SENEGAL’S President Macky Sall has called for the country’s Senate to be abolished, with the money saved going to pay for flood relief.
He had cut short a visit to South Africa to deal with the severe floods, which have claimed at least 13 lives.
Speaking at Dakar’s airport, he said he would introduce an emergency bill to abolish the upper house.
The money reserved for the Senate, more than US$15 million, would go towards preventing further flooding.
Although the low-lying suburbs of the capital, Dakar, flood during most rainy seasons, this year has seen exceptionally high rainfall across West Africa.
It is estimated that thousands of people have been left homeless. Residents were reported to have taken to the streets of the capital to denounce the government for failing to act faster and were dispersed with tear gas.
President Sall acknowledged the importance of the Senate in a democratic system, but said “the relief of the suffering of the people is more important than the Senate, for us to stop the floods that cyclically affect our country”.
In May, the World Bank pledged US$55,6 million to help Senegal improve its flood defences and storm water management, particularly in Dakar’s suburbs.
The country has been typically held up as an example of a successful African democracy, with an established multi-party system and division of power. –– BBC Online.