Swazis have become acquainted with the term "water rationing" as they struggle to cope with one of the longest dry periods in memory. "Water levels are down nationwide," said Jameson Mkhonta, public relations officer for the Swaziland Water Services Corporation, the parastatal water utility. "The drought ... [has affected the entire country], and not just in the south and east where it is usually dry."
Florence Musola, a businesswoman living in Mathare, the second-largest slum in Kenya, and her four children were among the latest victims of an arson attack that destroyed their one-room shack. The attack is suspected to have been carried out by Mungiki sect members, many of whom are believed to live in the slum.
More action is needed to protect civilians in the western Sudanese region of Darfur, who continue to suffer serious human rights violations in the ongoing conflict, a United Nations special rapporteur said in a preliminary report. Sima Samar, Special Rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Council, said Darfur remained a region where gross violations of human rights have been perpetrated by all parties to the conflict.
Fears of more rain in the coming days have sent aid agencies into a panic as the humanitarian disaster caused by the floods in Mozambique unfolds. The United Nations says the floods could turn out to be the worst in recent memory. Seven people have died and up to 70Â 000 have been displaced by the floods that have come earlier than forecast.
With humanitarian groups sounding the alarm about the violence in eastern Chad near Sudan, the Chadian government has sent troops south to neighbouring Central African Republic to battle rebels there who, it said, are being backed by Sudan. Chad is already contributing troops to a regional peacekeeping force in CAR but the prime minister said last week that he wants to send more.
Flooding, displacement and poor access to humanitarian aid are creating an ideal environment for the surge of cholera in Mozambique, warns an NGO.
Zimbabweans are switching to barter, payment in kind and the use of foreign currencies, such as the rand, instead of the local dollar to survive hyperinflation and the accelerating economic meltdown. Zimbabwe's currency is still pegged officially at Z$250 to one US dollar; recently the informal market price was about Z$130 000 to US$1, although two weeks ago it had crashed to Z$400 000 against the US dollar.
Planned elections likely to be postponed by a prime minister installed without consultation, a move likely to compromise economic revival.
It is hard not to resort to clichés when writing about Mauritius: white, sandy beaches, sunny blue skies and swaying palm trees. This Indian Ocean island paradise is the stuff travel brochures are made of. Stepping off a plane filled with eager tourists and a group of honeymooners proudly flashing "just married" T-shirts, it is easy to see how tourism has become the main source of income.
Fear has gripped opposition supporters in rural Zimbabwe after a police crackdown on the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in the past few weeks. Dubani Mlotshwa, a small-scale farmer, said unknown assailants, whom he suspected were ruling Zanu-PF party agents, had visited his homestead and threatened his family for supporting the opposition.