Botswana

Five People Killed In Botswana Floods

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GABORONE, Botswana (PANA) - The death toll arising from the current floods and heavy rains in Botswana has reached five, according to the National Disaster Preparedness Management Committee.
The victims include two boys, aged two and three, a 70-year-old man and a teenage boy. All the fatalities, except that of the septuagenarian who drowned, occurred in collapsed huts.

In the last one week, continuous heavy rains have severely disrupted life in Botswana as rivers and dams burst their banks causing widespread flooding.

The floods have completely paralysed rail and road transport in parts of the country, submerged or destroyed dwellings causing fatalities and rendering people homeless.

At one time last week, road and rail links between the north and south of the country were completely cut-off because of the floods. The capital, Gaborone, was also cut off from most of the country in terms of rail and road transport.

Some residents of the city were marooned in their estates and could not reach the rest of Gaborone for days.

Several roads are still closed as well as a number of border crossing points from Botswana into South Africa.

Inmates at a Gaborone prison had to be moved elsewhere after the facility was submerged. There are fears that an outbreak of malaria and other water borne diseases might occur.

President Festus Mogae has appealed for international emergency aid to deal with the situation.

He toured the worst hit areas to assess the damage and comfort the victims of the floods at the weekend.

He assured those affected by the floods that the government would come to their aid despite the fact that the crisis over-stretched the country's coping capacity.

The president said the government has ordered tents from abroad to be distributed to those in need.

More rains are still expected.

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