Friday, August 1, 2008

West African flooding prompts a warning from UN relief officials, via UN News Service: United Nations relief officials warned today that heavy rains across West Africa have brought renewed flooding to the region, threatening the homes and livelihoods of tens of thousands of people and jeopardizing the already fragile food security situation. More than 50,000 people in seven West African countries have been affected by floods so far, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

In Mali, at least six people are reported to have died in the capital, Bamako, because of the floods, while the rising waters of the Senegal River have displaced about 4,600 people in southern Mauritania. Another 10,000 people have been forced from their homes in Togo and that country's trade links with Burkina Faso have been disrupted after the rains made nine bridges unusable.

OCHA's West African chief Hervè Ludovic de Lys told UN Radio that much of the region has yet to recover from last year's season of devastating floods, and this year's inundations combined with rising food prices could leave thousands of people needing food assistance….

A bridge in Bamako, the capital of Mali, shot by Robin Elaine, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License

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