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Worst floods in 80 years hit West Africa

09/09/2010
ShelterBox are responding to flood disaster in the West African country of Niger. The worst flooding the country has witnessed in 80 years has left more than 200,000 people in need of shelter. Tom Lay is a ShelterBox Response Team member working in the region and explains how severe the flooding has been.

‘We responded to floods in West Africa last year. I was part of the team working in Burkina Faso and it was the worst flood damage I’ve ever seen.'

‘These floods have been on an even bigger scale than last year’s and there is a huge need in Niger. Much of the world is unaware of the extent of the crisis here. We’ll be distributing the first 200 boxes and working to clear the logistical path for more.’

Niger’s capital, Niamey, has been badly hit by the floods and with heavy rain predicted through until mid-September, further damage is expected.

Tom Lay, and fellow SRT members Mike Freeman (US) and Ed Owen (UK), have been working with Rotarians and the fire service to distribute an initial 200 ShelterBoxes to the families in most need.

50 tents have already been set up at a youth centre and families will be moving into them during the coming days. A further 200 ShelterBoxes and four Classrooms in a Box are being sent to Niger. The four Classrooms in a Box will provide school equipment for 200 children and essential equipment for teachers. These boxes are despatched on requests from SRTs, typically when schools have been destroyed in a disaster.