Abuja, 11/08/2023 – The Nigerian Government has released alarming figures concerning the impact of flooding in the country in 2023, revealing that 7,353 individuals have been displaced, with 75 casualties and 33,983 people affected across 10 states.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) reported that the devastating floods have also led to the destruction of 866 hectares of farmland and damage to 1,679 houses. Hajiya Fatima Kasim, the Director of Planning, Research, and Forecasting at NEMA, highlighted that this recurring issue is exacerbated by multiple factors, including improper construction practices, deficient infrastructure design, and inadequate drainage systems. Poor solid waste management and detrimental land-use practices like deforestation have further contributed to the destructive scenario.
Providing a detailed breakdown, Kasim stated, “The number of states affected is 10, with 33,983 individuals impacted, 7,353 persons displaced, 75 people injured, 5 fatalities, 1,679 houses damaged, and 866 hectares of farmland destroyed.”
NEMA’s predictions indicate that the situation might not improve in the near future. The Seasonal Climate Prediction released earlier in the year by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) anticipated normal to above-normal rainfall patterns for the country. Additionally, the Annual Flood Outlook forecasted by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) highlighted that 178 local government areas in 32 states, including the Federal Capital Territory, are at high risk of flooding.
In response to the dire circumstances, Mr. Mustapha Ahmed, the Director-General of NEMA, emphasized the necessity to revitalize the Emergency Coordination Forum. This forum aims to enhance disaster management efforts by fostering collaboration and cooperation among relevant stakeholders in emergency response.
Furthermore, the socio-economic implications of the flooding have not gone unnoticed. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in collaboration with NEMA and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), conducted a Flood Assessment exercise in six states: Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Jigawa, Kogi, and Nasarawa. Adeyemi Adeniran, the Statistician-General of the Federation and CEO of NBS, highlighted the substantial impact on agriculture and properties in these areas. Among the key indicators assessed were the effects on businesses, food availability, health, and access to basic services.
This year’s alarming flooding situation follows the Nigerian Government’s earlier warning, delivered through NEMA, that the country would experience severe flooding in 2023. NEMA’s Director-General, Mr. Mustapha Ahmed, stressed the importance of early warning and action, emphasizing the need to spread awareness and preparedness messages to citizens, states, and local government areas.
As Nigeria grapples with the recurring challenge of flooding, efforts are being made to mitigate the devastating effects on communities, agriculture, and infrastructure.