AL BIDDAM, West African nation – A man in his 50s has died after travelling alone through the Sahara desert to reach his family in Guinea, according to Guinea’s National Emergency Response Agency (NEMA).
The man had travelled from the capital Ouagadougou to the capital Dakar in the north of the country, according the NEMA, adding that the man was found unconscious and unresponsive in a camp in the area of the town of Kepa in the southern part of the Sahara.
The man was transported to the hospital, where he died a short time later, the agency said.
The NEMA said the man had been living with the nomads for about four years.
It was not immediately clear whether the man is from Guinea or neighbouring Mali, which borders Mali.
Guinea has one of the world’s largest nomadic populations of nomads, who travel the Sahara Desert to reach their nomadic settlements.
The region is a major hotspot for drug smuggling and other criminal activity.
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime said it had documented more than 600 deaths from the desert in the past year, including at least 14 deaths in the last two weeks.
The group said there were reports of many more deaths since then.
The agency said the number of reported cases in the region had been falling for two years.
More than a million people live in Guinea’s nomadic-rural region, where the majority are nomads.
More: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-40258926#ixzz2lj5mq4n3 The BBC’s John Pyne in Dakar, Guinea, says the man travelled alone and that he was the only person found dead.
He says the incident is the latest in a long line of such deaths in Africa.
He said that, of the 2,000 deaths in West Africa recorded by the World Health Organisation, at least 6,000 were in Guinea.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says there are at least 4,000 reported deaths a year in Guinea from diarrhoea, pneumonia and other diseases.
The WHO says it is concerned about the rising number of deaths in Guinea due to the country’s high rate of malnutrition, with more than one in five children under five in the country.