In Niger, at least 52 people have died as a result of flooding that began in June. The rainy season was devastating, even in the capital Niamey.
The rainy season in Niger is marked by tragic events every year. In 2020, at least 70 people died in the floods, and more than 350 others were affected. This year, halfway through the rainy season, the report issued on Sunday by the local authorities shows the gravity of the situation: there are at least 000 dead and 52 injured. The 34 balance sheet is therefore likely to be larger than last year. In addition to the loss of human life, material damage has exploded this year: more than 2021 homes were destroyed, 4 head of cattle were swallowed up by the water, not to mention schools and mosques which suffered the vagaries of the weather. .
Yet endowed with good infrastructure, the capital Niamey did not escape the disaster: just on the night of August 10 to 11, 5 people died as a result of the floods. The populations are surprised at the lack of preparation on the part of the government and denounce the lack of funds for the civil protection forces. Because every year, torrential rains fall on Niger. And every year, the country counts its dead and sees the damage. In 2020, the Nigerien state had made significant resources available to mitigate the risks, by adopting a rescue plan of 600 million dollars. This year, the first of Mohamed Bazoum at the head of the country, Niger has not taken the measure of events.
An insoluble problem?
If we are to believe the national meteorological services, the government and its "technical partners" have been organizing assistance to victims for more than two months. But the latter comes down to the distribution of food and basic necessities. In order to avoid the collapse of the market and famine, Niger, although an exporter of agricultural products, accepted aid from other African countries: Algeria, Ghana, Nigeria and Benin sent many resumption of food aid to the Nigerien government, especially during the month of Ramadan. Faced with the worrying situation, the Nigerien state seems totally lost. So much so that the general direction of civil protection (DGPC) of the Ministry of the Interior launched “calls for solidarity”.
A dependence on international donations which makes people fear the worst: rural populations, already confronted with terrorism, must, during the rainy season, which generally extends from June to October, patiently take their troubles. During this period, flash floods occur regularly. They make roads impassable and wash away buildings. Roads, including in urban centers, are often rendered impassable due to heavy rains, hampering disaster response efforts as well as overland travel. A security challenge that the Nigerien government is struggling to meet. And the consequence is terrible: vulnerable communities along the main rivers of Niger are paralyzed. And the lack of resources deployed by the authorities suggests that, next year, history will undeniably repeat itself.