NIAMEY, Niger — Niger’s government says torrential rains have killed at least 44 people in the capital and other parts of the West African country.

Director General of Civil Protection and Disasters Col. Aboubacar Bako said Tuesday that hundreds of homes were destroyed in rains just outside Niamey on Monday. He says the rains began Saturday in the capital and surrounding areas.

Saley Abdouhe, the head of Gabougoura village, has appealed to residents in at-risk areas to evacuate and take shelter in schools. He says the main cause of flooding is the obstruction of drainage channels.

Some neighborhoods have dug ravines to ease the damage.

The government is providing emergency food assistance, and aid organizations are providing shelter and other immediate help.

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