AFRICA/COTE D'IVOIRE - Twenty victims due to the floods in Abidjan; the solidarity of the Church

Abidjan - At least 20 deaths have been reported due to flooding caused by torrential rain overnight, between 18 and 19 June, in Abidjan. Among the worst hit areas of the Ivorian economic capital is the municipality of Cocody, where many residents perched on the roofs of their homes, while dozens of people were welcomed in the local "Holy Family" parish.
Also other parishes have opened their structures to accommodate the flood victims, but the same ecclesiastical structures have suffered damages caused by torrential rains. Rain poured down from 11pm on Monday night to 6am Tuesday, taking the inhabitants aback.
However, weather conditions are not the only ones responsible for the disaster. What is also under accusation, in fact, are the scarce or totally non-existent drainage and sewerage works and wild urbanization, especially in an area like that of Riviera Palmeraie, part of the municipality of Cocody, characterized by a sandy-clayey soil, which is not able to absorb large amounts of rain.

AFRICA - Respect for the person and environment, according to the Gospel, for the benefit of all

Kara - "The numerous deaths recorded in the Ivory Coast in recent days due to floods and heavy rains, invite once again to seriously examine the problem of the ecological crisis and its negative impact on the African population", says Father Donald Zagore, theologian of the Society of African Missions, to Fides.
"Today we go from drought to rain with a succession of seasons that bring devastation and catastrophic effects on the lives of Africans", continues Fr. Donald commenting on the current alert launched by Ivorian president Alassane Ouattara in response to the floods that have scourged the south of the country, causing the death of at least 20 people.
In fact, Ouattara has invited citizens to follow the precautionary guidelines, warning that the housing areas located in risk areas and near water drainage facilities will be evicted. The city of Abidjan was the most affected by the floods following heavy rains that fell during the night between 18 and 19 June. New rainfall in the country is scheduled for the weekend.
"In his cosmological universe, African man has always lived in true harmony, in perfect symbiosis with nature. The African is a man of nature. He draws the basic elements necessary for his livelihood in terms of food and health from nature", adds the missionary. "The current situation is dramatic and just as dramatic is seeing how nature, which yesterday was a friend of the Africans, has become hostile to him. From its status as a source of life, nature has become a source of death. For the African man the ecological challenge is crucial. We must work to restore the almost ontological link between African and nature. This basically implies an ecological reawakening of consciousness that will lead everyone to adopt radically ecological behaviors without which we will continue to cry our dead.
Ecological behaviors that are part of a real awareness that our actions on the environment affect both our lives and our own people. That is why it must be said loud and clear that our political, economic and technological actions must be based on solid moral values, devoid of any factor of corruption and of a ferocious race to materialism. These actions must be inspired by the Gospel of truth, justice, common good, which promote respect for the dignity of the human person and the environment and for the benefit of all", concludes Zagore.

AFRICA/TANZANIA - Appointment of the Archbishop Coadjutor of Dar-es-Salaam

Vatican City - Today the Holy Father appointed His Exc. Mgr. Jude Thaddaeus Ruwa'ichi, O.F.M. Cap., currently Archbishop of Mwanza, as Archbishop Coadjutor of the Archdiocese of Dar-es-Salaam .
AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - There are powerful economic interests that want to leave Central Africa in chaos

Bangui - "The security problems in our area are concentrated in the border area with Cameroon mainly due to the arrival of Peuls nomadic peoples, who are protected by Seleka rebels", says Fr. Aurelio Gazzera, a Carmelite missionary, parish priest in Bozoum, in the north-west of the Central African Republic.
The Peuls are mostly breeders who move with their herds in search of pastures and water sources, and collide from time to time with the sedentary and agricultural populations they encounter on their way. "It is the story of Cain and Abel, a story which is as old as the world", says Fr. Aurelio, but that is intertwined with the modernity of financial investments. The Peuls, originally from Nigeria, have always been involved in breeding, along the Saharan belt from West to East, from Mali to Ethiopia. "What has changed - explains Fr. Aurelio - is that several strong African men, heads of State and government, generals, entrepreneurs, invest part of their fortunes in thousands of cattle who rely on the Peuls. Therefore, behind these massive movements of herds carried out by the Peuls, there are strong economic interests. The territories where the State is very weak or completely absent, as in Central Africa, are the privileged destinations of the Peuls who handle these immense herds. There is therefore the interest on the part of influential African people that certain areas of the continent remain no man's land to allow their herds to graze in total disregard of the needs of local populations", says the missionary.
"As far as the rest is concerned, calm prevails. The hottest areas of the country remain those of Bambari and Bria where several gangs are competing for the control of diamond mines or simply of road check points in order to extort money. They too have no interest in re-establishing the state and order", concludes Fr. Aurelio

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