Floods kill 100 in W Africa

2010-08-10 19:33

Dakar - Seasonal flooding has killed almost 100 people across West Africa, destroyed thousands of homes, encouraged the spread of disease and threatens to worsen a food crisis by washing away farmland, aid groups said on Tuesday.

Millions of people are without food in the Sahel region, which runs south of the Sahara desert, after droughts last year depleted stocks.

The region depends upon October harvests which need rain, but heavier-than-normal downpours are counter-productive because they can break the planting cycle and ruin farmland in Chad and Niger, the countries worst affected by shortages.

"Rain in the Sahel is much welcome but it needs to be properly distributed over time and over space which is the major issue now," said Naouar Labidi, the UN World Food Programme's (WFP) regional food security adviser.

The river Niger burst its banks at the weekend, destroying hectares of vegetable gardens and rice fields and displacing at least 5 000 people around the capital Niamey, the UN office for the co-ordination of humanitarian affairs said in a report.

Another 20,000 are at risk of displacement in the event of further heavy rains, which could make life even tougher.

"The nutritional situation is becoming much worse than last year," said a report by aid agency USAid and Famine Early Warning Systems Network released on Tuesday. In some regions, cases of acute malnutrition had doubled since 2009, it said.

Elsewhere in West Africa, heavy rains have caused death and damage in other ways.

Landslide

In Sierra Leonean capital Freetown, 16 people died at the weekend when a slope on which their homes were built crumbled in a landslide after heavy rains, local police said.

"This disaster occurred because people built houses in high risk areas which have been declared uninhabitable by the government," Ahmed Ba, an official at Sierra Leone's office for disaster management, told Reuters.

In northern Cameroon, water-borne disease cholera has killed more than 150 people in the past two months.

"Since the first case was diagnosed in the region in early June, hardly a day passes without new cases recorded," said the regional delegate for public health Rebecca Djao.

"The situation has been aggravated by heavy rainfall, flooding, collapse of pit toilets and contamination of streams which are the main source of drinking water."

Seasonal floods and mudslides regularly cause destruction and death across west Africa. Last year they drove over half a million people from their homes and killed about 190 others.

Experts say abnormal weather linked to climate change could be the cause of heavier than normal precipitation, but they also blame poor town planning and overcrowding of cities for the damage done when rains do fall.

Read more on:    unhcr  |  wfp  |  senegal  |  weather  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

Five wrapping hacks you have to know before Christmas

Five gift wrapping hacks that will save Christmas for you!

 
 

I love summer.24

Sexiest Instagrams of 2014
Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!
Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Engineering Manager

Western Cape
Pro-Tech Recruitment
R850 000 - R1 100 000 Per Year

In bound Supervisor

Western Cape
Peoplefinder Career Placements

Analyst Developer

Western Cape
Progressive IT Resourcing (Pty) Ltd

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The energy today is serious, materialistic and hardworking. You may find you get a new outlook on things and you may want to spend...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.