Torrential Rains Displace Thousands in Niger

Torrential rains have left at least 17,000 people homeless in the north and south of Niger. The remote desert town Bilma in Agadez region, 1,500 km northeast of the capital Niamey, was hardest hit with some 3,400 people having their homes damaged or destroyed. Bilma has received some 63 millimeters of rain in a few days—equivalent to the total rainfall recorded there during the last 10 years. In the south of Niger, heavy rains displaced 2,177 people in the southeast, and 3,633 in the southwest. Widespread flooding has also been reported in neighboring northern Burkina Faso. Reports last week estimated at least 6,000 people there had left their homes. Flooding has also been reported in Liberia and parts of southern Senegal.