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Nie ma suszy w sub-saharskiej Afryce

 
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Dołączył: 14 Wrz 2007
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PostWysłany: Wto 9:25, 17 Lut 2009    Temat postu: Nie ma suszy w sub-saharskiej Afryce

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These hot, humid and rainy February days are ones that will never be forgotten in the years ahead

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HARARE, Emelia Ndoro, 32, lives in an unplanned settlement in Epworth, 20km east of the Zimbabwean capital, Harare. With the rainy season now underway, she fears the spread of cholera in the community, and the possibility that her three-roomed mud house could collapse.

"I have lived in different informal settlements over the past eight years and the rainy season always comes with many problems for all dwellers in squatter camps.

"The inside of my shelter is damp because of the heavy rains ... My neighbours nearly sustained injuries after their shelter collapsed while they were inside. They have moved to another part of Epworth, where they hope to put up another structure.

"There have been many cases of diarrhoea; with the national cholera outbreak we are experiencing, we fear an outbreak here would be a big disaster.

"I'm only human and want to live in a decent structure one day, with all the comforts and peace of mind of staying in a formal settlement.

"[In the meantime], as you may be aware, there are a lot of power shortages in urban Harare, and we raid nearby farms to poach firewood, which we sell. The downside to that is if you are caught by the farm guards, they don't even bother charging you with a fine. They just beat you up."
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PostWysłany: Pią 0:22, 11 Wrz 2009    Temat postu:

More people affected by West African floods
afrol News, 8 September - The number of people hit by deadly floods across West Africa has now topped 600,000, and the heavy rains have also destroyed crops and infrastructure in a region already hard hit by poverty, the United Nations humanitarian arm reported today.

The rains that began in June have claimed nearly 160 lives, with Sierra Leone, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Niger among the countries most affected by flooding, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Roads and buildings have been ruined from Mauritania to Niger, while a key hospital in Ouagadougou, the capital, of Burkina Faso, lost medicine and equipment. In the town of Agadez in Niger, almost 400 hectares of vegetable crops and hundreds of livestock were washed away.

“It’s a very worrisome situation that further weakens already impoverished populations,” said Hervé Ludovic de Lys, head of the OCHA in West Africa.

“Natural disasters have lasting consequences that will have an impact for decades to come and take us back to square one in terms of the fight against poverty.”

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has started distributing vital food supplies to over 100,000 people in Burkina Faso, Niger and Mauritania.

Adults are being given a 15-day ration of cereals, pulses and vegetable oil, while children receive a monthly supply of food, including sugar and a nutritious corn-soya blend.

“People’s lives have been turned upside-down overnight and WFP is moving as swiftly as possible to provide life-saving food assistance,” said Josette Sheeran, the agency’s Executive Director. “It is always the poor and vulnerable who suffer most from floods like these as their few remaining assets are swept away, leaving them hungry and destitute.”

Many of those in urgent need of help in Ouagadougou, where WFP has already reached 500,000 people since last week, were already receiving the agency’s help, but those rations were lost in the floodwaters, the agency reported.

In Niger, WFP started providing supplies yesterday to 41,000 people, while it is planning aid distributions to some 12,000 people in Mauritania.

West Africa regularly experiences torrential rainfall during the annual wet season, and the rain can often devastate communities in a matter of hours. In 2007, for example, about 300 people died and 800,000 others were affected.

OCHA noted today that climate change is driving these natural disasters, with the region possibly paying a high human cost due to global warming. Ahead of December’s UN climate change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, when nations are aiming to reach agreement on slashing greenhouse gas emissions, West African nations have been holding frequent high-level and expert meetings on the issue
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PostWysłany: Pią 0:35, 11 Wrz 2009    Temat postu:

BURKINA FASO: Floods shut down hospital, HIV reference lab

Photo: Brahima Ouedraogo/IRIN
Services suspended at Yalgado Ouédraogo hospital (file photo)
OUAGADOUGOU, 7 September 2009 (IRIN) - Recent floods have shut down Burkina Faso’s main hospital, interrupting dialysis treatments, preventing HIV diagnoses and overloading health centres ill-equipped to take on surgical cases, according to the Health Ministry.

To date, there have been seven reported deaths and more than 100,000 people made homeless by the storms. Most of the displaced have sought refuge in dozens of sites throughout the capital Ouagadougou.

The Health Minister Seydou Bouda told IRIN on 7 September that the three wards still open at the hospital – maternity; ear, nose and throat; and eye care – are only taking emergency cases. “Even in normal times, Yalgado [hospital] needed heavy repairs,” said the health minister. “Now this situation has come, which has made the renovations more pressing.”

Bouda told IRIN the hospital must suspend its activities in order to rebuild and replace equipment. “There is no use in rushing to reopen as if nothing had happened.” On 1 September, the city received one-quarter of its typical annual rainfall in an hours-long deluge.

HIV care

Equipment in the hospital’s HIV laboratory that was used to diagnose the disease countrywide has been destroyed. Three of the capital’s five reference laboratories capable of high-level accurate diagnoses – for more diseases than just HIV – have been damaged, the Health Ministry’s Secretary General Adama Traoré told IRIN. “We are in the process of contacting the makers of the CD4 count machines [used to diagnose HIV] in the hospital to find out how to make repairs or what can be done.”

He said the hospital needs to contact patients who are on anti-retroviral treatments for HIV in case the patients’ homes have been destroyed and medicines are lost, but it has lost contacts for most its patients. “If I had a patient before me right now, I could not tell you that patient’s medical history because we simply have no records. They washed away. Computers were damaged. Paper files destroyed.”

Nationwide there were about 10,000 people on ARV drugs as of June 2009, according to the government’s national HIV and sexually transmitted diseases council.

Health Minister Bouda told IRIN the government has requested emergency assistance from The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Dialysis

The hospital’s director general, Lansande Bagagné, told IRIN on 6 September that some dialysis patients were in a critical state and had started vomiting when their treatment had been discontinued for days. “We were able to get three generators working to continue their care.”

Altogether 50 dialysis patients had to stop treatments when the machines were destroyed, said the Health Ministry’s Traoré. “We are at a loss as what to do. We are simply lost. No other health structures are equipped to take them on,” said Traoré.

Traoré told IRIN the hospital is relying on radio and television advertisements to redirect people to other health centres. “We are managing and the health system has been able to react quickly, but we are still in the process of assessing how much we lost.”

Traoré told IRIN though the major stock of donor-funded medicines – including anti-malaria pills and anti-retroviral medication for HIV patients – were stored safely outside the hospital, any medicine at the hospital was destroyed.

When asked health centres’ operation plans if and when additional rains come, Traoré replied: “For the long-term, we should not build health structures in flood-prone zones. For the short-term, we move our papers to a higher and drier spot.”

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