The Senegalese government is under fire following its response to the severe flooding in Dakar, which has claimed the lives of at least six people.
According to Reuters, 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.
Roads were blocked in the city, causing many homes and businesses to collapse. It was only then that Senegalese President Macky Sall finally activated an emergency aid plan on Saturday following a seven-hour downpour.
Local residents accused the Sall administration of being too slow to act.
“Every time there is a flood, they fool us by giving us food rations. We don’t need it. We need sanitation,” local resident Rokhaya told FRANCE 24. “I call on President Macky Sall. Help us clean up our neighbourhood. We’re tired.”
Dakar faces repeated flooding with associated environmental problems, so much so that parts of the city remain permanently flooded. Still, the administration has no concrete plan in place to tackle the annual floods — implementing crisis management strategies ahead of any real long term solutions.
Dozens of lives have been lost, and thousands of people have been left displaced and with little hope.
Water Minister Serigne Mbaye Thiam refused to accept responsibility for the government’s response, telling a national news station: “This is an exceptional rainfall. We registered 124 mm (4.8 inches) of rain. This is the cumulative rain we get during the whole rainy season from July to September.”
The rain has eased up but is expected to resume on Thursday and through the weekend.