A report by Nigeria’s humanitarian ministry has disclosed that more than 1.4 million people have been displaced, and about 500 people have died in one of the worst floods ever witnessed in the country.
Permanent secretary of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Nasir Sani-Gwarzo in a statement said “over 1.4 million persons were displaced, about 500 persons have been reported dead, 790,254 persons moved out of their locations and 1,546 persons were injured.
“About 45,249 houses were totally damaged, 76,168 hectares of farmlands were partially destroyed and 70,566 hectares of farmlands were completely destroyed.”
The latest figures represent a significant increase in casualties and displacements from Nigeria’s devastating flood crisis this year. Last month, the country’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said at least 300 people had died and more than 100,000 others had been displaced since the start of the rainy season.
Last week, 76 people died by drowning in the southeastern state of Anambra when their boat capsized as they tried to escape from being submerged by the excessive floodwaters.
Another state in Nigeria worst hit by the flood is North Central Kogi state where six people, including a toddler were reported to have died as a result of the flood in the state. The excessive flood in the state has rendered thousands of people homeless as numerous houses in the state have been submerged by the flood which has risen as high as the rooftops.
Speaking on the excessive flood in Kogi, the state governor Yahaya Bello acknowledged that the flooding in Kogi state is more than any flood anywhere in the country. He added that the reason for the higher level of flooding was due to the two major rivers – Niger and Benue meeting in Kogi state.
He therefore called on President Muhammadu Buhari, the WorldBank, and all other federal and international agencies to help combat the floods and also to provide relief materials to those affected.
However, commenting on the recent flooding in Nigeria, the National Emergency Management Agency NEMA stated that the increased rainfall and the release of excess water from a dam in neighboring Cameroon were what contributed to flooding in Nigeria.
It was reported that in September this year, the Cameroonian authorities reportedly opened overflow spillways at its Lagdo Dam to relax the pressure on the dam as a result of the rising water contained by it.
Therefore, Rivers connected to the Cameroonian dam such as the Benue River were affected by an overflow from this dam, which has resulted in flooding in Nigeria.
Records indicate that Cameroon and Nigeria were supposed to build two dams at inception, such that the Nigerian dam, known as Dasin Hausa dam which was to be in Adamawa State, would contain water released from the Lagdo Dam at any point in time.