Nigeria Floods Kill Hundreds and Displace Over a Million People
Nigeria is in the process of killing thousands with its record rains, which have inundated an area with no water around it.
According to Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission, the floodwaters that poured into the Benue River, which marks the border with Cameroon, sent 3.3 million people in the flood zone needing food assistance, while 2 million in the neighbouring area needing medical support.
Fishermen had to wade through water to reach their boats, while hundreds of cars and trucks were submerged in the raging river.
A state of emergency was declared for the worst affected regions. And the state government estimates that the damage is around $250m (320 million euros), while officials from the World Food Programme have said that they are helping in the process.
An international team is currently examining the damage and collecting data.
But as the rains are set to continue for a few days, the Nigerian government is taking matters in its own hands.
The Nigerian Army is mobilising troops, while Nigeria’s Federal Disaster Management Agency says it has deployed emergency relief personnel.
The Nigerian Federal Ministry of Defence says it is providing helicopters to deliver sand and pumps for the emergency response.
Some of the flood victims are in areas where they thought there was plenty of water, and when the rivers started to recede, they found that there was enough to only wash their clothes.
With the water gone, people were left with nothing and no way to return to their homes.
It took the Army about three hours to reach the worst affected area in Borno state, where it found more than 8,000 people needing shelter.
“It was a little shock. It had been a steady rain for a couple of days, and people thought we were home here,” said one resident of the area.
“Many people said they didn’t think there would be this much water in the middle of the night,” he said.
Nigeria’s Meteorological agency says the floods were caused by a combination of rain and unusual weather conditions, resulting in “very heavy rains in the Benue and Cross Rivers”. But it does not yet have an exact date