After five years of drought, the worst for 60 years, the West African state of Upper Volta has now been hit by floods.
GV & Pan People look at river in flood (2 shots)
GV Pan land covered in flood water
GV flooded village (2 shots)
GV Villagers watching and carrying bicycles through flood waters (3 shots)
SV Village woman with basket on head stands in water up to knees
Initials AE/2.46 AE/2.56
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Background: After five years of drought, the worst for 60 years, the West African state of Upper Volta has now been hit by floods.
At 5 am on Monday (July 30) the rains came. It rained continuously for 48 hours and a people who have scarcely seen rain for years had more than 2 inches (67mm).
River were in flood, roads impassable and villages and fields covered in flood waters.
But the joy of the Upper Volta people was unbounded.
The damage from the floods was slight, and the rain will eventually mean the people have a future, once the waters subside and the planting of crops can begin again.
In a few days, the people were saying, they would start work on what they always though their country should be - "an oasis of shade and water."
But it will take many years for the country to recover from the drought. Sixty to eighty per cent of the livestock are estimated to have died and this year's harvest was only one third of its usual size. Relief supplies of food and long term aid are still vital.
SYNOPSIS: In the West African state of Upper Volta the five year drought has ended in a cloudburst. Suddenly people who had scarcely seen rain for years were suffering from floods. The rain came at 5 am on Monday - and two inches fell in 48 hours.
Dried up rivers turned into torrents; roads became impassable and land was under water. But little damage was caused. And for the people, the day the rain came, was a day of great joy. It meant they had a future.
The immediate effect of the rain is to make it more difficult to get food to people on the verge of starvation.
The drought is estimated to have killed sixty to eighty per cent of the country's livestock. And this year's harvest was only one third the normal size. so relief supplies are still vital.
Now, the people say, the country can be an oasis of shade and water.