At least 45 killed, more than 220,000 displaced by floods in Niger

The file photo shows homes in Niger inundated by heavy flooding./Getty Images
File photo showing homes in Niger inundated by heavy flooding./Getty Images

At least 45 people have been killed and 226,000 others have been displaced from their homes by floods due to heavy rains in Niger, according to officials.

The flooding has also resulted in significant damage to property and crops with several mud homes, classrooms and granaries collapsing or being destroyed while acres of rice fields have been submerged.

Several days of rain, particularly in western Niger, caused River Niger to burst its banks and effectively halt activities in the capital Niamey.

Nigerien Prime Minister Brigi Rafini described the situation as “difficult” and expressed his unhappiness that previous rehabilitation works prior to the rainy season had failed to secure the capital.

“I thought that the capital of Niamey was safe from flooding,” he said.

Rafini pledged to have the government protect other threatened areas while warning “we are never safe from floods.”

The ongoing rainy season, which began in June, is expected to continue until the end of September.

Niger is prone to flooding annually with Niamey usually one of the worst-affected areas.

Last year, at least 57 people were killed and more than 132,500 were displaced while in 2012, 65 people were killed and about 125,000 others were left homeless by floods.

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