Homes have collapsed, crops are ruined and animals decimated. People in Niger have been left with nothing following ongoing torrential rains that fell throughout August, causing heavy flooding across the African country.
As the rains continue, a ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) has arrived in the capital of Niamey to assess the need for emergency shelter and other vital aid including water filtration, with the risk of a cholera outbreak.
‘We are working with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and focussing our efforts in Niamey, a badly-affected area,’ said SRT member Peter Pearce (AU).
‘Disaster is enormous’
‘The scale of the disaster is enormous, with around 91,000 people affected by the flooding. It’s a sad situation as many here depend on farming as their livelihoods and now, just a few weeks before harvest, many farms have been wiped out, leaving families with no income and also no home.
‘We are going to carry out our first assessments as quickly as possible and then assist those families most in need.’
Widespread flooding increases the risk of waterborne diseases such as typhoid fever and cholera. The main cause of outbreaks is the contamination of drinking-water facilities, which is the case now in Niger.
‘Clean, safe drinking water’
‘ShelterBox has water filters currently prepositioned here so as soon as we complete our assessments we will distribute them, providing clean, safe drinking water to targeted communities,’ added SRT member Lodovica Tranchini (IT).