25 Oct 2010

Emergency airlift of tents to Benin

11:51 am on 25 October 2010

The UN refugee agency is to start an emergency airlift of tents to the West African nation of Benin this week, amid the worst flooding there in decades.

Some 3,000 tents will be flown from Denmark to provide shelter for some of the estimated 680,000 people affected.

Two-thirds of Benin has had months of heavy rain and about 800 cases of cholera have been reported.

It is the worst flooding to hit the country - one of the poorest in the world - since 1963.

Areas previously thought to be flood-free have been devastated and villages wiped out.

The BBC reports that cases of cholera are rising in number daily, with more than 50 reported in the largest city, Cotonou, alone,

The rain is continuing to fall. Forecasters say there is no sign of it abating.