Death toll rises to 45 as floods displace over 225 000 people in Niger capital

People carry their belongings while walking in a street flooded by the waters from the Niger river that flooded in the Kirkissoye neighbourhood in Niamey on August 27, 2020.


People carry their belongings while walking in a street flooded by the waters from the Niger river that flooded in the Kirkissoye neighbourhood in Niamey on August 27, 2020.

Niamey
– Several areas of the Niger capital Niamey remained under water on Thursday as
the death toll in recent floods that have displaced over 225 000 people rose to
45, authorities said.

Around 25 000 households had been
hit by the floods, a statement by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and
Disaster Management said.

In Niamey, where some areas have
been submerged since Tuesday after heavy rainfall caused the Niger river to
breach its banks, the river rose again by several centimetres after further
heavy rains on Wednesday, an AFP journalist said.

Dozens of residents fled their
homes earlier on Thursday, wading or swimming through flooded streets. Teams of
firefighters took to canoes to help victims.

Intense rainy seasons

“Until now we were in a dry
place, then heavy rains came on Wednesday night and made the waters rise which
took us by surprise as we slept,” said Moussa Amadou, a resident of Kirkissoye,
one of the worst-hit neighbourhoods.

Niger, one of the world’s driest
as well as poorest countries, often experiences intense rainy seasons, which
typically last two or three months.

The authorities announced in July
that more than 300 000 people were at risk from flooding by the Niger River and
from rainwater runoff since heavy rains began in June.

In 2019, floods killed 32 people.

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