14 killed, 46,000 left homeless in Niger floods

  • AFP, Niamey, Niger
  • Updated: Aug 13, 2016 11:20 IST
Refugee Boussam installs a pole to start building a shelter in Sayam Forage camp, in Niger’s Diffa region. (UNHCR/Hélène Caux)

At least 14 people have died in flooding in Niger since June with more than 46,000 left homeless after heavy rains, especially in arid desert regions, the government said on Friday.

The figures update a previous toll given by the United Nations at the end of July, of 11 dead and 30,000 homeless.

Most of the victims and damage has been in the desert areas of Tahoua, in the west, and Agadez in the north.

“The floods in several locations of the country have led to 14 deaths, five injured and 46,296 disaster victims,” according to a government statement read on official television.

Local authorities said several children, who had drowned or been crushed by collapsing buildings, were among the victims.

Niger authorities say they have sent food aid to those in need and that non-food aid is on its way.

More than 19,500 cows, goats, sheep and camels have also perished in the two worst-hit areas, as well as hundreds of acres of land devastated, the UN said at the end last month, citing local authority figures.

Niger is in the midst of its annual rainy season, having struggled to overcome a severe food crisis caused by drought.

In early June, the UN warned that flooding could affect 100,000 people in the poor desert country by the end of the year.

In 2015, as many as 103,000 people were left homeless by floods that claimed the lives of tens of victims.

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