What’s Going On: Rescue Efforts In Morocco, Storm Daniel In Eastern Libya & More
News headlines from Nigeria, Libya, Zimbabwe and Morocco.
News headlines from Nigeria, Libya, Zimbabwe and Morocco.
“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. This Week’s Headlines Come From Gabon, Nigeria & South Sudan.
The death toll in the boat accident in north-central Nigeria has risen to 28 as local communities mobilised in support of an intensified search for dozens still missing. The incident happened when a boat carrying more than 100 farmers, which mostly included women and children, capsized on Sunday morning. They were travelling to their farmlands in the Gbajibo community, located 251km (156 miles) from Minna, the capital of Niger state.
The cause of the boat capsizing is still unknown. Ibrahim Audu, the spokesperson of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency, revealed that it took several hours before help could reach the community in Mokwa district because of its remote location and villagers nearby were on the lookout for bodies floating on the river.
It is the third boat accident in a week in Nigeria. On Saturday, at least 10 people died and three others were missing on Lake Njuwa in Adamawa State in the northeast region of the country. A week ago, a boat with 18 passengers capsized in Fufore district. At least one person died in that incident and another was missing.
At least 2000 people are feared dead with an estimated 10,000 missing in eastern Libya after the flooding caused by torrential rains. The flooding was due to Storm Daniel, which has also hit Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria in recent days. According to Osama Hamad, the head of the executive in eastern Libya, the figures were from Derna, in the Jabal Al-Akhdar region and the suburbs of Al-Marj. The storm also hit the cities of Benghazi, Susa, Bayda and al-Marj, among others, on Sunday and Monday.
Libyan citizens have shared footage and pictures showing the destruction on a large scale, with entire neighbourhoods, especially ones located along the River Derna that runs down from the mountains through the city, destroyed. Multistorey apartment buildings were also damaged and partially collapsed into the mud. There were images showing cars being swept away by the muddy currents.
The city of Derna in eastern Libya has been declared a disaster zone after Medicane Daniel caused catastrophic flash flooding across the area overnight. Many residential buildings have been destroyed along the riverbanks. I fear we might be facing a mass casualty event. pic.twitter.com/QoVp8vzjpp
— Nahel Belgherze (@WxNB_) September 11, 2023
Libya’s health minister, Othman Abduljaleel, revealed that many more bodies are still under the rubble in Derna’s neighbourhoods or have been washed away to the sea. “We were stunned by the amount of destruction … the tragedy is very significant, and beyond the capacity of Derna and the government,” he said.
Several foreign governments have sent messages of support and solidarity to Libya. Several nations, including Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Tunisia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates, said they were ready to send humanitarian assistance and personnel to help with search and rescue efforts.
Opposition parties and civil society organisations have criticised President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s decision to appoint his son, David Kudakwashe Mnangagwa, as the deputy finance minister in a new cabinet following his re-election. The president’s act has been described as corruption and nepotism, with Nelson Chamisa, the opposition leader, calling it a “gigantic fraud” and accusing Mnangagwa of not prioritising the nation’s economic challenges.
David Mnangagwa, 34, will serve as the deputy to Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube, while the president’s nephew, Tongai Mafidhi Mnangagwa, was also named deputy minister of tourism and hospitality. This decision is part of the newly constituted cabinet consisting of 26 ministries. President Mnangagwa also appointed husband and wife, Christopher and Monica Mutsvangwa, as ministers. Christopher Mutsvangwa will lead the new ministry of Veterans of Liberation, while Monica Mutsvangwa is the new minister of Women’s Affairs and SMEs.
Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) lawmaker Fadzayi Mahere called Mnangagwa’s cabinet “indefensible.” “It’s a toxic mix of illegitimacy, corruption, violence, nepotism, incompetence and sex scandals – everything but the ethical leadership Zimbabweans want and deserve. No wonder the national mood is so funereal,” he said. This controversy follows President Mnangagwa’s re-election amid opposition claims of electoral irregularities. Critics argue that his actions are contributing to a perception of dynastic politics in Africa, following the footsteps of other leaders who have appointed family members to key government positions.
Moroccan volunteers and rescue workers, supported by foreign teams, continue to search for survivors and provide shelter for hundreds of families who have lost their homes more than 72 hours after the earthquake that killed almost 2,900 people.
On September 8, 2023, a magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit Morocco’s Atlas Mountains region, with the earthquake’s epicentre located in Al-Haouz province in the High Atlas of the mountains. The earthquake is the country’s deadliest in more than 60 years, killing many people and leaving at least 2,476 injured. The deadly earthquake has put a heavy burden on the North African kingdom’s emergency resources and some stranded in shattered communities are angry and shocked over what they say is a lack of an influx of aid.
10 من عائلتها ماتو و باقين تحت الانقاض و السيدة قربات تحماق … هادشي كايبكي و قلبنا كايتقطع 💔 pic.twitter.com/p0xQCtmwJq
— Enissay 🇲🇦 (@mr_enissay) September 10, 2023
“We feel abandoned here, no one has come to help us,” said 43-year-old Khadija Aitlkyd from among the ruins of her village of Missirat in a remote area high in the Atlas Mountains. The head of the Moroccan government, Aziz Akhannouch, chaired a meeting on Monday devoted to the reconstruction of homes destroyed in the disaster zones. According to him, solutions are currently being studied for the homeless.
Meanwhile, the villages closest to the epicentre of the earthquake remain inaccessible due to landslides. The Moroccan army has set up field hospitals to treat the injured in isolated areas, such as the village of Asni, in the stricken province of Al Haouz, just over an hour from Marrakech.
Featured image credits: Bulent Kilic/AFP