Nine Dead, 20,000 Affected By Niger Floods

Heavy floods in Niger have claimed nine lives and destroyed more than 2,000 homes, affecting at least 20,000 people, the interior ministry said on Tuesday.

The southwestern Dosso region, central-south Maradi and Tahoua and Tillaberi in the west have been worst hit, it said in a statement.

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 early this month 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.

Fifty-seven people died last year and more than 200,000 others were affected by floods that struck the capital Niamey and the country’s desert north.

The interior ministry urged people not to take shelter in ruined houses or to set up their homes in flood-prone areas.

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