Children's lives and rights at risk due to KwaZulu-Natal floods
04 May 2022
UNICEF responds to the humanitarian crisis caused by severe flooding, exacerbated by climate change.
On the week of 11 April 2022, the province of KwaZulu-Natal was hit by severe flooding, the worst South Africa has seen in recent history.
So far, over 440 people have tragically lost their lives, including 57 school children. More than 600 schools have been affected, with 124 being seriously damaged and 101 completely inaccessible and more than 320,000 pupils affected.
This has created a humanitarian crisis and government has declared a national State of Disaster as a result.
UNICEF South Africa is working closely with government and other partners on the ground to support those affected, especially children, who are among the most vulnerable.
Clean-up and search and rescue operations are ongoing as residents, government and civil society begin counting the very real costs of the great loss suffered.
Flooding in April 2022 in KwaZulu-Natal caused extensive damage in the eThekwini region and surrounding areas.
Thousands of residents in KwaZulu-Natal are without safe drinking water due to the floods. Many people - including children - are still missing. Vital learning - which already suffered during the COVID-19 lockdowns – is being lost again as some schools remain closed and affected children who have lost everything are unable to return to school.
The floods are a stark reminder that climate change is happening now, leading to disasters such as floods. Climate change also a child rights crisis, affecting billions of children across the globe.
UNICEF South Africa echoes President Cyril Ramaphosa’s statement during an address to the nation that there is a great need to increase investments in climate adaptation measures to better safeguard communities against the effects of climate change to secure a better future, for every child.