Page last updated at 11:33 GMT, Thursday, 19 March 2009

Namibia declares flood emergency


Namibia's President Hifikepunye Pohamba has declared a state of emergency in six northern districts after floods killed at least 90 people.

He said the floods could be one of the worst disasters of its kind in recent memory and warned of food shortages.

Field after field of crops have been destroyed, as have houses, schools, health centres and roads.

Crocodiles and hippos are swimming through the flood waters, attacking and killing people.

Even though the rains have subsided, correspondents say the damage is so great that it will be some time before the thousands of people displaced by the floods will be able to return home.

Mr Pohamba called for emergency assistance from the international community.

Aid workers fear the floods could lead to outbreaks of diseases such as cholera and malaria.

Angola has also been affected by the floods - 25,000 people have lost their homes and several others have died in the southern province of Cunene.

It might be difficult for aid agencies to help these two countries because they are already over-stretched in Africa, and they have less money than usual because of the global financial crisis.

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Country profile: Namibia
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