The death toll from the worst flooding Nigeria has seen in a decade has passed 600, the country’s humanitarian affairs ministry tweeted on Sunday.
According to the ministry, more than 2 million people have been affected by widespread flooding across southern parts of the country after a particularly wet rainy season.
More than 200,000 homes have been completely or partially damaged, the ministry added.
Earlier this month, the Nigerian National Emergency Management Agency catastrophic flood warning for the states located along the flows of the Niger and Benue rivers, note that three of Nigeria’s overfilled reservoirs are expected to overflow. NEMA said release excess water from a dam in neighboring Cameroon contributed to the flooding.
While many parts of Nigeria are prone to annual flooding, flooding in some areas is more severe the last major flood in 2012, a Red Cross official in Kogi told CNN last week.
NASA images show the devastation of the worst flooding the region has seen in a decade
Nigeria’s Humanitarian Minister Sadiya Umar Farouq on Sunday warned that more flooding was possible and urged regional governments to prepare accordingly.
“We are calling on State Governments, Local Government Councils and Communities to prepare for greater flooding by evacuating people living on floodplains to high ground, providing tents and materials. relief materials, fresh water as well as medical supplies for possible outbreaks of water-transmitted diseases,” the Humanitarian Department said on Twitter on Sunday.
The country will soon launch a National Flood Preparedness and Response Plan, which aims to improve coordination of flood response efforts.
According to the ministry, “relief has reached every state of the federal government,” and “many state governments were unprepared for flooding.”
A delegation organized by the Department will visit state governors across the country to recommend strengthening the states’ flood response mechanisms.