News / Africa

    As School Year Starts, Nigerien Flood-Displaced Civilians Move Again

    People protect their houses from flood water after torrential rain brought down buildings (file photo - 31 Aug 2010)
    People protect their houses from flood water after torrential rain brought down buildings (file photo - 31 Aug 2010)

    Multimedia

    Audio

    The start of the school year in Niger means another move for people displaced by flooding, who had been camped in school courtyards. The government is helping those who have nowhere else to go.

    Four months ago, cattle grazed along the River Niger, as local farmers neared a record vegetable harvest in a country where one in six children was malnourished because of poor rains across the Sahel.

    Now the riverside grasses for cattle are under water. Men cast their fishing nets atop flooded fields of lettuce.

    An abundance of rain too soon flooded crops, driving people from their homes as the river burst its banks, washing away vegetables and rice and displacing more than 5,000 people around the capital, Niamey.

    The water came quickly to Illia Halima's Lamorde' neighborhood.

    Halima says her family was surprised by the water. They had it blocked and thought there was no way it could overrun them. But, at 6 o'clock in the evening, their mayor came and told them they had to go. They were moved to a school because the students were on vacation.

    The United Nations and the aid group Oxfam helped resettle people temporarily in schoolyards. Those who have family or other places to live gradually left the camps. But those without anywhere to go lingered on as the school year approached. So, Niger's government moved them to another site so schools could open on schedule.

    "Resumption of school is on due time, so people have to leave there," said Colonel Soumana Djibo, the local governor. "The families have to leave the schools. So, those who didn't know where to go, we have vacated a certain site with some shelters with tents, water, and sanitation and hygiene to relocate people and take care of them, to give them a human way of living in this site."

    Illia Halima lives at one of these sites with her children and her mother in tents provided with the help of Rotary International. She is looking for a place to live, but says renting a house in the capital requires three or four months rent to be paid in advance. And, she does not have the money to pay.

    Halima says they spend every night here. And, during the day, they look for somewhere to live so they can leave. She says it is hard finding a house in Niamey. Her children have returned to school and they do not want to live here forever. That is her biggest problem, because the children's school is so far from the camp.

    Colonel Djibo says the government does not want these people simply to return to land that will be flooded again the next time the river rises. So authorities are trying to help them get out of the tents and find somewhere more permanent, on higher ground.

    You May Like

    Video Twists and Turns Aplenty in US Presidential Race

    Even as Americans pause for this week’s Memorial Day holiday, much attention is focused on the presidential contest

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora