Suriname: Floods - DREF Plan of Action n° MDRSR003


A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

On 4 June 2021, a joint press conference between the Ministries of Public Works, Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries and Regional Development and Sports was held to discuss the heavy flooding in Suriname. The Meteorological Service Suriname (MDS) indicated that more rain is expected in the next three months. The MDS indicated that for the past three months of March, April, and May, it has been relatively wetter in the coastal plain than the four-year average.

In April 2021, increased levels of rainfall across Suriname have led to country-wide flooding. All ten districts of Suriname (Paramaribo, Nickerie, Coronie, Saramacca, Commewijne, Wanica, Para, Marowijne, Sipaliwini, Brokopondo) have reported flooding in most of their communities.

On 24 April, local media reported floodwaters in the community of Albina, in Marowijne, reaching knee height. As the persistent rains continued, more regions were impacted. By 27 April, large parts of Wageningen were underwater for days, and the situation worsened when the ring dam between the Nickerie River and Wageningen broke after a rupture. Pumping stations, supermarkets, and houses were flooded with water up to knee height. The branches of the electricity and water companies (NV Energiebedrijven Suriname (EBS) and the Surinaamsche Waterleiding Maatschappij (SWM)) in the area were also flooded, and the electricity supply was shut down for a brief period.

The main areas flooded are in Commewijne, Wanica, Saramacca, and Nickerie. Flooding has also been reported in Marowijne, especially Albina. In the Pamaaka area, the road from Snesikondre to LangaTabiki had become impassable, making the area inaccessible.

Heavy rains and flooding continued throughout May 2021. Visits by the local authorities revealed that many areas had been flooded for weeks and residents saw little to no reprieve from flood conditions. The NS alerted the IFRC to the ongoing situation in Suriname via an initial GO Report posted on 25 May 2021.

To date, while floodwaters are receding in some areas, there are still inundated areas. In some areas, floodwaters have reached window height. Thus far, the National Society has been able to report that 10 families have had to leave their homes in Wageningen and were placed in a school used as a collective centre.

The MDS has issued an adverse weather alert for the period between 9 to 11 June. They urge people to take precautions for continued flooding in rural and urban areas.

As the country braces for more rains and anticipated flooding, the NS has posted a secondary GO Report requesting international assistance in dealing with this ongoing crisis.