Niger: AREVA comes to the aid of victims of severe flooding
September 03, 2012
September 03, 2012
A neighborhood of Arlit under water (August 15, 2012) – Pumping floodwater with mining equipment
For the past month, torrential rains have battered Niger. Rising river waters have caused severe flooding that has destroyed many villages in the Tillaberi, Niamey, Agadez, Dosso and other regions. With victims numbering over 400,000 and some twenty people dead or reported missing, the government has put out a call for assistance. As a longstanding partner of Niger, AREVA has provided aid to the populations of Arlit and Akokan, in the north of the country.
Ceremony to launch the recovery work
In the mining city of Arlit, where most SOMAÏR employees and their families live, many dwellings have collapsed, and the main roads have been destroyed or are covered by water. In response, the mining company has dispatched equipment and workers to aid the victims.
Firefighters from SOMAÏR evacuated the local population and rescued people trapped in the rubble. On August 20, they saved eight children buried under the debris of house roofs that had collapsed. The children were rushed to the SOMAÏR hospital and today are back with their families, safe and sound.
A SOMAÏR bulldozer on the Assamaka road in Arlit
SOMAÏR also responded to a request from local authorities to take part in a huge effort to repair the major streets in the city, which officially got under way on August 24. During three days SOMAÏR provided the city with mining equipment (a motorized pump, two trucks, a bulldozer, a loader and a grader) to pump the water from the streets and some buildings, to dig channels and trenches to drain the water to collectors, and to raise and level the roadways.
Assamaka road after the repairs
In line with this commitment to assist the local populations, COMINAK** also offered its support to the mining city of Akokan, where most of its employees and their families live. As flooding was less serious in Akokan, the company was able to clear water from the streets very rapidly.
SOMAÏR: The Société des Mines des l’Aïr is owned 63.6% by AREVA and 36.4% by SOPAMIN (Société du Patrimoine des Mines du Niger, the Nigerien agency that manages the Nigerien state’s mining interests).
COMINAK: The Compagnie Minière d’Akokan is owned 34% by AREVA, 31% by SOPAMIN, 25% by the Japanese company Overseas Uranium Resources Development (OURD) and 10% by the Spanish company Empresa del Uranio SA (ENUSA).