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Overflowing River Niger floods gardens in Niamey

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Niamey, Niger, February 14 (Infosplusgabon) - The rise in water level at the source of the River Niger has led to flooding of homes of local people living along the river bank in recent weeks, the government daily Le Sahel reported on Wednesday.


According to the newspaper, daily readings of the alert at the Niamey station show that since January, there was an increase of one centimetre in the water level, or 2,238 m3/s corresponding to the 592 cm rating.


"While the rise in water levels is worrying for hydrologists and riverside populations, observations and comparisons by flood hydrographs clearly indicate that this year's low water levels will be less severe than in previous years.


According to the Director of Hydrology at the Hydraulics and Sanitation Ministry, Mohamed Housseini Ibrahim, the flood follows the rainfall in the upper basin (in Guinea).


The floods first stay in the inland delta of Mali for at least a month, before continuing their journey to the Middle Niger (the downstream part of Mali and the Republic of Niger), then to the lower Niger and then to the maritime delta in Nigeria to flow into the Atlantic Ocean.


The Guinean flood began precisely on October 12, 2018, in Niamey. Since then, the average Niger, which covers the regions of Tillabéry, Niamey and Dosso, has continued to receive water in a gradual manner.


This situation has led to several cases of flooding in the regions of Tillabéry and the city of Niamey, with enormous damage to agricultural land and housing and in some cases loss of human life.


Analysis of the average daily flows at the Niamey hydrometric station shows that the river level has reached the vigilance level that specialists call the orange alert level, which is set at 580 cm, corresponding to a flow of 2,127 m3/s. In addition, this alert rating persisted until 29 January 2019 to reach 592 cm.


Every year, hydrologists and populations observe two floods in the Niger River.


The first flood, or local flood, occurs during the rainy season and the second occurs during the cold season. But despite the two major water supplies that the Niger River receives each year, the river dries up during the dry season, to the point where the most pessimistic suspects that the water resource will not disappear over the years.


Today, to the surprise of specialists and populations living along the Niger River, the Guinean flood this year surprised residents living in districts of Niamey, such as Gamkalé, Saga, the island of Neni Gougou, the cornice Yantala bas, etc. In other words, the current situation of the Niger River puts the issue of climate change back on the table for discussion.


The populations living along the Niger River in Niamey have been on the alert in recent days. And for good reason, the exceptional flooding of the river. From the yellow alert, we switched to the so-called orange alert on 3 January 2019. The orange alert is set at 580 cm and thus corresponds to a flow rate of 2127 m3/s.


The rising waters surprised many gardeners. The protective dike built a few years earlier to secure the banks and gardens gave way, causing enormous damage to the gardens in the area.


Sombo Modibo is a garden operator in the Gamkalé district of Niamey.


The flood of the river remains unforgettable in his memory, because his operating space has been invaded by water.


"My garden was literally swallowed up by the fury of the river waters. For this reason, I urgently appeal to the State to start work on the construction of the protection dike, which is the only barrier between off-season crops and the waters of the river.


The water display did not only affect seasonal activities. It has also dealt a severe blow to one of the main activities along the Niger River fishing.


"The flooding of the river hinders normal fishing. It carries or ships the water hyacinth that prevents fish from breathing properly, let alone from being able to move freely," says fisherman Souley Saley.





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