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The Horn of Africa hit by violent floods

For several weeks, torrential rains have hit the coastal regions of Kenya. The city of Mombasa, the second largest in the country, is completely flooded. The entire Horn of Africa is bearing the brunt of the El Nino climatic phenomenon, a warming of the Indian and Pacific Oceans which results in heavy rains.

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With our correspondent in Nairobi, Gaëlle Laleix

According to the United Nations, in one month, floods have already killed more than 110 people across the Horn of Africa.Africa and displaced more than 770,000 others. In Somalia, towns like Beledweyne in the center of the country are under water. L’UN estimates more than 1.2 million people affected by bad weather. The Ethiopian highlands also experience flooding and landslides.

Long awaited after a terrible drought, these rains turned into “ curse », Explains the climate forecasting and applications center of Igad, the sub-regional organization, in its October bulletin. He also warns that the consequences of the El Nino phenomenon can be long-lasting, because these rains wash the soil, cause landslides and encourage the proliferation of locusts.

In the Horn of Africa, the short rainy season, from October to December, is crucial for agriculture. It represents 20 to 70% of annual precipitation.

Read alsoEnvironment: the world still far from its climate objectives

Mombasa port closed for several days

In Kenya, more than 80,000 households, according to the authorities, are victims of the rains. Residents taking refuge on roofs, streets transformed into rivers, containers swept away by water… images of the Mombasa floods have gone viral on Kenyan social networks.

Due to rains, East Africa’s largest port is no longer receiving sea freight. Interrupted for two days, rail traffic resumed this Monday, November 20.

In a press release published on Sunday, November 19, Vice-President Rigathi Gachaga assured that the Kenyan authorities are doing their best to respond to the emergency. “ Helicopters deployed for rescues, humanitarian aid distributed (…) and funds allocated for repairs “, he promises.

Kenya had nevertheless prepared. At least, that’s what he announced at the end of September, estimating his budget to confront El Nino at around 10 million shillings, or more than 60,000 euros.

In front of the press on Saturday, November 18, the governor of Mombasa, Abdullswamad Sheriff Nassir, nevertheless affirmed that his county had not received a single shilling from the authorities.

Read alsoEast Africa: why such rain and such damage?

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