The federal government has declared Jigawa State the most affected by the recent flood that has ravaged major parts of the country, based on the assessment carried out so far. This appears to have given credence to an earlier report that picked out Jigawa State as one of the worst hit states by the nationwide flood, a national tragedy that is still causing unimaginable suffering for millions of Nigerians.
This was made known on Thursday by the minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq while addressing State House correspondents at the weekly ministerial briefing.
The minister revealed that contrary to the general belief, Bayelsa State is not among the top 10 most affected states by the recent floods, although she noted that her ministry has extended relief materials to the state.
The comment by Farouq might be in response to claims made by elder statesman and leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Chief Edwin Clark, who urged the federal government to act to save flood victims in the Niger Delta and not abandon them.
The ministry said the criteria used to conclude are based on several indices, which include, the number of deaths recorded and displaced persons per state, the number of injuries, partially damaged houses, totally damaged houses, and farmlands partially and completely damaged.
The federal government said, based on the flood data received as of October 24, 2022, 257,913 persons were affected in Bayelsa while 166,076 persons were affected in Jigawa. 219,471 were displaced in Bayelsa while 68,883 were displaced in Jigawa.
The number of injured persons was put at 81 and 148 for Bayelsa and Jigawa respectively, while 58 deaths and 91 deaths were recorded in Bayelsa and Jigawa states respectively.
It also reported that the number of houses partially damaged by floods was put at 26,509 and 1,564 in Bayelsa and Jigawa states respectively, while 703 and 3,849 farmlands were partially damaged in Bayelsa and Jigawa states respectively.
It is widely regarded that the scale of devastation of the present flood situation in the country can only be compared to the 2012 floods, with 27 states out of the 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) badly hit. Some of the worst affected states include Kogi, Bayelsa, Anambra, Jigawa, and Benue.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), had said that over 600 people have died and millions displaced by devastating floods that hit more than 20 states in the last few months.
Houses and farmlands have been submerged in Lagos, Yobe, Borno, Taraba, Adamawa, Edo, Delta, Kogi, Niger, Plateau, Benue, Ebonyi, Anambra, Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Jigawa, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto, Imo, Abia States, and the Federal Capital Territory