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 On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid