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Posts Tagged ‘Floods’

After my blog yesterday on cricket cheating, Pakistan floods, Niger floods and media story priorities… I have spotted that Eddie Arthur has blogged on vaguely similar lines.

It seemed dreadful to me that a sporting scandal could be seen as more important than the lives of millions of people in Pakistan. I was all fired up to write an indignant blog post about how the Western media are so biased in their approach to world issues, when I learned that the cricket corruption story was also headline news in Pakistan at the moment!

With you, Eddie, I still find the relative priorities to be somewhat surprising and very puzzling!

You can read the rest of it here – and also see a photo of a cricket match in Gouabafla, Ivory Coast: E Arthur bowling to D Arthur!

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Pakistan players in the spotlight

… the floods, I mean, as well as the alleged cricket cheats, but what about starving Niger!

The people of Niger are in the worst position in their post-colonial history

Gordon Brown returned to front-line politics today (31 August 2010), writing in The Independent and making an appeal for Britain to fund food aid to the landlocked African state of Niger where more than half the population face starvation.

In an article for The Independent, the former prime minister expresses frustration that the UK, US and other states have failed to contribute enough money to a United Nations appeal, leaving it $80m (£51m) short of target – and delivering little more than half the food needed.

While dramatic TV footage of the flooding in Pakistan has prompted governments to commit hundreds of millions to the aid effort there, the slowly worsening humanitarian crisis in Niger has been largely ignored by donors and the media. After a drought ruined much of last year’s harvest, extending the annual “hunger season” from four to eight months, the rains have now come excessively, sweeping away homes, grain stores and livestock.

And so the editors of the world’s news headlines elevate the crises of their choice and condemn others to obscurity…

Although less well-known than neighbouring Nigeria, Niger is one of the world’s largest countries with a landmass five times bigger than the UK. An arid land whose people eke out a living from subsistence farming, it is desperately poor. GDP per capita is the fifth lowest of 227 nations, ahead of Somalia, Liberia, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The floods are its worst for 80 years.

Colleague Sue Jarrett has lived and worked in Niger and she has been highlighting the plight of Niger on Facebook for some time now…

See for example BBC Radio 4 From Our Own Correspondent on 22 August 2010 and BBC World Africa news website on 24 August 2010 for photographs of the flooding in Niger.

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West African Floods Reported on BBC

Flooding in Burkina Faso

Flooding in Burkina Faso

I’ve been wondering when the serious flooding in West Africa would appear on the BBC website – and now in the last few days it has… at least on the Africa news page.

UN warns on West Africa floods.

Heavy flooding has now affected some 350,000 people across West Africa, killing at least 32 in Ghana and Burkina Faso, UN officials say.

Read more

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Flooding in Niger

Hot on the heels of my post on Floods in Burkina Faso, came a Facebook post this morning from colleague Sue who used to work in Niger.

AGADEZ, 3 September 2009 (IRIN) – Four days of intense rains in Niger’s northern Air Mountains and desert towns at its base have affected 7,000 households, damaged 3,500 homes and caused widespread livestock and agriculture losses mostly in the commune of Agadez, according to local officials.

You can read more here

I’ve also heard about heavy rains in Mali. West Africa is suffering unusual and serious weather conditions right now – but when I tried to find anything on BBC News Africa, all I got was news of floods in 1999!!!

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Last week, I shared some BBC website news about floods in Burkina Faso on my Facebook profile.

The heaviest rains to hit Burkina Faso in decades have killed five people and left 150,000 homeless, officials say.

Flooding destroyed thousands of homes in and around the capital, Ouagadougou, triggering officials pleas for international help.

I was also getting information and photos from a colleague based in Burkina Faso:

This past Monday night a torrential downpour of rain hit Ouagadougou and the surrounding area and continued for most of Tuesday. As a result most of the Burkinabè employees at the SIL centre have lost their homes. The Burkinabè Prime Minister is a Christian. Please pray for him. This is what Reuters has to say:

(Reuters) – The heaviest rainfall in 90 years in the African state of Burkina Faso has triggered heavy flooding and forced thousands of people to flee their homes, the government said Wednesday.”We have been able to find shelter for about 110,000 people but there are others who have taken refuge with their neighbors,” Prime Minister Tertius Zongo told reporters after an emergency cabinet meeting. “There are at least 150,000 people to cater for.”

Floods in Ouagadougou

Floods in Ouagadougou

Aid groups in the Burkina Faso capital of Ouagadougou, which has a population of about 1 million, said the flood water had smashed bridges and roads and could hamper their work. “Bridges and dams have been destroyed, the main hospital in Ouagadougou which is close to a dam was inundated and some patients including about 60 children were evacuated,” Rosine Jourdain of the Belgian Red Cross in Burkina Faso told Reuters by telephone. “An electrical plant was also destroyed so I think we are going to have some power supply problems.

Please pray for thousands of homeless people in Ouaga. Pray that cholera and other such diseases do not become an issue.

Yesterday I received more news from a Burkinabe colleague:

FLOOD CAUSES DISASTER IN BURKINA FASO

Our country has been under a big natural disaster on Tuesday, 1st of September.  A flood even the elders have never seen in their live. A total of 300 mm of rain registered in Ouagadougou, our capital city. Specialists say the amount of rain that fell in Ouagadougou on one day this week was equal to a quarter of the whole country’s annual rainfall.

Obviously this unusual flood caused great damages in Ouagadougou: according to the local authorities seven people were killed and more than 150,000 left homeless in Ouagadougou on Tuesday as this heavy rainfall triggered flooding across the city.

Bridges, roads and dams have been destroyed, the main hospital in Ouagadougou which is close to a dam was inundated and some patients including about 60 children were evacuated to other hospitals.

According to our local newspapers, as of 4 September the Burkina Faso government has estimated flood damages at US$152 million, according to Prime Minister Tertius Zongo. He said the government needed $15 million for immediate humanitarian assistance and infrastructure repair. The rains have destroyed a dam in the capital Ouagadougou and another in the northern Sahel region, damaged 12 bridges in the capital and flooded 75 percent of the country’s main hospital, forcing patient evacuations and early discharges.

The biggest challenge remains stocking the dozens of sites sheltering flood victims with enough drinking water, latrines and lights, government officials stressed.

BBC also posted some photos – see here

Aftermath of flooding

Aftermath of flooding

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