Flooding a Politically Charged Issue in Senegal

              open, impromptu drainage canals in the suburb of Guediawaye

Voice of America (listen @15:05)

DAKAR — Flooding has killed at least 200 people and displaced tens of thousands throughout West Africa this year.  In Dakar, the government is taking some interesting measures to help flood victims and tackle what has become a politically-charged issue.

Senegalese music icon turned government minister, Youssou N’dour, threw a benefit concert in Dakar for flood victims.

Severe flooding has killed 13 people and displaced at least 5,000 in Senegal this year.

The concert was N’dour’s first performance since joining the government in April.

Organizers said it raised about $190,000.

N’dour told the crowd that President Macky Sall says he is “proud” of the help the Senegalese people are giving flood victims and the president will “always be on the side of the people.”

The concert was part of ongoing private fundraisers and government initiatives to deal with what has become an annual emergency in Senegal.

It is a key test for the president, who won a March election promising to be more responsive than his predecessor to social problems like flooding, rising food costs and power cuts.

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