Rescuers pulled patients from a deluged hospital Tuesday in Uganda — one of the worst hit of the 17 African countries stricken by floods in recent months.
Over 100 patients were flown by military helicopter to other hospitals from Kalongo Hospital in northern Uganda, said Musa Ecweru, Uganda's minister of state for relief. He also said that in the same area, military helicopters were being used to rescue dozens of school children who have been cut off from their homes.
"The situation is getting worse every day. Kalongo Hospital ... has been destroyed by floods," said Ecweru on the phone from eastern Uganda where he is supervising relief efforts. "All the wards of the hospital are flooded and some walls have collapsed."
Elsewhere on the continent, new areas were being hit by floods as humanitarian workers struggled to help more than 1.5 million people already affected by more than two months of rain and rising floodwaters.
The floods have killed at least 200 people and displaced hundreds of thousands in 17 countries since June, including Burkina Faso, Ghana and Togo in the west, and Sudan, Uganda and Kenya in central and eastern Africa.
New floods have been reported in Ethiopia, said the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA, in a statement Tuesday. It did not give details of the effect of the new flooding but a spokesman, Greg Beals, said that so far flooding in Ethiopia has not been as bad as previous years during which hundreds have died.
Continuous rains in the west African country of Niger have resulted in inundating another 30 localities in all regions of that country, the OCHA statement said.
"Of great concern is also the fact that heavy unexpected rains have resulted in displacing land mines. The risk of hitting them any time at any place is very high," said the statement.