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9/17/2007

West, Central Africa Brace for More Floods

African Continent

In West and Central Africa, where heavy flooding has left hundreds of thousands of people homeless and scores dead, meteorologists are forecasting more rain in the coming days. Humanitarian organizations say the rains are making life difficult in countries where infrastructure is already fragile and there are few safety nets in place to protect the poor.

Sudan has seen some of its worst floods in living memory

Flooding across West and Central Africa has left hundreds of thousands without homes and wiped out food crops and livestock.

The government of Ghana has declared parts of the country a disaster zone, and authorities there announced on Friday that the death toll from flooding in the north is continuing to rise.

In Togo, rains washed away thousands of homes, as well as bridges and schools, prompting the government to delay the start of the school year.

The head of the International Federation of the Red Cross for West and Central Africa, Alasan Senghore, says the situation is devastating. "Houses are completely destroyed. In most of these villages houses are built of mud. Of course they just disappear, no housing, nothing. And the water takes all of their belongings in the process, so they have to start over from scratch," he said.

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