Niger - Environment

In Niger, serious depletion of vegetation has been caused by the burning of brush and grass to prepare for the planting of crops, often on marginal land; by overgrazing of range lands; and by tree cutting for fuel and construction. Soil erosion and increasing desertification have also occurred. The nation has 3.5 cubic kilometers of renewable water resources. About 82% percent is used in farming activity and 2% for industrial activity. Safe drinking water is available to 70% of urban dwellers and 56% of the rural population. Only 79% of the nation's city dwellers have adequate waste disposal.

With Benin and Burkina Faso, Niger administers "W" National Park, of which 334,375 hectares (826,254 acres) are in Niger. There are also several game reserves, but resources for safeguarding protected fauna are insufficient. The nation's wildlife is endangered by unlawful hunting and poaching. As of 2001, 11 of Niger's mammal species and 2 of its bird species are endangered. Threatened species include the addax, cheetah, and dama gazelle. The Sahara oryx has become extinct in the wild.

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