Niger - Meet Roukeya Adamou and Amina. They are both victims of the floods that hit Niamey during the 2021 rainy season. Overnight, the waters burst into some parts of the city, leaving no time to save their belongings. The mothers found themselves lost without shelter and food. As a result, Roukeya has lived on the right bank for eight years, a few meters away from the river, with her husband and ten children. She found shelter in the same school as Amina. She is a mother of seven who had to seek refuge after floods destroyed her home in Niamey.
Niamey, the capital of Niger, is divided in two by the Niger River. The left bank, Rive Gauche, is built on a plateau, the economic centre of the city, home to government and international institutions, and the right bank, Rive Droite, is built on an alluvial plain where the less urbanized neighbourhoods are located.
The lack of effective urban planning and the low standard of living in this area of Niamey increase the population's exposure to floods. The Niger river overflows its banks during each rainy season and causes severe flooding.
“The floods woke us up at 5 am. We could not take anything with us. We lost everything." -Roukeya.
Back home with her family, Roukeya and her husband tinkered a shelter made from straw with support from a few relatives.
"We could not save any of our stuff. We sought refuge in a school with other affected families," says Roukeya. "But when children were back in school, we had to leave and regain our houses," she adds.
Amine suffered a similar faith.
"I lost my husband a long time ago. With a few resources only, I have to take care of my children on my own. Now we lost our home. The rains and the rising river destroyed our house, forcing us to move." - Amina.
With funding from the German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) was able to assist flood victims in Niger. This funding aims to provide emergency shelter and non-food items to the affected populations in Niamey, as well as Dosso and Maradi, two regions in the southern country also crossed by the Niger River.
So far, a total of 865 families have received emergency shelters and non-food items in Niamey and Dosso, and another 1,200 are expected to receive the same assistance in Maradi, via the General Directorate of Civil Protection (DGPC).
Amina and Roukeya both benefited from emergency shelters and non-food items.
"Thanks to this shelter, we now have a roof and no longer sleep in the open with our children, and we feel safer. The emergency shelter comes at the right time for her family." -Amina
According to OCHA, the 2021 rainy season affected more than 250,000 people in 47 departments with loss of property, crops and livestock and caused 77 deaths.
Alongside relief assistance, in a context of cholera outbreak and COVID-19 pandemic, GFFO's funding contributes to build the capacity of the health system actors in Agadez and to the provision of testing materials and cold chain conservation equipment.
In parallel, assessment surveys are being supported thanks to the funding, to help tailor IOM’s response.
"We now feel a little more comfortable with the shelter. We also received mats, cups, mosquito nets, blankets, clothes, dishes, utensils and soap." - Roukeya
IOM receives funding from the German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO) for “Strengthening IOM's COVID-19 Life-Saving Response in Humanitarian Settings” in several countries around the world as part of IOM’s Strategic Response and Recovery Plan for COVID-19 (SRRP). We would like to tell the stories of some of the people who benefited from this support.