had been assessed and as at now, information gathered reports that 12,890 people are affected with damages distributed as follows:

Bébong: A town made up of three (3) villages of 2,700 people, was the most affected by these floods. Indeed, more than 70% of the population is affected with 50 families that have seen their homes completely destroyed, more than 20 houses partially destroyed as well as 500 plantations and schools destroyed.

Fondo Nera: Locality of 5,000 people of which 30 families are homeless, including 10 families whose homes have completely been destroyed and some 20 partially destroyed. Some three (3) bridges are broken, number of high schools and health centres are destroyed, while 5 hectares of plantation have been devastated by the waters.

Echiok (village located at about 15 km from Santchou urban centre): Community of 3,000 people, where the body of one (01) adult was discovered under the rubbles and 02 children are still missing. Damages include the local College of Technical Education [CES] which is completely flooded by water, 20 houses completely destroyed, five (5) broken bridges, devastated plantations and many cattle carried away by the waters.

Nden- Ofoungouo: a community of 950 people where 100 people lost their plantations and a bridge was destroyed.

Fosso Ouasen: which seems to be the locality from where the disaster started, counts 1,240 people or 253 affected households. As such, 31 and 26 registered houses were respectively completely and partially destroyed, with 17 remaining in very bad condition. Latrines, bridges and fields were destroyed.

The rains continue to pour down on the Menoua Division, making some localities inaccessible due to the destruction of the above-mentioned bridges; an increase in the data presented in Table 1 is therefore expected.

Exchanges are ongoing with the National Meteorological office and it is expected that rainfall will be more concentrated in the western regions for now. Given the level of poverty within the population of these areas, the homes built are not strong enough to withstand such flash floods.