Responding to floods in Comoros

MORONI, 30 Apr – Torrential rain has been battering the Comoros Islands in the Indian Ocean since 20 April, causing heavy flooding and landslides. A State of Emergency has been called.

MapAction has deployed a team of two volunteers to map the needs of over 46,000 people affected. Reports indicate that more than 11,000 people have “lost everything” and at least 9,200 are without shelter.

Civil protection official Ismael Mouigni Daho said the situation on the islands was “dramatic”. Some villages are completely flooded, causing the populations to evacuate entirely. In other areas, schools have been cut off and water and electricity supplies have been disrupted. There are increasing concerns about the spread of diseases, including cholera and malaria, making healthcare and hygiene priorities for the response.

More than half the population of the Comoros Islands live under the poverty line, surviving on less than a dollar a day. People are largely reliant on subsistence farming, so the impact of these floods is a long-term concern for food security.

Humanitarian efforts have thus far been hampered by roads being rendered inaccessible by flooding and landslides. Responders have therefore identified mapped information to be critical in helping to assess where humanitarian aid is needed and how it can best be delivered in the prevailing conditions.

This is MapAction’s first mission to the Comoros Islands, however, the charity recently deployed to neighbouring Madagascar in February to help with the humanitarian response to a series of killer storms.