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Madagascar: 34 die in tropical storms-OCHA

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Madagascar: 34 die in tropical storms-OCHA

Two separate tropical weather systems in Madagascar have left at least 34 dead and triggered flooding and landslides, particularly in the capital, Antananarivo, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported on Tuesday.

Over the last week, intense rainfall has pummelled the African island country in the Indian Ocean, sparking multiple crises across the country’s central Analamanga Region.

“The Government, municipal authorities in Antananarivo and humanitarians are mobilising assistance to people impacted by flooding in the capital,” OCHA tweeted, saying that “providing access to water, food and other vital items in displacement sites is the top priority.”

The rains were initially driven by an Intertropical Convergence Zone around the equator on Jan. 17 and increased when a Tropical Depression, or cyclone, made landfall in the east of the country some three days later, exiting the other side of the island the following day.

Twenty-four lives were lost over the weekend, mostly in the capital where traditional houses collapsed, and others were swept away by landslides.

According to authorities, over 62,000 people have been affected in seven regions, including more than 58,000 in the Analamanga Region and its surrounding metropolitan area.

Meanwhile, over 6,800 houses are under water and many others are at risk of flooding or collapsing.

More than 35,260 people have been forced to take shelter in 62 displacement sites established by the authorities, according to the National Office for Risk and Disaster Management.

OCHA said that nearly 27,000 people were displaced or evacuated last weekend alone, adding that the government continues to carry out preventive evacuations in Antananarivo which is on red alert for further flooding.

As river waters are increasing to emergency levels, the red alert had prompted the Ministry of Education to extend the suspension of classes which was previously announced on Jan. 20 for 48 hours in the Analamanga Region until at least Friday.

The rains had also damaged roads and other infrastructure in that region, including the water intake structure of the treatment station in Ambohidratrimosome District.

Some parts of the national road connecting the capital to Ambatondrazaka in the country’s east were also destroyed, impacting transport in and out of Antananarivo.

Meanwhile, one million people in the south are facing severe hunger.

The World Food Programme (WFP) recently warned that the situation in southern Madagascar could become the first-ever famine caused by climate change.

“The world cannot look away. People in Madagascar need our support now, and into the future,” said Issa Sanogo, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in the country.

According to Sanogo, there is a critical need to scale up a humanitarian response as the country is in its lean season which runs until April.

Across Madagascar, heavy rainfall is expected to continue and could affect many regions in the days ahead, including Alaotra, Betsiboka, Mangoro, and Sofia, according to Meteo Madagascar and other weather services.

The Tropical Depression that left the country on Jan. 23 has evolved into the Moderate Tropical Storm Ana and is still causing rains in Madagascar.

“Tropical Storm Ana made landfall yesterday in Nampula Province, northern Mozambique, bringing heavy rains and strong winds,” OCHA tweeted, warning that it could “affect thousands of people in the northern and central regions of the country in the coming hours and days”.

Meanwhile, Meteo Madagascar and the Red Cross Piroi Centre are monitoring other tropical weather systems currently in the southwest of the Indian Ocean, which could lead to the formation of tropical storms or even cyclones in the coming days.

 

Health and Safety

Amotekun Recovers Ak-47 Rifles, Ammunition hidden in Oyo Forest

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Amotekun Recovers Ak-47 Rifles, Ammunition hidden in Oyo Forest

 The Oyo State wing of the Southwest Security Network (Amotekun Corps) has recovered AK-47 rifles, military camouflage and other items hidden in a forest in the state by suspected kidnappers.

Commandant of the corps in Oyo State, retired Col. Olayinka Olayanju, told newsmen in Ibadan on Monday that the corps recovered four AK-47 rifles, four magazines and 50 rounds of 7.62mm live ammunition.

Also recovered were wraps of Indian hemp, raincoats, two Nigerian Army caps, and a beret.

He said the items were recovered while operatives of the corps were combing forests following rising cases of kidnap on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

“Last weekend, efforts of our men were rewarded when the arms and ammunition were found in one of the forests following a tip-off that some gunmen sighted in the area.

“The security network’s agents are still present in the forest to possibly apprehend the criminal elements,’’ he said.

In his remarks, Special Adviser to Gov. Seyi Makinde on Security Matters, retired Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, said the governor had directed security personnel in the state to take proactive steps to stop abductions in the state.

Owoseni said collaboration with local hunters and vigilantes assisted greatly in recent successes recorded by the Amotekun corps in the state.

He assured that the state government would provide the equipment needed for the smooth operation of the corps to enhance their performance.

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Health and Safety

Motor Park Attacks: Osun Police Recover 5 guns, Arrest 10 Suspects

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Motor Park Attacks: Osun Police Recover 5 guns, Arrest 10 Suspects

 The Osun Police Command on Monday said it had arrested 10 suspects over the attacks across some motor parks in the state on the premise of the forceful takeover of the parks.

SP Yemisi Opalola, the Command’s Spokesperson, in a statement, said five guns, nine live and four expended cartridges and five cutlasses were recovered from the suspects.

“This is to inform the general public that the Osun State Police Command is aware and frowns at the crises that erupted within the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the state in the early hours of today (Monday).

The Commissioner of Police, the Area Commanders, Divisional Police Officers, and other stakeholders had met with the NURTW executive, members and other stake holders to avert the crisis and forceful take-over of the parks in the state.

“All consented to maintain peace, but it was a surprise to learn about the attacks by NURTW members in several parts of the state with attendant destruction of offices and injury to some persons and police personnel.

“The CP, Faleye Olaleye, swiftly charged the Area Commanders, Divisional Police Officers and Tactical Commanders to ensure the situation is brought under control and arrest culprits.

“Consequently, the Police operatives tactical operation led to the arrest of 10 suspects and recovery of one Barretta pistol, two Pump Action guns, two Barrel guns, nine live and four expended cartridges, five cutlasses and charms,” she said

She said the CP was, however, assuring the public that the command was fully on top of the situation as mobile, conventional, tactical and patrol teams had been deployed to curtail the crises.

The CP also advised members of the public to go about their lawful businesses without fear of insecurity or attacks.

He warned that anyone found culpable in the unwarranted violence and attacks would face the full wrath of the law.

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Health and Safety

LASTMA apprehends 2 suspected ‘one chance’ robbers; Troops neutralize 4 Kaduna Bandits

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LASTMA apprehends 2 suspected ‘one chance’ robbers; Troops neutralize 4 Kaduna Bandits

Operatives of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) have arrested two suspected ‘one chance’ armed robbers in Ikate, Lekki-Ajah area of Lagos.

The General Manager of LASTMA Mr. Bolaji Oreagba, said this through the Director, Public Affairs of the authority, Mr. Taofiq Adebayo, in Lagos on Sunday.

 Oreagba disclosed that the suspects were nabbed by the patrol team of the Agency while on duty monitoring and controlling traffic around Lekki-Ajah axis of the State.

 “Our officials heard passengers with loud voice shouting, thieves! thieves!! while on patrol team, in an unpainted commercial bus.

“While trying to stop the driver, he drove dangerously and our men pursued them with LASTMA patrol vehicle down to Ikate where they were blocked by another pathfinder car belonging to a good Samaritan”.

“Two suspects were arrested while the remaining two suspects escaped with the P.O.S. they used to withdraw passengers’ money inside the T4 commercial bus.

“The two arrested suspects with the recovered unpainted T4 commercial bus were later handed over to R.R.S personnel who were on pin-down at Chisco, along Lekki- Ajah”.

“They were all later moved down to Ilasan Police Station for further investigations,” Oreagba said.

The General Manager advised Lagos residents to always ensure they board buses at designated garages adding that they should be vigilant, especially when boarding public vehicles.

One of the rescued passengers Mr. Christophe Omukoro is quoted as saying that he boarded the unpainted commercial bus from Alfa-Beach going to Ikate.

He disclosed that they were four with P.O.S machine collecting passengers’ ATM cards and withdrawing money from individual accounts.

Omukoro confirmed that passengers started shouting thieves! thieves!! thieves!!! after they had collected their phones with other valuables from them.

In another development, the troops of Operation Forest Sanity have neutralized four bandits during clearance operations in identified bandits’ hideouts around Tsohon Gayan, Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan confirmed the development in a statement on Sunday in Kaduna.

“The troops made contact and pursued the fleeing bandits, two bandits were neutralized during the engagement while credible human intelligence sources revealed that two others died from gunshot wounds.

“Credible sources in the general area reported that two of the four neutralized bandits have been identified as Dogo Mallam and Bello Mallam.”

According to him, the troops recovered one AK47 rifle, one magazine with 22 rounds of ammunition and a motorcycle.

The commissioner said Gov. Nasir El-Rufai praised the troops for their resilience and courage.

He assured that the clearance operations will continue in the general area and other locations.

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