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

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs