Heavy rains in Abidjan, the economic capital of Ivory Coast, since late May killed at least 15 people and caused many wounded, the government spokesman said Wednesday.
“Unfortunately, the rains of recent weeks have caused a great number of deaths. Today, there are 15 deaths (…) and 25 wounded in all, “said Minister of Communication Bruno Koné, at a press conference after the council of ministers meeting.
A previous report found 11 dead and hundreds of disaster victims. The victims are mainly inhabitants of precarious neighborhoods, poor in infrastructure and backed by unstable hills in the event of heavy rains.
Besides Abidjan, the rains have also caused substantial damage to the town of San-Pedro (south-west), home to the second port of Côte d’Ivoire, a strategic export destination for cocoa. The city was isolated for several days after a bridge connecting it yielded following heavy rains.
The government has blamed “climate change and installations in high-risk areas despite all awareness-raising campaigns and some evacuation operations”.
The authorities have decided to put in place by the end of July a master plan for Abidjan and to continue the sanitary operations, notably the clearing of the gutters.
This diagram should “make it possible to know exactly the paths followed by the rainwater and trackhow to avoid the damage”.
“If the rain continues, it is sure that we will have a job” had recently warned the firefighters, while the weather still announced heavy precipitation in Abidjan. Heavy rains regularly cause human losses in Abidjan: in 2016, they killed 16 people, and in 2014, 39 people died.