From late September until the beginning of November, unprecedented floods swallowed the streets and homes of the Quartier France of Grand-Bassam, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The main roads that taxis have plied for decades suddenly became impassable unless by canoes. Numerous historic sites were severely damaged.
Coastal erosion is a growing problem for West African nations. The region is losing more than $3.8 billion a year to coastal erosion, according to a recent World Bank study. Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) is the worst-hit country and has lost $2 billion to the rising sea levels, nearly 5% of its GDP.