20 June 2012

Comoros: Rain Brings Flooding, Crop Damage, Disease

Johannesburg — Some 65,000 people on the Comoros islands, or 8 percent of the population, were affected by flooding, power outages and an increased incidence of disease following heavy rains during the wet season that runs from November through to May.

Ingrid Nordström-Ho, based in Geneva and deployed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to assist in the emergency response, told IRIN: "The rains were unheard of. Even the very old people told me that they have never seen anything like it in their life."

Senior humanitarian officials on the islands said in a 15 June report that a further 80,000 people in the capital, Moroni, and surrounding areas had had water supplies interrupted, adding: "Distribution of chlorine tablets is a priority."

Vanilla producers on the main island, Grand Comore, have also been badly hit, with an estimated 80-90 percent of crops destroyed, the report said.

Moroni power station's output "continues to deteriorate and functions with only 3 MW, with a gap of 17 MW," the report added.

On the island of Anjouan malaria cases had risen "particularly in the [eastern] region of Pomoni, where cases are multiplied by five compared to before the floods. There are also other cases of non-identified fevers," the report said.

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations ]

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