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Wildfires in Algeria: farmers in the north lose everything

An Algerian woman reacts inside the ruins of her house, destroyed by a fire in the city of El-Kala, August 18, 202   -  
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Algerian farmers are inspecting their lands after numerous forest fires ravaged large parts of the north and east and killed almost 40 people this week. Authorities said on Friday most of the wildfires were under control.

In the village of El Kala, close to the Tunisian border, Um El-Kheir and her neighbours are under shock after losing all of their belongings and livelihood in flames. "The trees are all gone, the pomegranate trees burned along with all the lemon trees and their fruits. Our furniture got destroyed, including the TV, nothing was left of it. My daughter's clothes and all her belongings are gone, scattered everywhere. Everything we had was destroyed during this disaster. We only have God to rely on.", says the 76-year-old woman. 40-year-old Hamdi Gemidi says he has "nowhere to go and nothing to make a living from" after he lost the livestock.

According to the Director General of Civil Protection Colonel Boughlef, more than 1,000 families have been evacuated since Wednesday from the affected areas.

On Wednesday and Thursday, over 1.700 firefighters were called in to combat close to 70 fires. But criticism spread as many deplored the lack of means as the country does not gold Firefighting Aircrafts. Algeria is facing more and more fires because of drought and heat waves linked to climate change.

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