Oh! Heavy Floods in Ghana

mereja's picture

Oh! Heavy Floods in Ghana

        View Edit

Sun, 03/02/2008 - 12:18 — raja4u

July and August saw flooding across Africa in countries just south of the Sahara desert,
s well as in Kenya, Uganda and Mozambique.
outh Africa, which is experiencing the Southern Hemisphere’s winter, has seen flooding,
oo—along with freak snowfalls heavy enough to close the border between South Africa and
esotho for a time.

While African Web sites and newspapers, as well as the United Nations Information Network,
re filled with stories about the floods,
he major English-language media in the West have ignored this tragedy.
nstead, MSNBC ran a humorous piece Aug. 2 on snow in South Africa.
he Washington Post ran a 560-word article Aug. 15.

Half a million Africans are affected. Some have lost their food stocks or seeds for the next
rop cycle.
thers have seen their houses, made from dried-mud bricks, dissolve in the heavy rain.

Normally, in the rainy season, the bricks melt a bit but people can repair them when the sun
omes out. Not this year in many places in the Sahel, a normally semi-desert area just south
f the Sahara that stretches from Senegal to Sudan.

Once people lose their homes, they lose access to sanitation and drinkable water.
or example, Tintane is a small city in southeastern Mauritania where a flash flood wiped
ut the water supply, sanitation and houses of two-thirds of its people. They are living
n tents and makeshift shelters, none of which have latrines.

The floods destroyed the dam, the health center and nearly 2 miles of water pipes.

The Mauritanian government appealed for international aid to rebuild the town. Libya,
unisia and Morocco have already promised emergency items, including tents, food, blankets
nd medicine.

So far, the European and U.S. imperialist countries that have sucked out Africa’s valuable
esources ever since colonialism and the slave trade are being conspicuously tightfisted
bout giving aid.

Even when aid arrives, the Mauritanian government will still have major problems
upplying the people of Tintane with water, education and health care. As one of the
oorest countries in the world, ranking 154 out of 177 countries in the United Nations
uman Development Report and with a per capita income of only $2,000 per year, Mauritania’s
nfrastructure even before the floods was sorely lacking.

Besides Mauritania, the countries of Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Chad also had major
roblems with flooding. The water didn’t relieve their droughts since it came in torrents
hat couldn’t be absorbed by the soil. Lake Lere in Chad, which is on the Cameroon border,
verflowed its banks Aug. 9. As of Aug. 15 people who lived in the area were still finding
odies and wading through the water looking for dry land. Chad ranks 171 out of 177 countries
n the UNHDR.

Sudan is an African country often in the news lately because of the conflict in its province o
 Darfur and because it has become a significant producer of oil and sells a lot of it to China. It has used oil income to make major investments in infrastructure and agriculture. The floods that began there in early July and are predicted to last until mid-September have scarcely been mentioned in the Western media.

This year the rains came earlier than expected and 500,000 Sudanese lost access to clean water.
ome 3,086 pounds of chlorine powder and 878,000 chlorine tablets have been handed out to reduce the risk of cholera and other waterborne diseases. The U.N. is warning that as many as 1 million Sudanese could lose their houses and possessions and require food aid as well as water.

Rate this article: 
Average: 4.3 (3 votes)