Floods continue to wreak havoc on Suriname's food and health security

Floods in Suriname wreak havoc on food and health security, displacing thousands and causing damage to infrastructure. Heavy rainfall and rising river levels continue to pose threats, while destroyed roads hinder relief efforts. Access to clean drinking water and wastewater management are concerns, as mosquito populations rise and agricultural losses impact food security.

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Since early this year, flooding has afflicted areas of the Marowijn and Brokopondo regions. The Red Cross estimated 15,000 residents impacted and 2,000 persons dislocated due to floods in both areas in April. According to the Red Cross, several regions were drenched under 4 to 6 metres of floodwater. Incessant rainfall and rising river levels in Suriname, together with the releases from the Afobaka Dam nearby  Brokopondo, caused flooding.


It has been flooding since that time, with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) reporting that the Districts of  Nickerie, Sipaliwini, Brokopondo, Para, Saramacca, Marowijne, and Coronie, have all been majorly affected, with several areas still under water and the more heavy downpour is expected.

According to Suriname's National Coordination Centre for Disaster Management (NCCR), the Afobaka Dam's levels are unlikely to drop significantly anytime soon, and water discharge may be required in the future.

Several roads used to reach the flooded villages to give assistance to residents have been destroyed due to heavy floods, according to CDEMA. Only aeroplanes, boats or helicopters may now access the southern half of Suriname, bringing respite to the area's population. Because schools are still inaccessible, children are losing out on an education.

Close to the river, water treatment and purification infrastructure are now submerged and seriously damaged. 

According to CDEMA, this has made it difficult for the nation to supply clean drinking water. There is also a worry about wastewater management since many people engage in hazardous waste dumping activities that may lead to health issues.

A considerable rise in mosquito population has been seen in communities across the Interior, raising concerns about the risk of sickness among residents.

Many of the regions for agriculture are utilised for cultivating crops and keeping animals, who are now underwater, posing a danger to food security. Farms have been swamped, and crops have been submerged, resulting in agricultural losses.

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