WEST AFRICA: Tens of thousands homeless from seasonal rains

Friday, October 6, 2006
Almost 70,000 people from four countries have been displaced by floods from seasonal rains and need food, blankets, mosquito nets and other assistance, according to a report from three United Nations agencies.

Niger is the worst-affected with 46,472 people displaced, followed by Burkina Faso with 11,170, Mauritania with 9,000 and Guinea with 1,200, said the October report by the UN humanitarian coordination office (OCHA), the UN children’s agency (UNICEF) and the UN World Food programme.

The flooding has lead to outbreaks of cholera. Among at least 681 cases 27 people have died - most of them in Niger.

The UN agencies said Niger poses the greatest need. They said 2,788 tonnes of cereal were needed. Just over half of the necessary blankets and mosquito nets had been provided.

WFP has distributed 406 tonnes of food to more than 18,000 people in the regions of Agadez in central Niger, Zinder in the south and Tahoua and Dosso in the southwest. UNICEF has focused on water needs, sanitation and education.

In Guinea, flooding destroyed about 150 homes in the densely populated eastern province of Kindia, about 135 km north of the capital, Conakry. Authorities said it was the worst flooding in Kindia for 50 years.

"The risk of epidemics such as malaria, cholera, diarrhoea and respiratory infections is high due to the stagnant water. OCHA and its partners are working with the government to respond to the most urgent needs,” the UN agencies said.

Guinea’s Health Ministry says 150 people, out of 1,815 cases, have died of cholera in the country this year.
Author: IRIN
Source: IRIN
See Also