Written by: Marian Roberts
Nana Findaoussou is a 12 year old Primary 4 girl who lives with her maternal grandmother and 9year old brother in Mehana within the Tera region. Their home which is almost broken due to flood is situated just by Fleuve Niger.
Nana’s mother and father separated because her father was alcoholic. Her mother then left for the capital city Niamey abandoning Nana and her younger brother. Her 55year old grandmother who does not have any source of income works on people’s farm in order to get farm produce in return to look after Nana and her brother.
Nana revealed since her grandmother did not have a lucrative work, there is little food for her and brother to eat. She said, “I sometimes go to bed without food and go to school without food also. As for my brother, he cannot withstand hunger so he always goes round to beg for food and money.
Whenever the rains come, our house gets flooded. I see the rains coming through the windows and doorway. The rains take over our house and we have to move out and find a neighbour’s house to sleep. There are times I hear people say that hippopotamus swim from other places into the river at night when the rains are heavy. And this really scares me a lot.
Our house is not fenced and that makes me very afraid when I go to bed because I see boys smoke marijuana in the night by the river. And this makes me afraid at night because I always think they will come into our house and harm us.”
According to Nana, when she wakes up in the morning she fetches water from the river for herself, grandmother and brother before going to school. She said, “We drink from the river and sometimes it is very dirty, so when we drink it, I get stomach pains.”
She mentioned that she likes to read and play with her doll but prefers to have food to eat always. “I want to be a teacher when I grow up. I always want all the problems that I face to go away so that I don’t go to bed hungry again. And I also want my sponsor who sends me cards and letters to pray for me so I can finish school and become a Teacher.”