Niger Floods Kill 81

Floods in Niger have killed 81 people since July and displaced thousands of people.

Reports say an estimated of 485,000 people were affected by floods at this time of the year.

According to the UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)cholera outbreaks have also killed a further 81 people.

To respond to the humanitarian needs of the Niger citizens, the United Nations humanitarian agencies are supporting flood victims in Niger.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and their partners are distributing basic items such as food, blankets and mosquito nets as rains continue to affect more than 527,000 people in the African country.

OCHA reports that thousands of people have now sought refuge in school buildings close to their flooded homes.

UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) had warned last week that floods in Western Africa, including Niger, would worsen the current cholera emergency in the region.

Not only does Niger face an average of one food crisis every three years, often from drought, but this year rains, beneficial in some areas, have caused additional problems as torrential downpours and exceptionally high water levels of the Niger and other rivers have affected people in the land-locked, semi-desert country.

A decline in cereal production of over 410,000 tons and a fodder shortage this year are the primary causes of the crisis. Livestock, a mainstay of household livelihoods, has been severely affected.

OCHA asserts that addressing the underlying causes of the crises faced by Niger is essential to prevent recurrence.

Health is also a concern across the country, with a cholera epidemic that has so far affected more than 900 people, killing 60 of them. Meanwhile, the rainy season has triggered a peak in malaria rates, with more than 2 million cases recorded so far this year, double the number for the same period in 2009.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.