The reasons behind this year’s massive floods of the Niger River
The Niger River is overflowing in exceptional proportions, following days of heavy rain.
Niger’s western region has been hardest hit by the floods, which have effectively shut down the capital, Niamey and destroyed local rice cultures.
At least 45 people had died as of August 28th, and the water has forced more than 226,000 residents from their homes.
The rainfall has been very important during this year’s rainy season.
But other factors have contributed to the massive floods, such as the important erosion of the soils around Niamey and the deforestation of the river banks to produce charcoal and firewood.
All this makes slopes very runny, and great amounts of water go through.
In the short term, building dams could help contain future floods, but as such disasters are expected to happen more frequently, more long-term solutions must be found.
The best one, according to experts, is reforestation: planting new trees on the deforested banks.