West Africa – 9 Dead, Thousands of Homes Destroyed After Floods in Niger and Mali

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that widespread floods triggered by heavy rain has been affecting parts of Niger and Mali since late June, resulting in casualties and damage.

Floods in Niger, July 2020. Photo: OCHA Niger

In Niger, 9 people have died, 20,174 people have been affected and 2,244 houses have been destroyed. The worst hit areas are the regions of Maradi and Tahoua, with respectively 13,667 and 4,173 people affected. According to the Ministry of the Interior, 17 people have been injured and 9 people have lost their lives, including five by drowning and four in the collapse of houses.

According to a flood preparedness plan from the Ministry of Humanitarian Action and Disaster Management, an estimated 220,000 people could be affected by floods during the current rainy season.

Levels of the Niger river are already high in the capital, Niamey. As of 26 July, the river stood at 5.49 metres, just under yellow (first of 3 levels) warning level of 5.5 metres.

In 2019, at least 57 people lost their lives in flooding that affected over 200,000 people.

Meanwhile in neighbouring Mali, floods have affected 7,648 people, including 5,406 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Mopti Region. Flooding was also reported in Gao and assessments are ongoing.

OCHA said that an estimated 112,452 people at risk of being affected by floods in the country this year. Last year, 95,000 people were affected in the country. Humanitarian partners have updated their contingency plan and are preparing to respond in case the situation requires a large-scale intervention.

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