Africa: Flood Hit 17 African countries a million people homeless
18/09/2007 - BBC.com
Latest reports say 250 people have died and hundreds of thousands of
homes have been washed away on some of the continent's most fertile land.
The UN now fears the floods could lead to major outbreaks of water-borne
diseases such as cholera and dysentery.
OCHA spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said: "The rains are set to continue and
we are really concerned".
See map of the worst-affected nations
Ghana has set up an inter-ministerial task force to oversee both
immediate relief and long-term reconstruction of the three northern
regions devastated by the floods.
Eighteen people have died there and thousands made homeless.
Also badly affected are Burkina Faso (33 dead), Togo (20 dead), Mali (15
dead), and Niger (12 dead).
French military helicopters were helping relief efforts in nearby Ivory
Coast, while officials in Togo were dealing with more than 60,000
displaced people and a wrecked infrastructure.
Countries in East Africa regularly flood at this time of year, but West
African nations are much less able to deal with the deluge, the World
Food Programme says.
In East Africa, the brunt of the torrential rain was felt in Uganda,
Ethiopia and Sudan.
Hundreds of thousands of people lost their homes across southern Sudan
where the death toll has reached 64.
The UN relief co-ordinator in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, John
Clarke, told the BBC more than 250,000 had been left homeless there.
The UN diverted a helicopter from Darfur in Sudan to airlift food and
medical supplies to affected areas.
Meanwhile, Rwandan officials reported 15 deaths and 500 homes washed away
since Wednesday in flooding they blame on deforestation.
In its neighbour Uganda, some 21 deaths are being reported from flooding
with 150,000 people displaced and more than 170 schools in the northeast
The swampy Budalangi region of Kenya floods most years - but people were
still caught out by the speed of the rising waters and at least 12 died.
An estimated 200,000 people have been affected in Ethiopia where at least
17 people died and a massive food aid programme has been set up.
"In Kenya or Ethiopia these countries are facing floods every year and
year after year, they have set up some contingency plans," the WFP's
Pierre Lucas told the BBC.
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