A particularly extreme rainy season has led to flash floods killing almost 1,000 people and displacing 120,000 in the Horn of Africa, since the beginning of August, as flood waters swept across parched earth across Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan.

Nearly 200,000 people in Ethiopia have been affected.

Rising water levels of Kenya’s lake Turkana have reduced its ability to act as a buffer to overflowing rivers, and is losing its ability to take in water from rivers flowing into it.

Dams and levees in Ethiopia could give way in the coming weeks, the humanitarian aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres which is providing relief to the area has said.

In Sudan, flood waters are now threatening government offices in the capital Khartoum.

The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said: “Thousands of people are in need of urgent humanitarian relief as entire communities have been displaced, disrupted, bereaved, and have lost vital livestock and farmland.”

Flooding has also affected thousands in West Africa, with 30,000 people in Niger and 20,000 in neighbouring Burkina Faso.

Over-flowing rivers are leading to the spread of malaria and water-borne diseases like cholera by contaminating drinking water and providing a breeding ground for malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

Goska Romanowicz

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