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9/02/2007

More than 130,000 hit by floods in West Africa

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DAKAR (Reuters) - Heavy flooding after torrential rains has affected more than 130,000 people in seven West African countries, with impoverished Burkina Faso, Mali and Mauritanian worst hit, the United Nations said on Saturday.

More than 30,000 people have been stricken in both Mali and Mauritania, with some 20,000 affected in landlocked Burkina Faso since the flooding began in July, the U.N. Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on its Web site.

Niger, Gambia, Senegal and war-shattered Liberia have also been struck by the flooding.

Floods have destroyed houses, food stocks and goods, and polluted water sources, leaving tens of thousands of people homeless and vulnerable to water-borne diseases such as cholera.

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