Water Week

EWN Publishing

Torrential rain hits 18 normally driest countries in Africa: 1.5m people affected; linked to ocean temp-rise

Posted by waterweek on 28 September 2007

Months of torrential rain devastated 18 of the poorest and normally driest countries in Africa, and meteorologists expected more of the same, reported The Age (21/9/2007, p.11).

Ocean temps rise: Senegal, Mauritania, Mali and Burkina Faso, in the west, and Kenya, Sudan and Ethiopia, in the east, have been worst hit. “We believe at least 650,000 homes have been destroyed, 1.5 million people affected and nearly 200 people so far drowned,” said Elisabeth Brys, at the UN Office for the Co-ordin­ation of Humanitarian Affairs. The rain, linked to ocean temperature changes, caught governments off guard. Many of the worst affected regions were remote from capitals, and the damage was still being assessed.

Disaster areas: Burkina Faso, Togo and Ghana have declared an official disaster and appealed for urgent help. More nations were expected to follow. The worst-affected country may be Sudan, where 130 people have died since the rain started in early July and more than 200,000 people were homeless. In Ghana, the floods have left at least 32 people dead and made 260,000 homeless.

The Age, 21/9/2007, p. 11

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