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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Nigeria is Fighting Floods “Beyond Control”

Thousands of hectares of crops have also been damaged by the tragedy, escalating worries that the food supply in Africa's most populous nation

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

NIGERIA: Over 300 people will die from Nigeria’s worst floods in a decade in 2022, including at least 20 this week, according to the authorities, who claim that they have no control over the situation.

According to the National Emergency Management Agency of Nigeria, 500,000 people have been impacted by the floods in 27 of the 36 states and the capital city of Nigeria. 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes, and more than 500 people have been injured.

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Thousands of hectares of crops have also been damaged by the tragedy, escalating worries that the food supply in Africa’s most populous nation would be disrupted.

“This [the number of flood-related deaths] is the largest we ever experienced,” said Manzo Ezekiel, a spokesperson of the disaster management organisation, since 2012.

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Every year, flooding occurs in Nigeria, frequently as a result of a lack of infrastructure investment and disregard for environmental regulations. The flooding this year is being attributed by the authorities to local river overflows, unexpected rains, and the release of extra water from the Lagdo dam in neighbouring Cameroon’s northern area.

Due to “excessive rainfalls and contributions from foreign flows,” like the dam in Cameroon, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency forecast that floods will be worse in 2022 than they were in 2017.

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As two of the nation’s dams began to overflow on Monday, Nigeria’s disaster management organisation warned more than a dozen states of “severe implications” in the coming weeks.

The head of Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency, Mustapha Habib Ahmed, said, “I want to advise all the governments of the frontline states to move away communities at risk of inundation, identify safe higher grounds for evacuation of persons, and prepare adequate stockpiles of food and non-food items.”

According to Yusuf Sani Babura, director of the Jigawa State Emergency Management Agency, more than 20 persons were killed by floods in the north-western Jigawa state in the previous week. More than any other state in the nation, the state has reported 91 deaths related to flooding this year.

Babura stated, “We are dealing with terrible floods that are beyond our control. We gave it our best effort, but we were unable to stop it.”

Concerns have been raised that the floods could further disrupt the nation’s food supply, which has already been hampered by armed strife in the north-west and centre of the country due to the destruction of crops, particularly in Nigeria’s northern area, which produces most of the nation’s food.

Aondongu Kwagh-bee claimed to have recently visited his rice plantation in the Benue state and found that a significant downpour had “wiped away everything.”

“At the moment, nothing is there. The rice has been washed away, and only sand has filled the space,” the 30-year-old stated.

The poor infrastructure of Nigeria’s roadways, drainage, and garbage disposal, according to climate analyst Akintunde Babatunde of Abuja, is the biggest contributor to the country’s annual flooding crisis.

He claimed that unusual rainfall was proof of a changing climate.

Also Read: Puerto Rico Faces Severe Floods as Tropical Storm Fiona Approaches

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