Villagers in the Governorate of Kairouan recovered the body of a young girl earlier today after she had been washed away by flash flooding on Friday. Elsewhere, two boys from the city of Ryadh in the governorate of Sousse were also killed during the flash flooding that saw large parts of the country’s transport network rendered unusable due to heavy rains.
Speaking on MosaiqueFM, the girl’s father Mohamed Lotfi Kotii explained that the three year old, who was one of seven, had been left on her own by her siblings. The girl had apparently been trying to locate her sisters when the storm broke on Saturday, causing the flash flood which swept her away.
Neighbors from their village of Rhima in Hajeb Laayoun, within the governorate of Kairouan had been searching the area since, finally locating the girl’s body in a ditch earlier today.
The two boys killed in Ryadh were reported to have been swimming in flood water on Sunday, before being swept away by additional water. The bodies of the two boys were recovered by civil protection officers later the same day.
Despite heavy rains bringing much of the country to a near standstill over the weekend, a spokesperson from the Tunisian National Insitute of Meterology said that rainfall experienced over the last ten days of September was normal for this time of year. He added that, “The forecast for today is not so bad. However, tomorrow afternoon, and again during the night between Tuesday and Wednesday, there will be very heavy rain.”
Speaking to Tunisia live, the President of environmental lobbying group, SOS BIAA, Morched Garbouj said “Flooding in rural areas can be dramatic.” However, in this case the effects of the flooding had been exacerbated by poor and out of date infrastructure. Garbouj highlighted the lack of storm drains in cities and the country’s old sewerage systems, adding, “You don’t find storm sewers in all the roads in Tunisia. You find them new, upper class neighborhoods, like Menzah and Lac [in Tunis].
Garbouj talked about the lack of effort in rural areas to prevent breaking their banks and causing flooding during the autumn rainy season. Garbouj stated that the government has access to meteorological data, yet had done little to prevent the problems caused by the annual floods.