Downpours prevent Africa flood aid

Hundreds of thousands of people are desperate for food and shelter.

    About 1.5 million people in 18 countries across Africa have lost the homes to the floods [AFP]

    "If the rains continue for the next four days, we do not know what will happen. The routes have been destroyed," he told the AFP news agency from Soroti, the northeastern town where much of the relief effort is being co-ordinated.
      
    Thousands affected

    An estimated 500,000 people in Uganda have already been affected by the floods. Neighbouring regions in southern Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya have also been badly hit.

    With displaced people dying of water-borne diseases and electrocution in remote areas, casualty figures are still being compiled.

    "We are just the way you see us here, no home, no food and no clothing"


    Mary Akiteng, displaced mother
    of two

    "We are just the way you see us here, no home, no food and no clothing," Mary Akiteng, a mother of two, told Reuters news agency.

    "Why doesn't the government come to our rescue?"

    The crisis prompted Uganda's government to declare a state of emergency on Wednesday, the first time Yoweri Museveni, the president, has done so during his 21 years in power.
      
    "We need air transport to deliver food items to the districts, but we are just praying that it stops raining," Ecweru said.

    On Wednesday, the World Food Programme called for $65 million to feed 1.7 million people - many of them already displaced by the war in the north of Uganda. On Friday, other UN agencies in Uganda launched a $43 million floods appeal.
      
    Rain forecast

    West Africa has also seen terrible flooding, with countries such as Ghana, Togo and Nigeria heavy affected. Forecasts predict more rain in many parts of the continent over the coming days.

    Louis Michel, the European commissioner for development and humanitarian aid, said on Friday that the current disaster highlighted the threat posed by climate change in the world's poorest nations.
      
    "This year's floods and droughts across much of Africa, as well as in Europe and other parts of the world, are a wake-up call," he said in a statement.
      
    "Every new disaster highlights the danger that the world, and more particularly less developed countries and small insular states, faces from climate change."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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