Heavy rains that have lashed the Niger Republic since June have claimed 64 lives, authorities said over the weekend, as floods and landslides hit the West African country normally used to drought.
In a statement read out on national television, Niger’s cabinet said 32 people had died when their buildings collapsed, and another 32 drowned.
The floods and landslides had affected close to 70,000 people in total, the statement said, with more than 5,000 houses destroyed or damaged.
The worst-affected regions are Maradi in the south, Agadez in the Sahara desert, and the capital Niamey.
Cholera is spreading as a result, killing 16 people so far, the health ministry warned.
Niger’s rainy season normally lasts three to four months, from June to August or September.
In 2020, floods caused 73 deaths and created a humanitarian crisis with 2.2 million people needing help, according to the United Nations.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has extended his sympathy to the government of Niger Republic over recent flooding in the neighboring country.
According to a statement signed by presidential spokesperson mallam Garba Shehu, said the President described the losses of the flooding as vast and disturbing.
The statement said President Muhammadu Buhari condoles with President Mohammed Bazoum, government and people of Niger Republic over devastating floods that have left many dead and affected homes.
The President affirms that natural disasters are symptoms of climate change which all countries, including Nigeria, have committed to taking measures to prevent the adverse effects.
President Buhari prays for all the departed souls and affected families