The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has warned that the recent flooding witnessed in Nigeria puts about 60 percent of children at risk of waterborne diseases, drowning, and malnutrition.
According to UNICEF, it reports that the recent flooding in Nigeria has so far affected 34 out of the 36 states in the country. A total of 1.3 million people have been displaced, over 600 people have lost their lives and over 200,000 houses have either been partially or fully damaged.
UNICEF Communication Specialist Geoffrey Njoku in a press release said that cases of diarrhea and water-borne diseases, respiratory infection, and skin diseases have already been on the rise.
Mr. Njoku said the North -Eastern states of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe alone had a total of 7,485 cases of cholera and 319 associated deaths were reported as of 12 October, as rains are expected to continue for several weeks which calls for the increase in humanitarian needs.
Also, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria Cristian Munduate said, “Children and adolescents in flood-affected areas are in an extremely vulnerable situation. They are particularly at risk of waterborne diseases and emotional and psychological distress. UNICEF is working closely with the Government and other partners to provide life-saving assistance to those who are most in need.
“The floods are adding another layer of complexity to an already precarious humanitarian situation in the country. Immediate priority needs for children include health, water, sanitation, and hygiene; as well as shelter and food”.
“Additional funding and resources are required to respond to growing needs and to sustain ongoing humanitarian interventions, with a focus on the most vulnerable, including children with disabilities.”
According to UNICEF’s Children’s Climate Risk Index (CCRI), Nigeria is considered at ‘an extremely high risk of the impacts of climate change, ranking second out of 163 countries.
Children in ‘extremely high risk’ countries face a deadly combination of exposure to multiple climates and environmental shocks combined with high levels of underlying child vulnerability, due to inadequate essential services, such as water and sanitation, healthcare, and education.
The recent flooding witnessed in Nigeria lately has been severe which has led to the loss of lives and properties without showing any sign of stopping.
As regards the effect of the flood on the country’s economy, businesses in the country have lost over N1 trillion in two weeks to the flooding crisis.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) had earlier stated that the increase in rainfall and the release of excess water from a dam in neighboring Cameroon was what contributed to the recent flooding in Nigeria.
In a bid to effect the recent flood, the federal ministry of water resources is currently working toward the construction of about two dams.