Calm in Niger as Ramadan begins

It was a calm day in Niamey on day one of the Holy month of Ramadan.

It follows protest against a curfew and ban on mass prayers to help curtail spread of the coronavirus. But tension still persists in Niger.

“It’s very difficult, I’ve been here since the beginning of the afternoon but business is not going well, the couscous and boiled moringa leaves remain unsold, you have to be patient because it’s almost curfew time too, so you have to deal with it”, said Niamey resident, Ramatou Mamane .

For Mamane Adamou, a Niamey resident “Alhamdoulilah is the beginning of Ramadan but if it continues at this pace we will still experience difficulties, the times were already difficult and the curfew came with its consequences so may Allah help us.”

Niamey issued an order for the compulsory use of face masks on April 10. But few people are seen with them due to the cost.

The government has reduced the curfew from 9:00 GMT to 5:00 GMT to 8:00 GMT to 4:00 GMT to appease protesters.

Niger has recorded 681 cases of coronavirus with 24 deaths, according to official figures released on Friday.

Niamey is home to some 1.5 million inhabitants. Many residents rejoice in the return to calm for this first break in the Ramadan fast.