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Living 'like fish' in Senegal's flooded capital

DJEDDAH-THIAROYE KAW, Senegal — Every year, in the rainy season, the floors of Omar Barro's house in the suburbs of Senegal's capital Dakar are submerged, like others all around. "We are like fish," he says.
The flooding, which on Thursday led the government to enact an emergency plan, forces this 17-year-old tailor's assistant and thousands like him to "eat, pray and do everything in the water."
Sandbags mark out the pathways through Djeddah-Thiaroye Kaw, a teeming suburb which has turned into a marshland whose inhabitants roll up their trousers and robes to get around.
The flooding is so frequent that fresh-water plants and green algae soon put in their annual appearance, but the extent of the damage this year is such that the Dakar suburbs have made front-page news in the local papers.
"For about eight years, this water has been stagnating here, forcing many families to leave. About 40 more left for a neighbouring area after the last rains," said Momar Diaw, the head of the Medina 5 district, standing in swampland.
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