Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tens of thousands left homeless in Benin floods

Terra Daily via AFP: Worsening floods in the West African nation of Benin have destroyed 55,000 homes, killed tens of thousands of livestock and created a new cholera risk, the United Nations said Monday. Rainfall has poured down in the West African nation since mid-September. More than 300 people have been killed this rainy season in western and central Africa and at least 680,000 people in Benin alone have been affected by the floods.

A UN statement said the Niger River was rising "worsening the situation". About 200,000 people are in need of shelter, with over 55,000 homes totally destroyed, 128,000 hectares (316,000 acres) of crops ruined, and 81,000 livestock dead, said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The World Food Programme (WFP) and aid groups CARE and Caritas have distributed food to thousands of homeless. "Food is one of the most important needs," said Moumini Ouedraogo of the WFP. "Many people lost their crops because of the devastating floods -- if we do not intervene in time, the consequences could be serious."…

A fishing village on the banks of the Niger River in Benin, shot by Nerijp, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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