Iraq - Floods: Update No. 3 (as of 18 April 2019)

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 18 Apr 2019

Highlights

  • Elevated water levels in the Tigris River and its tributaries from heavy seasonal rains in late March/early April continue to cause displacement and damage in certain provinces

  • The Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government continue to lead the response, but requests for additional humanitarian assistance in some governorates have been received

  • Relevant UN agencies undertook an assessment mission to Basra after emerging reports of intensifying flooding in the south of the country

  • Multiple water treatment plants are offline throughout the country, leading to a shortage of clean water for drinking, bathing and household use in some regions

  • WASH and Health partners engaged to assess threat of cholera

Situation Overview

Elevated water levels in the Tigris River and its tributaries continue to cause flooding and displacement in several governorates. Salah al-Din in central Iraq and Missan in the south are currently those reporting the heaviest impact, with more limited effects reported in Basra, Diyala, Thi-Qar and Wassit. The Government of Iraq and Kurdistan Regional Government continue to act as first responders; however official requests for additional assistance have been received from Missan and Salah al-Din provinces. Due to flooding, multiple water treatment plants are offline throughout the country; a lack of access to clean water for drinking, bathing and other household use is an evolving problem in some governorates. Relevant UN agencies undertook an assessment mission to Basra after emerging reports of intensifying flooding in the south of the country. Response efforts in the south are constrained by a small UN presence, lack of humanitarian partners, and shortage of pre-positioned relief supplies. Flooding and displacement in some southern governorates can be linked in some measure to the relatively recent habitation of what were previously low-lying marshlands. The marshes dried out in the 1990s, and tribes moved in to cultivate agriculture on the fertile soil, but it is expected that these lowlands will always be prone to flooding.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
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