What’s Going On: President Buhari’s 90-Day Flooding Plan, Kampala’s Surge In Ebola Cases & More
notable headlines from around the continent
notable headlines from around the continent
“What’s Going On” Tallies Notable News Headlines From Across The Continent — The Good, The Bad, And The Horrible — As A Way Of Ensuring That We All Become A More Sagacious African Generation. With This Column, We’re Hoping To Disseminate The Latest Happenings In Our Socio-Political Climate From Across The Continent, Whilst Starting A Conversation About What’s Important For Us To All Discuss. From Political Affairs To Socio-Economic Issues, ‘What’s Going On’ Will Discuss Just That.
Since June, several states in Nigeria have suffered heavy flooding, leading to massive loss of lives and properties. Although the Nigerian government has been slow to act against the heavy torrent, social media and other news platforms have regularly carried these swathes of unfortunate events, partly caused by heavy rainfall and the overflowing of the Lagbo dam from the neighbouring country of Cameroon.
Across the country, more than thirty states have experienced varying degrees of flood leading many to question the dedication of the present administration in regards to safeguarding its citizens, especially as environmental bodies had warned earlier in the year of severe rainfall throughout 2022. In a very late response, the President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Minister of Water Resources Suleiman Adamu to lead the Ministries of Environment and Transportation in developing a Comprehensive Plan of Action within ninety days.
This comes after the President’s vague order for governmental agencies dealing with the flood in Bayelsa, which is the most severely affected state in the country after 700,000 people have been displaced in over 300 communities. Corporate bodies and individuals have donated relief to the state, while residents continue to call on the President to personally visit these places to assess the situation.
Recently, on Monday, the Lagos State government issued new updates on the flood warnings to all waterfront residents of highbrow Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Lekki and coastal areas of Epe and Badagry to be wary of backflow due to high tide in the Lagos Lagoon. Tunji Bello, the State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, also shared that the earlier flood advisory issued by the State to the effect that all those on the banks of Ogun River, particularly residents of Ketu, Alapere, Agric, Owode Onirin, Ajegunle, Alagbole, Kara, Isheri Olowora, Araromi, Otun Orisha community, Agiliti, Maidan, Mile 12, Odo Ogun, Owode Elede, Agboyi I, Agboyi II, Agboyi II and Agboyi III remain vigilant at this period.
— Channels Television (@channelstv) October 24, 2022
Over fifty people were affected in a devastating attack by islamist terrorism group Al-Shabaab. According to reports the attack on the Somalian hotel started around 12:45 local time and lasted close to six hours after three attackers inside the hotel were shot dead by Jubaland state security forces. Nine people were confirmed dead and 47 injured, including students who were leaving a nearby school at the time of attack.
The hotel attack was the Shebab’s latest in a few months, after previously hitting the capital Mogadishu and central Somalia. It was carried out by four men including a suicide bomber: he had arrived at the hotel in a car which he blew himself in, before three gunmen proceeded into the building. Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they were targeting a hotel where members of the administration gathered.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud has declared an all-out war against the group, who have intensified their operations in the country in recent months. That was the guarantee in late August when a 30-hour attack on a hotel left at least 21 people dead and 117 injured. The President called for residents to stay away from areas controlled by Islamists as the security forces and local militias launch operations in the centre of the country. Some areas were reclaimed as a result, but overall the situation is very bleak. Somalia is also threatened by a looming famine, caused by the worst drought the country has seen in forty years.
The @UN in #Somalia strongly condemns yesterday’s lethal attack on the Tawakal Hotel in #Kismayo. It extends its condolences to the family and friends of the victims, and wishes a speedy recovery for those injured. The #UN stands firmly with all #Somalis against #terrorism. pic.twitter.com/o4QdocvWoV
— UNSOM (@UNSomalia) October 24, 2022
Health authorities in Uganda have announced that at least 15 people had contacted the Ebola virus in the capital, Kampala. The capital is now the sixth district in the country to confirm the virus’ presence, after the district of Mubende first identified an outbreak.
Residents have bemoaned the outbreak, quite scared for what the future holds. It’s especially tough on health workers who must respond quickly and professionally to suspected cases, while there’s a possibility of lockdowns to prevent further outbreak. With the Covid-19 pandemic still a present worry, Uganda fully resumed regular social and professional activities not long ago. Obviously it’s a terrible situation for the economy, with many countries around the world still finding their feet.
The good news for Uganda is that they’ve handled previous similar cases brilliantly. Strict measures taken during the pandemic averted a high rate of casualties. “With the experience we have had as Uganda in managing Ebola outbreaks, we have put on all that it takes including restricted movements in the epicentre to ensure that this current outbreak is controlled,” said Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the senior communications officer at the Ugandan Ministry of Health. “The cases we are seeing for instance here in Kampala are listed contacts to cases confirmed in Kassanda and Mubende so that shows that we are on top of [the situation]”.
Ebola outbreak: Cases continue to rise, most of them in Kampala
– New cases: 15
– New deaths: 0
– In hospital: 28 (+9)
– In Intensive Care: 12
– Total cases: 110 (90 conf.)
– Total deaths: 48 (28 conf.)
– Total recovered: 32 (+6)
– Case fatality rate: 60%
— BNO News (@BNOFeed) October 24, 2022
A boycott of roads has been threatened by drivers in Lagos state. Their statement was made through the registered Joint Drivers Welfare Association of Nigeria. Across the state, complaints of extortion and harassment of drivers by motor park employees and garage management have led JDWAN to call for seven days mass protest and total boycott, starting from October 31, 2022.
The association asked the government to intervene, mentioning the areas of alleged extortions: Agric Bus Stop, Badagry, Ikorodu, Ikeja, Mile 2, Seme, and many parts of the state, saying they paid as high as N5000 and N7100 at some places. JDWAN’s National Leader, Chairman, Secretary and Assistant Secretary; Akintade Abiodun, Opeyemi Suleiman, Ajimatanarareje Feyisayo, and Taofeek Hassan respectively, signed the statement letter made available to PUNCH Nigeria.
“On a daily basis,” part of the statement read, “we lose half our income to motor park boys; we pay exorbitant charges in the garages and at every bus stop where we drop off passengers; whether we pick up passengers or not, we pay morning, afternoon and night. Some routes have 25 bus stops which also serve as illegal tax collection avenues”. The statement also listed a number of demands, and in the case where they aren’t met, “will attract more protest and total boycott. JDWAN is resolute in pursuing justice by all legitimate and peaceful means available”.
Bus drivers in Lagos are suffering bruh. These guys hustle everyday just for agberos to take everything they have made. Before you drive from one pole to another, there’s an agbero waiting to collect money. From Ikotun to Iyana Ipaja, you must have settled like 10 agberos. Smh
— Mazi Olisaemeka C. ™ (@OlisaOsega) October 25, 2022
Featured image credits/CNN