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Floods in Suriname Situation Report, May 12


It has been reported that the water level in the Tapanahony River and Lawa River rises. In some villages an increase of 1 to 1.75 meters has been measured. It was reported that the water level in the Boven Suriname River has declined somewhat, but expected rainfall in the upper catchments area might cause the water level to rise in the next two days. Flooding has expanded to approximately 8000 km2 in the Boven Suriname area, and 15 to 16,000 km2 in the Tapanahony/Lawa Rivers.

Population affected

The number of people estimated to be displaced remains at 20.000 to 25.000.


At this moment mainly safe drinking water, food and durotanks (to collect rain water for drinking)


Main constraint at this moment is transportation. One third (6 of 18) of the airstrips in the interior are closed, some roads are flooded, and there is a need for Helicopters and boats. Many villages are only accessible by water, some by plane or helicopter

Health situation

At this moment, the Medical Mission (responsible for health services in the interior) reported no specific health problems. But they are very vigilant to respond to the expected increased outbreaks of diarrhea and possibly malaria. They consider the risk of leptospirosis to be very small.


Sustained rainfall for the coming days remains a source of concern. In both catchments areas the water level is expected to rise.

Relief assistance

National and international response is taking off. International agencies have offered their technical support and many donations have been offered and promised, among them

  • The Dutch Government has pledged 1 milion Euro for assistance and technical assistance.
  • UNDP has provided US$ 80,000 to the UN country team for immediate needs.
  • OCHA has offered a US$ 30,000 preliminary cash grant.
  • NGOs in the Netherlands and other European countries have offered significant amounts of financial assistance (10 to 50.000 Euro).
  • Surinamese citizens have generously provided money, food items and other gifts.
  • Surinamese private sector initiatives have donated generously for relief support.
  • Dutch military forces are ready to assist

National Coordination

  • The National Coordination Centre has established 10 base camps in the affected areas. From these camps they will serve the surrounding villages with food, medical services and other assistance.
  • The president has visited the National Coordination Centre today.
  • UNDAC Team has arrived this morning to assess damage and needs.
  • First transports with emergency aid packages (approx. 750) have arrived in the interior.

PAHO/WHO Response

  • A water and sanitarion enginer has arrived to support national efforts.
  • A Suma team is on stand by.

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