The Senegalese government has activated an emergency aid plan after a seven-hour rainfall caused widespread floods.
At least one person has been declared missing and three dead following the floods.
Serigne Mbaye Thiam, the Minister for Water and Sanitation, stated on national television that more rain fell on Saturday than the country would usually see during three months of the rainy season.
“This is an exceptional rainfall. We registered 124 millimetres of rain. This is the cumulative rain we get during the whole rainy season from July to September,” Thiam, a former Minister of National Education, said.
One person was reported missing due to the floods in the central region of Kaolack, said Aissatou Ndiaye, the Mayor of Ndiafatte.
Senegal’s private radio station RFM disclosed that three children died due to the floods, two in the southern Casamance region and one in the northern Kanel region.
In Guediawaye district close to Dakar, volunteers raced to scoop out flood water and debris from a heavily flooded health centre.
“More than five communities use this health centre, we are desperate and ask for help. We have seen no mayor, no councillor, no firefighters. We have seen no one,” resident Momodou Baye Fall told journalists.
According to forecasts by Senegal’s meteorological agency ANACIM, more thunderstorms and rains are expected across most of the country.
Heavy rains have been recorded in the Sahel regions of West and Central Africa in the past week including in Niger, Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon, leading to devastating floods that have killed dozens and displaced thousands of people.
In the Nigerien capital, Niamey, a levee on the right bank of the Niger River burst on Sunday following heavy rains, forcing families in several neighbourhoods to evacuate, authorities said.
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