News / Africa

    Floods Receding in Nigeria

    People sit in front of a submerged building in the Patani community in Nigeria's Delta state, which was hit by severe floods in the past few weeks, October 15, 2012.
    People sit in front of a submerged building in the Patani community in Nigeria's Delta state, which was hit by severe floods in the past few weeks, October 15, 2012.
    Joe DeCapua
    The floods have started to recede in Nigeria, however, millions of people across 14 states have been affected. More than 350 people are reported dead. The U.N. and the Nigerian government are launching a new effort to share information and support relief efforts.


    Flooding is common in Nigeria during the rainy season. However, this year, much heavier than normal rains overwhelmed drainage systems and dams, triggering floods. Some of the hardest hit states are along the Niger River – a major waterway in West Africa – and its main tributary, the Benue River. Cameroon was forced to release water from its dams on the Benue to relieve pressure. But that in turn contributed to Nigeria’s problems.

    U.N. and Nigerian officials say many homes, schools, health centers, roads and bridges have been destroyed. What’s more, a scientist at the Society for Mosquito Control is warning of possible outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases. He says when floods recede, mosquitoes move in to lay eggs.

    In the capital, Abuja, Remi Dourlot, spokesman for OCHA, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said the situation is improving now that the rains have stopped.

    “The floods have receded, especially from the upstream states, and they are slowing, receding also from the downstream states now. But it remains that more than 7.7 million were affected by the floods since they started in July. More than two million people have been at some point displaced from their homes,” he said.

    Although the displaced have started to return, many may need humanitarian aid because they no longer have homes. Many farmers have also lost their harvests.

    To deal with the emergency, OCHA and the National Emergency Management Agency of Nigeria are launching the Nigeria Humanitarian Forum on Flood Response. Dourlot said the forum will help coordinate the efforts of the government, U.N. and humanitarian agencies.

    “So we have to gather all the information provided by these various agencies to have a good idea of the current response; also to check whether there are gaps in the response,” he said.

    So far, the Nigerian government has spent about $110-million dollars. It’s unclear how much money individual states have spent on the floods, or how much money will be needed in the future.

    The death toll has been holding steady, but Dourlot says after the waters recede more victims may be found.

    You May Like

    Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    Video Canine Reading Buddies Help Students With Literacy

    Idea behind reading program is that sharing book with nonjudgmental companion boosts students' confidence and helps instill love of reading

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora