More than 80 dead in Africa floods

Thousands forced from their homes by floods in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia.

    In northern Kenya 78,000 people have been forced to leave their homes

    "Accumulated estimates from the three countries put the total number of affected people between 1.5 million and 1.8 million," Elisabeth Byrs, UN humanitarian afairs agency spokeswoman, said.

    Helicopters were urgently needed to reach isolated villages under water in Somalia, where relief operations are hampered by conflict, she said.

     

    Epidemics linked to polluted, stagnant water  - including cholera, malaria and dysentery - are feared, so products to treat water and mosquito nets are urgently needed, Byrs said.

     

    Crocodile deaths

     

    Mohammad Adow, reporting for Al Jazeera from Mogadishu, said: "The floods have destroyed roads and washed away bridges making the delivery of aid a very tall order.

     

    "There is a ban on flights from Kenya and this is also hampering the aid effort.

     

    "Five people have been killed by crocodiles and there is widespread fear of disease, particularly malaria."

     

    Kenya's health ministry has reported 13 cases of cholera and two deaths.

      

    At least 80 people have died in floods in southern Somalia described as the worst for 50 years, and one charity said up to half a million children there needed emergency aid.

     

    UN plea

     

    Concern over the ability of aid agencies to respond to the humanitarian situation in Somalia has been exacerbated by the country's continuing civil war.


    Francois Lonseny Fall, the UN envoy to Somalia, has urged the country's fractured government to make a new commitment to faltering peace talks with the Union of Islamic Courts that has taken over much of southern Somalia.

     

    Fall, the UN secretary-general's special representative to Somalia, briefly met Abdullahi Yusuf, the Somalian president, on Monday before holding private discussions with Ali Mohamed Gedi, the prime minister.

     

    The envoy told Yusuf on Monday: "We strongly urge the transitional federal institutions to remain committed to dialogue. The international community is very, very concerned."

     

    He said his focus was to persuade the government, which has been wracked by infighting, to come together and restart talks with the Union of Islamic Courts.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    No country in the world recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    Strong quotes for Martin Luther King Jr Day

    Quotes from Martin Luther King Jr that resonate today

    Quotes of justice, education, religion and race said by MLK Jr.

    Bitcoin: Know the risks before you buy

    Bitcoin: All you need to know before you buy

    'Bitcoin is right now the riskiest investment you can make.' Here are the risks you should consider before you buy.