On Wednesday, July 19, the UN reported at least 23 people had died due to torrential rains that have plagued the country since June. As of July 10, at least 19,459 people had been estimated to have been affected. In Tahoua region, many animals have been killed and swept away by the waters into drinking sources such as ponds, raising fears over waterborne disease outbreaks (e.g., cholera).
The most affected areas include the capital Niamey, where flooding in June resulted in the deaths of nine children, and the western regions of Tillabéri and Tahoua. The floods have also destroyed fields and orchards in many parts of the country, leading to concerns over future food insecurity.
Torrential downpours are a frequent occurrence during Niger’s rainy season, which lasts from May to September, and often leads to significant flooding and traffic disruptions. Inadequate construction standards leave occupants at risk of collapsing buildings.
In May, the UN warned that floods in 2017 could affect more than 106,000 people in Niger. In 2016, floods resulted in the deaths of at least 50 people and affected 145,000 across the country, particularly in the desert regions of Agadez and Tahoua.
Individuals present in the affected regions are advised to follow all instructions as issued by local authorities and be prepared to leave immediately if an evacuation order is given. Monitor any relevant developments to the situation via local media, the authorities, and reliable weather reporting outlets. Remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous; 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult.