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Concerns over food insecurity and public health are growing in Niger after after floods wiped out farms and livestock, reports children’s charity Plan International.
The flash floods, caused by heavy rain, have affected more than 45,000 people in large parts of the country.
The suburbs of the capital Niamey, as well as Dosso, Tillaberi and Maradi are particularly badly hit.
Thousands of families, many of whom were affected by last year’s food crisis, have had their homes and crops washed away - just six weeks before harvest.
“Most farms and livestock have been destroyed, increasing food vulnerability and the threat of another food crisis.
“There is also the threat of a widespread locust infestation in northern parts of the country,” says Mamoudou Madougou, Plan’s emergency response manager in Niger.
Aid workers from the charity will be distributing food, mosquito nets, blankets and medication kits in the coming days.
“The main risks are waterborne diseases, specifically cholera, possible food shortages, houses potentially collapsing and school abandonment,” says Mr Madougou.
More than 13,000 children have been affected in Dosso and Tillaberi, where Plan operates.
The charity hopes to provide psycho-social support to children who have been displaced and forced to drop out of school.
The flash floods were caused by heavy rain, which fell across large parts of Niger at the end of last month. It is thought at least 20 people have died.
It is feared the situation could get worse as Niger’s rainy season continues.
For more information on Plan’s work or to make a donation call 0800 526 848 or visit www.plan-uk.org