According to official figures, Nigeria is facing a humanitarian crisis that could last another month.
About 600 people died and 200,000 homes were destroyed or damaged, while 2 million people have been affected by severe flooding that swept through the south of the country after an overly active rainy season.
Nigerian Minister for Humanitarian Affairs Sadiya Umar Farouq said on October 16 more flooding is expected and urged heads of state to prepare accordingly. Since the beginning of the summer, large parts of the farmland have been demolished. Officials are concerned about the increasing spread of disease and food and fuel shortages.
“We call on the respective state governments, local governments and communities to prepare for further flooding by evacuating people living in flood-prone areas to higher ground, providing tents and support materials, fresh water, as well as medical supplies for possible water-borne diseases” , Sadiya said on Twitter on Sunday.
Officials said the emergency release of dams in Nigeria and neighboring Cameroon also contributed to the worst flooding in a decade. Reports show that the disaster has affected 27 of Nigeria’s 36 states. The rainy season typically lasts from April to October, but the country’s weather agency has warned that flooding could last into late November in some states.
Sadiya said despite “concerted efforts” and early warnings, many state governments “did not prepare for the floods.”
According to BBC reports, many people do not have the means to leave their homes and return after water levels have dropped.
“It is sad. Suddenly people are homeless and become beggars within weeks. No matter how wealthy they were, the displacement reduced them so much,” Chiamaka Ibeanu, a nurse living in Onitsha, Anambra state, told The Washington Post.
Reports show that the country’s economy has been hit by record-breaking inflation. The World Food Program and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization report that Nigeria was among six countries at high risk of catastrophic famine.
“Nobody is bearing the burden of these floods like our farmers,” said former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. “The consequences of these losses to our farmers will be felt by all of us. Any hope of a bumper crop is now gone.”
“This will further increase the misery in our towns and villages and our cities as food prices continue to rise,” he said in a tweet.
Sadiyay announced Friday that the federal government had begun distributing 12,000 tons of food and other items to states in need.
Reports show that some critical infrastructure such as hospitals, roads, bridges and schools, including the Niger Delta State University, Amassoma, the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, and the University of Africa, Toru-Orua, were badly affected by the floods.
Rivers State University climate scientist Professor Precious Ede told BBC Pidgin that the natural phenomenon is a “flood return period” for the Niger Delta region, occurring about every 10 years.
In 2012, 1.3 million people were displaced and 431 died when 30 states in Nigeria were flooded.
The climate scientist said the Nigerian government should build more dams and dredge Nigeria’s two major rivers – the Niger and Benue. In addition to controlling flooding, the dams will be used to generate electricity and irrigate water for agriculture and fisheries, the scientist said.
https://atlantablackstar.com/2022/10/19/200000-damaged-homes-hundreds-killed-in-nigerias-worst-flooding-in-decade-meteorological-agency-says-crisis-could-last-longer-than-expected/ 200,000 homes damaged, hundreds dead in Nigeria’s worst floods in ten years; Meteorological Agency says crisis could last longer than expected