Nigeria rushes to aid flood victims, as death toll tops 600


The death toll from floods in Nigeria this yr has elevated to 603 as native authorities race to get aid objects to tons of of 1000’s being evacuated from their submerged properties.

More than 1.3 million individuals have been displaced by the catastrophe, which has affected individuals throughout 33 of Nigeria’s 36 states, the nation’s Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs mentioned late Sunday.

At least 340,000 hectares of land have additionally been affected, worsening fears of meals provide disruptions. Armed battle has already threatened manufacturing within the northwest and central areas of Nigeria, which produce a lot of what the nation eats.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari directed “all involved to work for the restoration of normalcy,” in accordance to an announcement issued by the presidency.

Nigeria experiences annual flooding, particularly in coastal areas, however this yr’s floods are the worst in additional than a decade. Authorities blame the catastrophe this yr on the discharge of extra water from the Lagdo dam in neighbouring Cameroon and heavier than standard rains that had been constructing since early summer season.

The flooding has worsened the humanitarian disaster in Nigeria, the place armed violence — particularly within the troubled northern area — has already displaced greater than three million individuals, in accordance to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre.

People stand on the financial institution of the Benue River after floodwater receded in Lokoja on Oct. 13. (Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters)

Sadiya Umar Farouq, Nigeria’s humanitarian affairs minister, warned that 5 states are nonetheless susceptible to experiencing floods till the top of November.

“We are calling on the respective state governments, native authorities councils and communities to put together for extra flooding by evacuating individuals dwelling on flood plains to excessive grounds,” Farouq mentioned.

Last week, Buhari authorised 12,000 tonnes of grains for the flood victims, the humanitarian affairs minister mentioned.

Also final week, drone footage in Lokoja — a metropolis within the north-central Kogi state, on the confluence of the Niger and Benue Rivers, that has suffered weeks of flooding — confirmed dozens of submerged properties and companies.

“I’ve by no means seen such a factor,” resident Khalid Yahaya Othman informed Reuters as he checked out his submerged gasoline tanks and close by waterlogged streets.

“When this water was coming, we by no means envisaged that it’ll come and … cowl the tank,” he mentioned.

State oil firm NNPC blamed the floods, which blocked a key highway out of Lokoja, for a gasoline scarcity within the capital, Abuja.

Cameroonian energy firm Eneo mentioned final month it could launch water from the dam in September and October after its reservoir hit 91 per cent capability.


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