42 people killed and 5 497 homes destroyed as floods batter Niger, West Africa

42 people killed and 5 497 homes destroyed as floods batter Niger, West Africa

Intense rains produced deadly floods that killed 42 people and destroyed over 5 000 homes in Niger, West Africa since the start of the annual rainy season. The season runs from May to October, with most rains falling in July and August. The rains intensified over the past 7 days.

Around 66 434 residents from the regions of Agadez, Dosso, Maradi, Niamey, and Zinder have been affected as of September 2, 2019. 42 people have been killed.

The storm has caused damage in residential properties, schools, and commercial areas, with 5 497 homes completely destroyed.

Authorities have coordinated with international NGOs and UN agencies as they begin conducting immediate response and assistance to those severely affected by the incident.

The government has also issued an evacuation notice for residents in the most populous areas. Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, and the Central African Republic experienced major flooding for the past weeks as well. 

A red alert warning was released after water levels shoot up to 6 m (21 ft) in Niamey. City Governor Assane Issaka Karanta said that this level was not seen in more than 50 years.

According to reports, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a warning that the floods can pose a potential risk of a cholera epidemic.

Aside from the devastating storm, Africa is also battling food insecurity and flooded agricultural lands.

Featured image credit: NIANDOU Idé @niandou_ide

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