Floods kill at least 13 and injure 19 in Burkina Faso

OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) - Floods have killed at least 13 people and injured 19 others in Burkina Faso following days of heavy rains across the country, including the capital, the government said on Wednesday.

Torrential rains have been recorded in the Sahel regions of West and Central Africa in the past week including in Niger, Senegal and Cameroon, leading to devastating floods that have killed dozens and displaced thousands of people.

Burkina Faso’s finance ministry will allocate 5 billion CFA francs ($9.06 million) to help the flood victims, said government representative Abdoul Karim Sango.

“This rainfall has caused a lot of damage in our country,” he told Reuters.

Many people had lost their homes, Sango said, without giving further details. The government has instructed the minister of Territorial Administration to house the disaster victims in public buildings, he said.

The floods swept away a makeshift bridge in the southwest of the country, cutting off the village of Marabagasso from the city of Bobo Dioulasso, 70 km (44 miles) away, said resident Siaka Ouattara.

“The footbridge is completely destroyed by the rains,” Ouattara said by telephone. “If we have a sick person to evacuate, it would be really serious.”

It was not immediately clear how the floods would impact the country’s fight against militant groups with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State, but a security source said the rainy season inevitably has an impact on operations.

Hundreds of civilians have been killed and almost a million displaced by the conflict, which is also affecting neighbours Niger and Mali.

Reporting by Thiam Ndiaga; writing by Hereward Holland; Editing by Lisa Shumaker