Thursday, November 30, 2006

TOLL RISES FROM EAST AFRICA FLOOD !


Somalia is worst affected by the floods. Dozens of people are reportedly killed, as floods across East Africa spread to Rwanda and Malawi.
There are also reports of 24 deaths in Somalia - from acute diarrhoea and crocodile attacks, while 24 people have also died in Rwanda, local radio says.
Five people have died in Malawi and four in Kenya, including one killed by a crocodile.
Aid agencies have launched an appeal for 1.8 million people following the floods, which have also hit Ethiopia.
The aid effort in Somalia is especially difficult because of the lack of infrastructure following 15 years of conflict and the absence of a central government.
'Managing'
Aid agencies report that at least 34 people have died from the flooding in Kenya and have urged the government to declare a national emergency.
But the government says the situation is not that serious.
"It is something we are managing. We are not in the habit of declaring anything a national emergency," said government spokesman Alfred Mutua.
Twenty people have died from diarrhoea in Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland province, the AFP news agency reports the UN humanitarian affairs agency, Ocha, as saying.
In central Somalia, AFP quotes aid worker Hussein Nur Adan as saying a rickety wooden boat capsized, exposing three people to crocodiles.
"I saw the remains of three people after they were attacked by two crocodiles," he said.
Some 8,000 people have been left homeless in Malawi after the River Shire burst its banks.
Four women and a child were drowned, the district commissioner said.
Heavy rains also led to 24 deaths in Rwanda's Northern Province, national radio reports.
The floods in the Horn of Africa follow last year's droughts in the region.
That left the earth unable to absorb the heavy rains, leading to flash floods in Ethiopia, as well as Somalia and Kenya.
The UN has said the floods could be the worst in the region for 50 years.
The rains are expected to continue for another month.
BBC NEWS REPORT.

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