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23,000 people displaced by floods in Niger

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Floods in southeastern Niger since early October have driven 23,000 people from their homes, threatening a new humanitarian crisis in an area targeted by Boko Haram attacks.

Heavy rains flooded the Yubei River, which crosses the semi-desert area of ​​Deva and flows into Lake Chad, flooding villages and farm fields, damaging crops.

The public radio “Voice of Coast” (Voice of the Coast) that the water completely flooded two villages in the region of Deva and forced 2,500 families to flee.

According to the radio, about 400 families resorted to a gym in the city.

“We have been fighting for days to stop the rise in water levels, but it is not working,” rice farmer Ahmed Issa told AFP.

Niger, one of the poorest countries in the world, usually experiences harsh climatic conditions.

According to government estimates, between June and September last year, 57 people died in the floods, which affected 130,000 people.

The capital Niamey was badly damaged in September after the water level of the Niger River, Africa’s third largest, rose to a 50-year level, flooding parts of the city.

Last year droughts and floods led to food shortages, exacerbating the crisis in a country hit by jihadist attacks and more than 10 percent of the population is in need of humanitarian assistance.

The five Sahel countries – Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Mauritania – are seeking to counter jihadist attacks.

According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Diva region is home to 120,000 refugees and 109,000 displaced people.

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