Pakistan landowners accused of diverting floods to villages
Islamabad (AFP) Sept 2, 2010
Wealthy landowners in Pakistan have allegedly diverted waters from the country's devastating floods away from their own properties and into villages, the country's UN ambassador said Thursday.
Abdullah Hussain Haroon called for an inquiry into claims that embankments had been allowed to burst to protect commercial crops.
"Over the years, one has seen with the lack of floods, those areas normally set aside for floods have come under irrigation of the powerful and rich," Haroon told the BBC's HardTalk programme.
"It is suggested in some areas, those to be protected were allowed, had allowed, levies to be burst on opposite sides to take the water away. If that is happening the government should be enquiring."
A month of catastrophic flooding has killed 1,760 people and affected more than 18 million, according to the UN, and large areas of Pakistan, especially in the southern province of Sindh, remain under water.
More than 3.6 million hectares (8.9 million acres) of productive farmland have been destroyed by the floods.
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Kano, Nigeria (AFP) Sept 1, 2010
Heavy rains in recent weeks have killed at least three people and displaced thousands in northern Nigeria where entire villages have been submerged and farms destroyed, officials said Wednesday. "We lost a whole village and its crop fields to the flood," said Hassan Suleiman, a director in Katsina state emergency relief agency. Seven states have been affected by flooding, officials said. ... read more
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