Niger hit by worst flooding in 80 years: Oxfam

Sep 20, 2012, 12:47 PM

NIAMEY, Niger (AP) – The international aid group Oxfam says half a million people have been displaced in Niger as the country reels from the worst flooding in 80 years.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that more than 80 people were killed in the floods.

The landlocked West African country of Niger has been pummeled by back-to-back droughts in 2005, 2010 and the first part of 2012 causing an acute hunger crisis. Samuel Braimah, country director for Oxfam, says the rains were needed, but the excessive rainwater has now destroyed 17,000 acres (7,000 hectares) of crops, making it even more difficult for families strained by drought to rebound.

Of the 1 million children facing life-threatening malnutrition this year in the Sahel, UNICEF says that one-third live in Niger.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Niger hit by worst flooding in 80 years: Oxfam