In the space of 10 months, Niger has been hit by a food crisis brought on by high market prices and poor harvests, a refugee crisis triggered by conflict in neighbouring Mali, followed by a cholera outbreak and now devastating floods. It has left many in this West African state wondering when the next disaster is and what could it possibly be?
The village of Sandidey resembles a demolition site. Where homes once stood, there is now rubble left in the wake of the mighty force of rushing flood waters which cut a path through this remote southern village in Niger.
Two full ponds filled now mark the place where the home of Moumouni Hamadou, 46, once stood. His wife and six children escaped with their lives and only the clothes they were wearing.
The flood of 8 August was triggered by half-year's worth of rain in just six hours in Dosso Region.
Omens in the sky
A week later the first emergency supplies of food, blankets and pesticide-treated mosquito nets are being distributed by Plan International. This flood has affected more than 75,000 people across Dosso - an area the size of Belgium. Some 80% are children. In the scheme of emergency relief this is a small scale event - that is if it occurred in isolation. This, however, is the fourth emergency in Niger in 10 months.
First there was the food crisis followed by the Malian refugee crisis, followed by a cholera outbreak, followed now by this devastating flood.
Oumou Ide, 11, said the omens were in the sky the evening before.
"Since evening we looked at the sky, it was so cloudy that we knew that it would rain, so our parents told us to bring the firewood inside, in case. We brought it in and went to bed. The rain started early in the morning. We had never seen such rainfall and it never stopped until the time (5.30am) that people were about to go to pray.
"Then when people came back they found water was flowing through the village. They said it was very dangerous and it might make the houses fall. They told us to get out of our houses. The rain continued falling and water was flowing into the houses. Outside we just stood and watched our houses fall down," said Oumou.
The last supper
Villagers tried building sandbars to protect their houses but the force of the water was too great. Oumou's uncle, Moussa Ide, the village chief, lost four homes.
"I have lived here since I was born 66 years ago and I have never witnessed such floods," he said. Moumouni, one of the first in the line for emergency aid, is a farmer who was already suffering from the food crisis.
"All I had left to feed my wife and six children tonight was one bowl of millet porridge. God has brought this food just in time," he told Plan.
Last year just as the millet was growing in his field a plague of insects struck destroying his entire crop. He replanted and as the millet was about to develop the rains stopped.
"We had a very bad harvest. We were able to harvest only 10 measures of millet," he said showing us a two-litre plastic bowl, "one measure is about five of these bowls."
Help us to help ourselves
"This year I am very worried. We had so much rain that my farm is flooded except for a hilly part so I am expecting a little more than 10 measures. The recent years have been very bad and we have had repeated food crises. As farmers we pray for a year with good rainfall without locusts, without insects and without floods.
"If we have that we don't need support from anyone because we will be able to feed ourselves. But if one of these disasters happens we become very helpless.
"All we require is support to have very good years as in times gone by when we had very good harvests," said Moumouni.
The floods have left another problem for this community.
Many of the homeless are camped in the village school and that poses a problem for the restart of classes in October after the summer holidays.
"For those of us whose fields have survived, we are hoping for a good harvest in six weeks time but even if we (do) make good money, we are faced with the decision - do we use the money to build back our homes or do we eat for the next year?" said village chief Moussa.
"School cannot start until we rebuild houses for these people. When everything is rebuilt and people have somewhere to live then we can free the school so that children can return."
Oumou said she is looking to her uncle for a solution.
"We are very worried because we have to go back to school in a month's time and we cannot because people are living in our classrooms. But when people are assisted to rebuild their houses they will surely come out and we will be able to go back to school," she said.
Plan Niger Country Director, Rheal Drisdelle, said Plan is now discussing options with the authorities to ensure that children are able to get back into the classroom come October.
"It is extremely important that children's education is not disrupted - even by disasters. It cannot be easy for them to watch helplessly as their houses crumble, their clothes, books, bags and toys swept away. It is important to get them back into school not only to gain an education but also to get into familiar surroundings with their friends in order for a sense of normalcy to return."
Many thousands of homes have been destroyed and damaged and at least 1,273 farms also destroyed.
"We are accustomed to having at least one disaster a year but not four at the same time," Rheal added.
Head of Emergency Response of Plan International, Dr Unni Krishnan, says many types of disasters can be averted and Plan is working with many of its 58,000 communities across the globe to put these resilient-building measures in place.
"As an aid agency, our aim is for disaster risk reduction to become a widespread reality, so that we are not just treating the symptoms but also providing a cure for the problem.
"To make this happen long term commitments are necessary. That is the only way we can break the vicious cycle of repeated disasters in a country like Niger," he said." said Unni.
Follow Terry Ally on Twitter: www.twitter.com/terryally