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CLIMATE SCIENCE
Niger drought leaves schools closed
by Staff Writers
Niamey (AFP) March 10, 2017


More than half of schoolchildren have quit class in some parts of Niger due to drought which is forcing entire families of farmers to move to seek better pastures, the UN said Friday.

Some 33,000 farmers' children have abandoned class to follow their parents, with the worst hit areas including the central regions of Maradi and Zinder, Agadez in the north and Tahoua in the west.

In January the government said there had been a "feed deficit" of over 12 million tonnes for 2016, meaning there was simply not enough feed for the country's 40 million livestock animals.

To help ease the crisis the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Niamey said it was organising stocks of animal feed and other "means of substinence".

Last month the UN children's agency said almost 1.4 million children suffering from severe malnutrition could die this year from famine in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.

Separately Friday a Niger minister said it had discovered over 300 teachers with fake qualifications during a national evaluation ordered in response to falling school standards.

Often hired with no training, there are an estimated 61,000 contracted staff out of a total of 81,000 teachers in the impoverished country.

burs/mt/ach

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Bringing water to Kenya's drought-stricken wildlife
Voi, Kenya (AFP) March 5, 2017
In a wildlife sanctuary in southern Kenya the relentless sun has bleached savannah grasses and dried up rivers, turning water holes first into muddy pits and now, dust bowls. Herds of elephant, buffalo and zebra have gathered near one of the holes, where for six months, pea farmer Patrick Mwalua has been delivering water to them in a rented blue truck. After the rains failed for the thir ... read more

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