Niger: UN Says 15,000 People Need Humanitarian Aid in Flood-Hit Region of Niger

More than 15,000 people urgently need relief aid in south-east Niger after the Komadougou River - which most of the year was practically dried out - burst its banks and flooded their communities, the United Nations humanitarian wing said today.

"The seasonal flooding began a month ago and caught locals and authorities largely unprepared, as water in the river rose to an unprecedented level in mid-November," said Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Briefing the press in Geneva, he said that humanitarian workers on the ground in Niger have reported that people need food, water purification, sanitation supplies, and access to health care.

Mr. Laerke said the Government of Niger is leading the emergency relief operation, with the support of UN agencies and other humanitarian partners, and had already distributed 94 tons of food. Authorities had also identified sites to which affected populations could relocate.

"Meanwhile, the flooding continues and at least 20 more villages are at risk," he warned, explaining that farmland is also under water, triggering concern for people's long-term food security situation.

In addition, floods have affected transport systems and paralyzed local trade, which is an important source of income for people living along the border with Nigeria. He noted that while authorities report an increase of food imports from Nigeria, prices rose dramatically; for example, the price of a 100 kilogramme bag of flour had gone up by 30 per cent.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2013 UN News Service. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.