Niger Republic is currently in the throes of heavy flooding, as over 226,000 people have been forced out of their homes. Over 45 are reported dead.
Dozens of homes made of mud have collapsed, as farmers living and working along the river in Kirkissoye district have seen entire rice fields submerged by rising flood waters.
Niger’s western region has recorded the worst effects, hit by days of torrential rain that caused the Niger River to overflow, essentially shutting down the capital, Niamey.
Visiting the affected neighbourhoods, Prime Minister Brigi Rafini said the situation should not have happened in view of the river dyke rehabilitation work carried out just before the rainy season.
Rafini said he thought that the capital of Niamey was safe from flooding, adding that efforts will be made to protect other threatened areas.
Rafini pinpointed climate change as a source of increased flooding in Niger.
The Government has launched an appeal for populations in flood-prone areas to abandon their homes as an emergency measure. Since Monday, rains and flooding have affected at least 25,800 homes, according to the Council of Ministers.
In addition, 64 classrooms and 24 mosques have collapsed and hundreds of granaries have been damaged, the government said.
Authorities had earlier announced in July that over 300,000 people were at risk from flooding by the Niger River and from rainwater runoff since heavy rains began in June. Niger Republic is one of the driest African countries; there is however intense rainfall in the region, lasting two to three months annually.
In 2019, at least 57 people were killed and more than 132,500 were displaced by the rains, according to the government.