The Niger government took the brave decision last year to sound the alarm early on hunger – the rainy season, from July to September, had been well below average and a drop in food production looked likely. (..) One year later, the picture is very different. This time the alarm is being raised by NGOs to help an estimated 500,000 affected by flooding in Niger. (..) Yes, in the years when the rains fail more people are pushed into hunger, but the NGO message is that this is something that will take years to fix. "Deep-rooted change is what is needed, not just a good harvest," says Denise Brown, head of the World Food Programme (WFP) in Niger.