afrol News, 29 October - At least 21 persons have been killed and over 80,000 have been affected by the heavy floods hitting Togo. Neighbouring Benin still struggles to hand out aid after even tougher floods hit the country earlier.
Togolese Communication Minister Djimon Oré, in a statement made available to afro News, said that the "number of people affected is 82,767, including 21 deaths and 85 wounded," following the floods hitting Togo. Also neighbouring countries had been hard hit by the regional flooding.
Minister Oré added that, according to preliminary reports gathered by 11 government teams gathering information in districts around the country, a total of 3,947 homes were flooded, 7,320 buildings had collapsed by the waters, and in addition some 921 families had abandoned their homes. Large resources were needed for reconstruction works.
In addition, "the area of fields and crops devastated is about 7744 hectares," Minister Oré stated.
As the waters were now retracting, government, "with assistance from our international partners," was now to intensify distribution of emergency aid to the affected areas and populations. There were in particular "short term needs" of food and non-food emergency aid, to be followed by an emphasis to support needs for agricultural inputs.
The Togolese cabinet had met in Lomé on Wednesday to hear the report from the 11 information gathering teams and to agree on an emergency response to the crisis caused by the floods. The emergency efforts have yet to get a budget.
Authorities however believe that the scale of the disaster now is almost completely mapped, not expecting the death toll or the size of the affected area to rise significantly.
According to the Togolese Red Cross (TRCS), the West African country will need intensive assistance during at least three months. The TRCS appealed for "blankets, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, kitchen sets, jerry cans, shelter kits and hygiene kits," which were running out from its pre-positioned stock.
Meanwhile, in neighbouring Benin, the floods had hit earlier and even harder than in Togo, with two-thirds of the country's districts severely affected by the flooding. As water recedes in the country, national and international aid efforts are starting to reach all parts of Benin.
This week, large numbers of tents, cooking equipment and food aid was flown into central and remote districts of the country. An estimated 680,000 people affected by the floods in Benin, and as emergency aid begins to arrive, authorities are increasingly concerned that diseases such as cholera may spread among the dispossessed population. Over 800 cholera cases are already reported in Benin.
The floods came after torrential rains hit Togo and Benin in September and early October, causing the overflow of a large number of rivers. More than half of Benin was affected. In Togo, the worst damages were caused in the Maritime Region, following the overflowing of River Mono.
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