News / Africa

Heavy Rains Predicted in Senegal, Gambia, Mauritania

Horse cart drivers transport goods and passengers through deep flood waters in Sicap Mbao, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Dakar, Senegal, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009
Horse cart drivers transport goods and passengers through deep flood waters in Sicap Mbao, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Dakar, Senegal, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009

The International Federation of the Red Cross is preparing for what it says will be heavy rains in the region this year, particularly in Senegal, Gambia and Mauritania.  One village in southern Senegal already reports losing dozens of homes and animals because of severe flooding in the past week. 

In the Casamance region of southern Senegal, teacher Houssainatou Boiro says heavy rains that began last week have washed away her house as well as the rice and couscous she was storing to feed her children.

Boiro's village, Sinthiou Koundara, is one of the first in Senegal to report heavy damage as the rainy season in West Africa gets underway.  Last year heavy rains that hit the region caused flooding that drove hundreds of thousands of residents from their homes says Moustapha Diallo.

Diallo is the communications officer for the International Federation of the Red Cross'  West and Central Africa Bureau.  "Last year more than 450,000 people were affected in 16 countries in West and Central Africa. And among them, Senegal and Burkina Faso were the most affected countries," he says, "In Senegal, more than 150,000 people were affected by flooding in the suburbs of Dakar and in many regions and villages of the country."

The Red Cross works with the African Center of Meteorological Application for Development to predict what the rainy season will bring this year.  

Diallo says the rains are expected to be particularly heavy in Senegal, Gambia and Mauritania.  He adds the Red Cross is preparing for the possible flooding by stocking up on supplies to distribute to families in the areas where heavy rains are predicted.

"In order to be able to provide immediate assistance to people affected by the floods and in Senegal and in Mauritania, besides the stock for 500 families, we have added a stock for 2,000 families.  It's a stock including food items, emergency shelter, blankets, mosquito nets," Diallo said.

Diallo warns the flooding impact on the local population could be enormous.

In the Boiro's village of 500 residents, dozens of homes have already been washed away and livestock drowned in this year's rains.  Many of the people who have no home left are living in the village's school, while others have nearby family members who are helping them recover.

Besides losing their homes, the Red Cross spokesman  says victims also face increased exposure to water-borne diseases such as malaria.

More than 100 people were killed in West Africa last year due to flooding.

You May Like

Video In US, Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy

Holiday marks date Columbus discovered Americas, but some are offended by legacy because he enslaved many natives he encountered More

Video Through Sports, Austria Tries to Give Migrants Traction

With 85,000 people expected to claim asylum in Austria this year, its government has made integration through joint physical activities a key objective More

Video Kickboxing Champion Shares Sport With Young Migrants

Pouring into Europe by hundreds of thousands, some migrants, especially youngsters, are finding sports a way to integrate into new host countries More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs