BBC, July 22, 2002
The authorities in Niamey are arresting prostitutes as religious leaders in Niger blame the lack of rain on the sins of the country’s Muslims.
Muslim leaders across the country have been holding special collective prayer sessions to appeal for rain, according to Niger’s Bonferey radio station.
Countries across the Sahel region of West Africa have been experiencing poor rainfall this year.
But the prayers do not seem to have worked so far. Clouds have appeared but there has been no rain.
So some Islamic clerics have said that it is the bad behaviour of many Muslims that have resulted in the prayers going unanswered.
In Niamey, this has led to the arrest of women suspected of being prostitutes, according to the BBC’s Mammame Barmou in the Niger capital.
He was told by one of the women arrested by the police that poor women were being picked on and the sins of rich Nigerois were being ignored.
Many of Niger’s neighbours are also reporting poor rainfall and a worrying shortage of water.
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