Senegal: 18 Dead as Floods Paralyse the Country

[All links forward to French sources unless otherwise stated.]

Heavy rains caused catastrophic flooding in many regions of Senegal on August 26, 2012, with 18 dead and 42 injured so far. The Senegal government has launched a rescue plan with French emergency organisation Orsec [en] to assist victims. Senegalese internet users have described the consequences of flooding in their regions.

Many internet users published photos and videos of damage caused by the torrential rains on social networks. Blogger Basil Niane published several video reports on YouTube from areas of Dakar affected by the floods. In the following video he describes the situation in the Grand Yoff district:

Blogger Diopweb did the same for the Dalifort and Mariste districts:

Meanwhile blogger Anna Gueye made a compilation of striking photos published on twitter and Claude André Coly told of the difficulties facing inhabitants of other regions:

Au niveau de la ville où des sources renseignent que la quantité de pluie recueillie la nuit du dimanche avoisinerait les 140 mm, les sinistrés se comptent par milliers. Les quartiers de Sourah, Keur Niang, Darou Miname, Gare Bou­ndaw, Ndame et Darou khoudoss sont les plus touchés. Même la grande mosquée n’est pas épargnée, avec l’eau qui est rentrée dans le bâtiment, occasionnant ainsi des dégâts.

In the city, where sources tell us that almost 140mm of rain fell during Sunday night, there are thousands of victims. The districts of Sourah, Keur Niang, Darou Miname, Gare Boundaw, Ndame and Darou Khoudoss have been the worst affected. Not even the grand mosque was spared, with water entering the building and causing damage.

Screen capture of flooding in Dalifort filmed by Diopweb

He added:

Un atelier de menuiserie sis à khaïra a été complètement détruit par un court-circuit électrique. Un poulailler au marché Ocass qui contenait 800 poulets a aussi été emporté par les eaux [..] Dans la commune de Mbacké également, les quartiers Pallène, Gawane, Route de kaël et Escale sont sous les eaux. De même que Taïf qui a reçu 149,6 mm d’eau de pluie.

A workshop in Khaira has been completely destroyed by a short circuit. An Ocass market hen house containing 800 chickens has also been swept away by the water [..] Meanwhile in the city of Mbacké, the Pallène, Gawane, Route de Kaël and Escale districts are under water, as is Taif, which received 149.6mm of rain.

Many internet users also revealed the extent of the damage on twitter:

Cars floating in the flood waters at #OuestFoire #kebetu
@diopweb: Overflow of one of the lakes in Mariste #Inondation26Aout #Dakar #Kebetu #Senegal

Due to the scale of this disaster, President Sall cut short his visit to South Africa. People affected by the flooding demonstrated in Dakar to protest the delay in measures taken by the authorities. Tear gas was allegedly used to disperse the demonstrators. Malickou Ndiaye explained the reasons for the people's anger:

Des maisons détruites, des pans de murs démolis, l’hôpital philipe Maguilène Senghor de Yoff inondé, d’où l’évacuation des malades, des routes coupées ;ça pataugeait partout . De Yoff en passant par Grand-Yoff, Parcelles assainies, Khar Yalla, le spectacle n’était pas beau à voir. Une situation indescriptible qui a poussé les populations à sortir dans la rue, pour montrer leur amertume. Les populations ont brûlé des pneus, car, disent-elles, les autorités n’ont jamais fait le moindre effort pour faire évacuer les eaux.

Houses destroyed, walls demolished, the Philipe Maguilène Senghor de Yoff Hospital flooded, leading to evacuation of the sick, roads cut off; wading around everywhere. On the way to Grand-Yoff from Yoff, through the districts of Parcelles Assainies and Khar Yalla, was not a pretty sight. An indescribable situation which has forced people out on the street to display their bitter anger. People burned tyres, because, they said, the authorities have not made the slightest effort to drain the flood water.

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