More than 240 000 people, or a third of the population, in Niger’s Diffa region have been uprooted from their homes since the June 3 attacks by Boko Haram insurgents.
According to Viviane van Steirteghem, representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Niger, many have been settling along Route Nationale 01, the main road crossing the region.
“After June 3, the sites along that road had received an additional 60 000 to 70 000 people, resulting in increased pressure on water resources,” said Van Steirteghem.
The newcomers had arrived with their families and with cattle.
There were also fears of an outbreak of illnesses.
Unicef said some children had arrived unaccompanied and traumatised.