Death toll from Benin floods close to 60


Weeks of flooding in the West African state of Benin have killed around 60 people and forced 120,000 to flee their homes, said authorities.

Food production was also badly hit by the floods, they said.
“With the most recent cases inland and with the cases of cholera, we have already reached around 60,” Interior Ministry spokesman Franck Kinninvo said of the rainy season flooding of Benin’s main rivers that started last month, Reuters reports.

Seven people have died out of a total 800 cases of cholera, while malaria, which thrives on water-logged conditions, has also claimed lives, he said.

Around 25,000 hectares of land accounting for 40 percent of production of rice, maize, millet and other staples has also been destroyed.

Kinninvo said the European Union had launched an 18-million-euro clean-up programme for Benin’s economic centre Cotonou, a major port hub between West Africa and Europe, but added that so far donors had only covered 10 percent of aid needs.