Thursday, September 15, 2011

Migration to Africa's shores heighten disaster risks

Geoff Brundrit in the Daily News (South Africa): People on the African continent are increasingly migrating to the coast, taking advantage of living and working there, and reaping the benefits of coastal and marine resources. However, there is a darker side to living on the coast.

December 15 last year, at Alexandria in Egypt: 48 hours of sustained bad weather in the Eastern Mediterranean shut the port of Alexandria, and a cargo ship capsized in the harbour. Forty buildings collapsed in flooded, low-lying areas of the city and 25 people died.

March 30 this year at Walvis Bay in Namibia: There was no water supply to Walvis Bay as the pipeline from the wells had been broken in several places by the floods in the Kuiseb River. Temporary relief enabled water to be made available to residents for a few hours each day. The cost of a complete repair was estimated at millions of Namibian dollars and the impact on the mineral, fishing and tourism industries was expected to be considerable.

May 15 at Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: Supplies of electric power to Dar es Salaam from May 19 to 23 were restricted to between 11pm and 8am. The sustained drought in East Africa for the past year had played havoc with power supplies from hydroelectric facilities. Daily power cuts were expected to continue until the drought was broken....

NASA image of Alexandria, Egypt

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