Displaced by devastating floods, Nigerians are forced to use floodwater despite cholera risk, scientists say
A woman and children wait to collect water in a mud-brick hut in the town of Bonaberi. REUTERS/Bazzi KENARE (NIGERIA – Tags: ENVIRONMENT MILITARIA)
The residents of a village in the central Niger republic say the flooding has forced them to use river water in their cooking and washing.
Water is a valuable resource in the region where crops are often flooded.
As many as 90 people have died after flash flooding hit the country’s capital, Niamey, this month.
While they were forced to survive on what they could find or catch, locals in the Bonaberi area said the flood water was not safe to drink as it has already started to smell bad.
“Water here is quite muddy but not very clean but we are happy because there’s a bit of food and that is what we eat,” says Baba Binti in a local village in the Bonaberi area. He washes his family’s laundry in muddy water from a local river.
The people were forced to use river water in their cooking and washing as the banks of the Niger-Congo River became dangerously high this week.
The rising banks of the river have flooded the village’s mud-brick houses and killed at least 15 people.
“We had nothing to eat since the river rose but we made do drinking it instead of eating,” said a 15-year-old girl who survived the floods.
“People are afraid of eating the water. They used to eat fish but people ate fish when the river was running normally.”
The floods began on Friday and the river has been rising steadily. The water level hit 30.6 metres on Sunday, and on Friday it climbed to 35.9 metres and then 35.8 metres.
“We were waiting for the river to recede the flood happened,”