Mali – Flooding Rivers Destroy Homes and Livelihoods in Mopti and Tombouctou Regions

Overflowing rivers in Mali have caused severe hardship for communities in the Mopti and Tombouctou Regions.

Flooding along the Niger river from early December affected the communes of Diré, Gourma-Rharous, Goundam and Timbuktu, the capital of the Tombouctou Region.

Before the floods. The Niger river near Diré, Tombouctou Region, Mali, 14 September 2022. Image: Copernicus Sentinel 2 satellite.
After the floods. The Niger river near Diré, Tombouctou Region, Mali, 13 December 2022. Copernicus Sentinel 2 satellite. Image uses 4 False Colour Urban.

Local media in Mali reported flooding in Tombouctou Region after a rise in levels of the Niger river in early December 2022. Reports said around 620 hectares of fields were flooded, damaging rice and other crops. Flooding also damaged or destroyed homes. More than a thousand households were affected, according to media reports.

The Niger Basin Authority (NBA) reported the Niger river at Diré stood at 5.54 metres on 12 December 2022. The red alert level here is 5.5 metres, the Orange alert is 4.5 metres and the Yellow alert is 3.3 metres. On 31 December the river was still high at 5.42 metres.

Levels of the Niger river at Diré, Mali. Image: Niger Basin Authority (NBA)

The UN reported severe flooding affected parts of the Mopti region in January 2023. Hundreds of homes were previously destroyed by floods in the region in September last year.

The UN said that the Sourou river overflowed in mid-January 2023, flooding areas of Baye commune in Bankass circle in the Mopti region. The flooding affected 607 people, including 382 children, leaving them without shelter or livelihood. Humanitarian agencies have been mobilized in order to assess the situation and plan a response. However, the situation in Baye commune is dangerous and affected areas are proving difficult to reach due to the presence of non-state armed groups, hostile to any technical services or humanitarian partner presence.