from ARMANDO DOMINGOS in Maputo, Mozambique
MAPUTO, (CAJ News) – THE devastating impact of tropical storm Ana in some Southern African countries emphasises how the region is the worst affected by climate change globally.
Madagascar, Malawi and Mozambique are bearing the brunt of the storm, with fears of disease outbreaks a major concern.
This is in addition to the thousands of people displaced from their homes and flooding likely to contaminate water sources.
In Madagascar, at least 34 people have reportedly been killed. In Mozambique, at least 12 deaths have been reported.
The government of Malawi has reported one death but it is believed the figures are an understatement.
“We have not seen the full scale of the impact yet, but with flooding like this, water sources often get contaminated, which can lead to diseases,” Adam Garley, WaterAid’s country director in Mozambique, said.
He said people who had to flee their homes had limited access to clean water, sanitation and means of hygiene as well, hence it was vital these services were provided or restored as soon as possible.
“It will prevent people from falling ill. It’s essential the crisis is not allowed to escalate following the floods” Garley said.
Mercy Masoo, WaterAid’s country director in Malawi, lamented widespread damage to roads and houses, mainly in the southern part of the country.
“We are yet to get the full extent of the damage. This will become known in the coming days” Masoo said.
In Madagascar, relentless rain has caused severe flooding and landslides in Antananarivo, Madagascar’s capital city, as well as neighbouring districts.
Madagascar is coincidentally experiencing its worst drought in decades.
Floods and drought are attributed to global warming.
In Southern Africa, temperatures are rising at twice the global average.
Other countries in the region hit by back-to-back adverse weather are DR Congo, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
– CAJ News