Nigeria battles worst floods in years; 300 killed in 2021

ABUJA, Nigeria — Nigeria is facing its worst flooding in a decade with more than 300 deaths in 2021, including at least 20 this week, authorities told The Associated Press today. Monday, admitting the situation is “out of our control.”

Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency says flooding in 27 of Nigeria’s 36 states and capital has affected half a million people, including 100,000 displaced. More than 500 people were injured, it said.

The disaster has also destroyed thousands of hectares of farmland, exacerbating fears of disruption to food supplies in Africa’s most populous country.

Since 2012, “this number (flood-related deaths) is the highest we’ve ever had,” said Manzo Ezekiel, a spokesman for the disaster management agency.

Nigeria records annual flooding often as a result of inadequate implementation of environmental and infrastructure guidelines. Authorities are blaming this year’s floods on overflows from several local rivers, unusual rainfall and excess water discharge from the Lagdo Dam in the northern region of neighboring Cameroon.

The Nigeria Hydrographic Service, or NEMA, has predicted more floods in 2022 than last year due to “excessive rainfall and contributions from external flows” such as dams in Cameroon.

On Monday, Nigeria’s disaster management agency warned of “serious consequences” in the coming weeks for more than a dozen states as two of the country’s dams began overflowing.

NEMA head Mustapha Habib Ahmed said: “I would advise all frontline governments to relocate communities at risk of flooding, identify higher ground that is safe to evacuate people and prepare adequate food and non-food stockpiles,” said NEMA head Mustapha Habib Ahmed.

Yusuf Sani Babura, head of the Jigawa State Emergency Management Agency, in Jigawa state, floods killed more than 20 people last week. The state has recorded 91 flood deaths this year – more than any other state in the country.

“We are facing terrible floods that are beyond our control,” Babura said. “We tried our best and we were unstoppable.”

Flooding has also destroyed crops in much of the farmland, mainly in the northern region of Nigeria, which produces much of what the country eats, raising fears it could further affect the Food supplies have been disrupted by armed conflict in the northwestern and central regions of the country.

In the north-central Benue state, Aondongu Kwagh-bee said recently visited his rice farm and discovered that a downpour had “wiped everything”.

“Right now, there’s nothing there. Just the sand and rice were washed away,” said the 30-year-old man.

Akintunde Babatunde, a climate analyst based in Abuja, said the main cause of Nigeria’s annual flooding problem is poor infrastructure design in areas of roads, drainage and sewerage systems. process rubbish.

“Irregular rainfall is evidence of climate change… so climate change is no longer a threat,” he said.

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