Deadly floods exacerbate Niger crises


Niger flag

from ABDULLAHI ABUBAKAR in Niamey, Niger
Niger Bureau
NIAMEY, (CAJ News) – FLOODS have left 32 people dead in Niger, adding to the humanitarian crises afflicting the West African country.

The tragedy is the aftermath of the heavy rainfall since June.

According to humanitarian actors, as of the end of August, 30 people have been injured.

Almost 110 000 individuals have been affected by the inclement weather.

The most impacted areas include Tahoua, Maradi and Tillaberi regions, in the central parts of the country.

They report the highest number of fatalities, with 12 people dead in Tahoua, ten in Maradi and two in Tilaberi.

The heavy rainfall has destroyed more than 9 000 houses and killed almost 3 000 cattle.

The meteorological department has forecast moderate to locally heavy rainfall in the central-western Niger in the short term.

This crisis comes at a time Niger is reeling from the July 26 military coup, food insecurity and attacks by non-state armed groups, especially near the Mali and Burkina Faso borders.

Post-coup sanctions imposed by neighbouring countries of the Nigerian-headquartered Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) bloc have worsened Niger’s plight.

Emmanuel Gignac, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) representative in Niger, this week expressed concern at the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian outlook.

“Given the rapidly growing needs, UNHCR calls on all actors in the region and beyond to ensure continuous life-saving assistance in Niger,” he appealed.

Currently, UNHCR has received only 39 percent of the US$135,7 million required to sustain humanitarian activities this year.

The funding requirement is expected to increase if the crises deepen.

A country of some 27 million people, Niger is part of the Sahel region that is experiencing a complex crisis marked by conflicts, inter-community tensions, climate shocks and insecurity.

– CAJ News

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