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

Pakistan Among Developing Countries Hit Hard by Global Warming

Pakistani officials hope developed nations agree to scale back emissions, offer help in dealing with climate change

Video Speed, Social Media Shape Counterterrorism Probes

Speed is critical in effort to prevent subsequent attacks; demographics of extremists lend themselves to communicating, establishing profiles on digital platforms

Islamic State Oil Trade Seduces Friends, Foes Alike

Terrorist group rakes in up to $500 million a year in sales to customers such as Syrian government, US-supported rebels and Turkey

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.
Social Media Aids Counter-Terrorism Investigationsi
Katherine Gypson
December 01, 2015 10:06 PM
In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, officials carried out waves of raids and arrests to break up terror cells. As VOA's Katherine Gypson reports, social media can be a key tool for investigators.

Video Social Media Aids Counter-Terrorism Investigations

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, officials carried out waves of raids and arrests to break up terror cells. As VOA's Katherine Gypson reports, social media can be a key tool for investigators.

Video Russia Marks World AIDS Day With Grim News

While HIV infection rates have steadied or even declined in many European countries, the caseload has grown rapidly in Russia, as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow. Over half of the new infections were transmitted through injection drug use.

Video Pakistan Hit Hard by Global Warming

As world leaders meet in Paris to craft a new global agreement aimed at cutting climate-changing greenhouse-gas emissions, many developing countries are watching closely for the final results. While most developing nations contribute much less to global warming than developed countries, they often feel the effects to a disproportionate degree. As Saud Zafar reports from Karachi, one such nation is Pakistan. Aisha Khalid narrates his report.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

VOA Blogs