Nigeria battles ‘out of control’ floods as warning issued of dams overflowing |  Nigeria

Nigeria battles ‘out of control’ floods as warning issued of dams overflowing | Nigeria

Nigeria battles ‘out of control’ floods as warning issued of dams overflowing |  Nigeria

Nigeria is battling its worst floods in a decade with more than 300 people killed in 2022, including at least 20 this week, as authorities said the situation is “beyond our control”.

The flooding in 27 of Nigeria’s 36 states and the capital has affected half a million people, including 100,000 displaced and more than 500 injured, Nigeria’s national emergency agency said.

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

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

Nigeria sees floods every year, often as a result of non-implementation of environmental guidelines and inadequate infrastructure. Authorities blame this year’s floods on water overflowing from local rivers, unusual rainfall and the release of excess water from the Lagdo dam in neighboring Cameroon’s northern region.

The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency predicted more floods in 2022 than last year due to “excessive rainfall and contribution from external flows” such as the dam in Cameroon.

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

“I will advise all the governments in the frontline states to evacuate flood-prone communities, identify safe higher ground for the evacuation of people and prepare adequate stocks of food and non-food items,” the head of Nigeria’s national emergency management said. Agency, Mustapha Habib Ahmed.

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

“We are facing devastating floods beyond our control,” Babura said. “We tried our best and we couldn’t stop it.”

The floods have also destroyed crops, mainly in Nigeria’s northern region, which produces much of what the country eats, raising concerns that they could further affect food supplies already disrupted by armed conflict in the country’s northwestern and central regions.

In Benue state, Aondongu Kwagh-bee said he recently visited his rice farm and found that a heavy downpour had “wiped everything away”.

“Right now there is nothing there. Only sand filled up and the rice washed away, said the 30-year-old.

Akintunde Babatunde, an Abuja-based climate analyst, said the main cause of Nigeria’s annual flooding problem was poor infrastructure for roads, drainage and waste management.

“Unusual rainfall is evidence of the changing climate,” he said.

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