Niger floods: Prevention is better than cure

When the rainy season comes each year, Hadiza Bambara is anxious. The 75-year-old woman, who has nine dependents, hasn’t forgotten the long rainy night when she and her family almost died when their home collapsed.

"I was alerted by my daughter's cries when a piece of earth fell from the roof and woke her up," Hadiza explained. "I jumped up in the middle of the night and immediately evacuated the house."

Hadiza lives in Nénégoungou, a village on an island on the Niger River, about 20 km from Niamey, the capital of Niger. Despite the risks related to the heavy seasonal rains, Hadiza's house was built of clay, which is not waterproof. Hadiza and her relatives now live in a makeshift shelter. "I don’t have the means to rebuild this house; the little savings I have and the help I receive serve me primarily to feed my family," she said. "My greatest wish is to have a weatherproof house where I could live in dignity with my family."

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