Ghana – Deadly Floods Hit Central Region
African Flood – Four days of heavy and steady rain has left at least 10 people dead in the south of Ghana. The streets of Accra have been left under water after the torrential downpours caused widespread flooding earlier this week.
The nation’s capital was hit bit 185mm of rain on Sunday, which is more than they would expect for the entire month of June. This is the wettest month of the year with an average rainfall of 178mm.
Since the weekend a further 50mm of rain has fallen exacerbating the severe problems already faced. President John Dramani Mahama has surveyed the areas concerned. He was reported to have driven through several neighbourhoods on a motorcycle.
Heavy downpours were also recorded 150km to the west of Accra in the Central Regional capital, Cape Coast where 10 people died in floods, Sandy Amartey, regional coordinator of the National Disaster Management organisation, told AFP.
“In all we have 10 to 12 who lost their lives during this rainy season.”
The rains come too late to save the nations struggling coca crop. The region’s Harmattan winds have been blamed for likely poor yield.
The Harmattan is the cold, dry wind that blows across West Africa from the Sahara during the winter months. It does have a tendency to sap the moisture from the soil and can spoil the cocoa seeds.
The rains finally arrived in March. Since then they have been insufficiently light and patchy until recently.
This current spell of heavy showers is set to continue well into next week.
The rainy season is not expected to ease significantly until early July.
Nigeria – Thousands Left Homeless After Floods in Ebonyi
A storm lasting several hours brought heavy rain and flooding to Abakaliki, Ebonyi state, Nigeria on Sunday 12 June, 2016.
Local media say that the Iyi-Udele River that runs at the middle of Abakaliki overflowed, flooding areas some 30 metres beyond it’s normal banks.
Nigeria’s Leadership newspaper reported that 5,000 people have been left homeless after the floods destroyed or damaged 100s of houses. Businesses, churches and schools have also suffered damage.
Parts of West Africa have seen significant levels of rainfall over the past week. Flooding has been reported in Accra and Central Region in Ghana, leaving at least 6 people dead.
Somalia – 30,000 in Need of Food and Drinking Water After Flood
The International Committee of the Red Cross says that flooding in Beledweyne since May 2016, Somalia has displaced tens of thousands of people who are now in need of food and safe drinking water.
The flood is a result of heavy rains in the upper part of the Ethiopian highlands that have caused river Shabelle to overflow. The flood waters have destroyed crops and fields remain inaccessible.
Shafi Ibrahim, a local elder, told the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) “The flood has destroyed almost everything. The majority of the community here operates a small business in a local market. They could no longer work as the place is submerged with water. We do hope in a month’s time it will dry up and we can start rebuilding our lives.”
The ICRC and the Somali Red Crescent Society (SRCS) are distributing emergency assistance to more than 30,000 people to alleviate the effects of the flood.
The ICRC and SRCS carried out a five-day distribution this week of rice, oil, beans, and mosquito nets.
“This flooding is the worst in years. It covered most of the town and surroundings. As the people move to higher grounds, they are in need of everything. The ICRC is providing food and other basic items, clean water and health care to the most affected communities. This will enable them to hold on as they start to rebuild their homes,” said Albert Jabre, the region’s field coordinator for the ICRC in Somalia.
Approximately 100,000 aqua tabs were distributed with each family receiving 20 tablets, enough to last them for one month. One tablet can purify 20 litres of drinking water.
Beletweyne hosts 31,000 displaced people, the majority of whom have fled conflict in the neighboring districts of Jalalqsi and Bulle Burte.
The residents who live in a low-lying areas have moved to higher ground in El Jaale, five kilometres from Beledweyne.