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Posted Thu Mar 11 2010: from IRIN:
Niger: Southern villages emptying as drought bites
"Empty" increasingly describes villages around the southern Niger town of Tanout in Zinder Region: Water wells and pastures, fields and food banks - and slowly - entire villages, are emptying.... Insufficient rains nationwide led to a 31 percent slump in crop production compared to last year - 410,000 tons less - according to the government's latest estimates.... The government has estimated that poor rains have forced some two million people to finish off their food reserves seven months before the next harvest. Another five million may soon follow.
[Read more stories about: drought, climate impacts, weather extremes]

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