The charm Niameys in its location on the Niger River.
It was not until 1927, when the French colonialists moved their seat of government from Zinder to Niamey, that the city began to develop. The French wanted on the one hand to strengthen the Djerma-Songhai, but on the other hand they wanted to have better connections to the colonies of Dahomey, Upper Volta and Mali. Niamey lies in the socio-geographical settlement area of the Djerma. Since the 1930’s, the village on the river has quickly developed into a town. Villages grew together, the existence of which can still be localized by the names of the districts: Gamkallé, Yantala, Maourey, Gandatchi etc. The town center of Niamey is formed by the former village of Gaoué. In addition to modern buildings and a few high-rise buildings, there are also houses from the colonial era. The names of the quarters in the city center indicate the old villages.
With almost 1.6 million people, Niamey is still a relatively small capital, but the trend is increasing – not least when measured against the general population growth. The country’s urbanization rate is 16.4%. The urban population continues to grow (182% in 57 years).
Due to the drought disasters in the 70’s and 80’s that drew many people to the city, Niamey has seen a huge increase in population. Urbanization started later than in neighboring countries, but it is constantly increasing. The rural exodus requires a large ring of quarters with simple adobe buildings around the city center, in which the immigrant and poorer population lives, but in between you can see large villas again and again. New quarters are also created in a planned manner and are systematically created. The city planners of Niamey are faced with enormous tasks. The Niamey Nyala urban development project – Niamey would like to adapt to the architectural standard of other African capitals. In most of the urban area, traditional mud buildings predominate, which do not correspond to the style of the Niamey city planners. There are now some modern architects who appreciate the culture and advantages of earth building architecture and rely on tradition and the improvement of their own possibilities. This looking to the future architects to think in sustainable and customized models, like this more publicized ahead and builders win it.
In order to keep Niamey its relatively ‘green’ character, it was decided at the beginning of 2018 to reactivate and maintain the green belt around Niamey more intensively. This ” ceinture verte ” was once planted to protect Niamey from sandstorms. The ‘wild’ construction boom attacked this oasis tremendously; In 2008 the Nigerien Environment Minister rang the alarm bell.
According to businesscarriers, with the influx of new population to Niamey, the expansion of the supply and hygiene facilities can hardly keep pace. Veolia signed a contract with the Republic of Niger in February 2017 for waste disposal in Niamey.
The Niger River, the third longest river in Africa, is “the” lifeline par excellence in Niger. This divides the capital Niamey into “rive gauche” and “rive droite” and gives the city a special charm. This longest river in West Africa is described again and again by means of reports and television reports that document the fascination of a trip on the Niger.
The old Niger Bridge leads to the Lamorde and Karadje quarters, among others. The university is also on this side of the river. The water tower twins are also striking.
The new Niger Bridge, which was inaugurated in March 2011, has relieved traffic since the road links on both sides of the river were completed.
Niger, a green city? The capital of the Niger gives the impression of being approached from a bird’s eye view. Due to the uranium boom in the 70 / 80’s, some high-rise buildings were built and some are added every year, but Niamey gives the impression of a green city with one-story houses – depending on the time of year the aerial photos are taken.
The next few years will show how the cityscape of Niamey will change with the implementation of the new city plans by Niamey Nyala. Niger is pursuing ambitious plans in order to be able to follow the standards of other major African cities. The Mali Bero street already forms part of a city ring. As in other areas of life, religious leaders are included. The long-term project of Niamey Nyala (Niamey – la coquette) will be realized in small steps with visions for the future.