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Floods across southern Africa displace many

world Updated: Mar 28, 2009 10:22 IST

Floods across southern Africa, caused by heavy rainfall, have caused massive damage to land and property and displaced thousands of people, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Saturday.

In Angola alone, the lives of 160,000 people have been upset by the rains and OCHA fears that number is likely to increase. Schools and other public buildings are being used as shelter, interrupting education and other public services.

With some $600,000 already allocated to various emergency actions in Angola, UN humanitarian agencies are requesting more funds for shelter, food and other necessities from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which is managed by OCHA.

In Namibia, where 13,000 people have been displaced, many health facilities and schools are either flooded or inaccessible, the Office reported.

Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba has declared an emergency for the north-central and north-eastern part of the country and appealed for international assistance. In response, a flash appeal based on the outstanding needs jointly identified by the government, the UN and humanitarian partners, is being finalised.