The hottest place in the world usually shifts from one country to another across the course of the year. It is not unusual for the temperature to be over 110 degrees Fahrenheit in some parts of India. The same is true with parts of the Middle East. At some points of the year, the hottest place is in Northern Africa, while at other times, it is in Nigeria. Today, the hottest place in the world is in Maine-Soroa, Niger, where it is 114 degrees.
Maine-Soroa is in the southeast part of the country. It is just north of Nigeria and west of Chad, and it has a population of just over 10,000.
Most of the people in Maine-Soroa farm or raise cattle. This has become a challenge. The area faces “desertification.” This is defined as “the process by which fertile land becomes desert, typically as a result of drought, deforestation, or inappropriate agriculture.” The threat is not unusual. It exists throughout parts of central Africa, Australia, parts of the western United States, most of the nations between Saudi Arabia and India, and in southeast India as well.
Rain in Maine-Soroa is rare throughout most of the year, while high temperatures are not. The median high temperature from March to June is over 100 degrees. From January through April, the number of days of rain is usually zero. High temperatures drop into the mid-90s in July and August. In each of these months, average days of rain rise to an average of eight.
The area was plagued by violence just a few years ago. According to Doctor Without Borders in 2019:
Three months after a violent attack by unknown assailants on our office in Maïné Soroa, in southeastern Niger’s Diffa region, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been forced to stop providing medical and humanitarian assistance to people in the area. We had worked in Maïné Soroa since 2017, and in the Diffa region since 2015.