Niger Floods Leave 4 Dead and 1000s Displaced

In a report issued last week, UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Niger said that recent floods that began in late July have affected over 20,000 people and left at least 4 dead.

OCHA say that over 2,000 homes and over 500 hectares of farm land have been destroyed. Currently over 3,000 people are living in temporary homes or camps. Seven regions have been affected; Agadez, Dosso, Maradi, Niamey, Tahoua, Tillabéri and Zinder, where almost 7,000 are affected.

The Niger River poses a severe flood threat across wide areas of the country, including the capital Niamey. OCHA report that river levels currently stood at 580 cm on 05 August 2015 – above the alert level of 530 cm. OCHA say that flood defences have been built up to 650 cm. Severe floods can be expected should river levels rise above this. Authorities have asked residents living near the edge of the Niger River to leave their homes because of the flood threat.

Over the least few weeks severe flooding has also struck in neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso, and also Guinea.

Niger regularly suffers from flooding during this time of year. During August and September 2014, 38 people were killed and 60,000 affected by floods. The worst hit region was Tillabéry, followed by Dosso, Maradi and Tahoua.

An outbreak of cholera during the following months was partly attributed to the floods.

In 2013, torrential rain in August resulted in flooding that killed 32 people. The worst affected regions were Maradi, Tillabery, Dosso, Tahoua, Niamey and Zinder.

The region of Diffa, home to thousands of refugees who have fled violence in neighbouring Nigeria, is unaffected by the current floods. Occasionally the Komadougou river poses a flood risk in the region, and the river overflowed in October 2013 affecting over 5,000 people.

File photo: Niger river overflows at Niamey. Photo credit
File photo: Niger river overflows at Niamey. Photo credit: Oxfam