No fewer than 1.411 million have so far been affected by flooding in 31 States of the Federation and Federal Capital Territory (FCT), out of which 500 were reportedly died, according to the Nigerian government.
Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Dr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, confirmed this while giving updates on the recent flooding.
According to him, available records showed that 44,099 houses were partially damaged; 45,249 houses totally damaged, 76,168 hectares of farmland are partially damaged while 70,566 hectares of farmland are completely destroyed by the flood.
He said: “Over 500 people are reported dead. 1,411,051 persons have been affected. The displaced persons that have moved out of their location are up to 790,254. About 1,546 persons that were displaced are injured.
“Furthermore, 44,099 houses are partially damaged; 45,249 houses were totally damaged and 76,168 hectares of farmland are partially damaged while 70,566 hectares of farmland are completely destroyed by the great deluge.”
In the bid to avert future crisis, Dr Sani-Gwarzo expressed optimism that the recently approved National Flood Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan for Nigeria document by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) will guide stakeholders in mitigating the impact of the flood.
“At this scale, we are taking every necessary action to bring relief to the people affected. NEMA has so provided relief support to over 315,000 displaced persons across the flood disaster hotspots where state capacities have been overwhelmed.
“Many communities have been affected but there is still prediction that many more communities may be affected especially along the line of River Benue, River Niger and down to the ocean.
“We are very much aware of what is happening and we are prepared to reduce the impact and also to make sure that places that have not been affected get some relief.
“The impact of the flood will be reduced to a minimum and more lives will be saved and we seek public support in ensuring that the damage is not further worsened.
“We have come up with three approaches for the future. One is what are the immediate actions that will be taken by the respective agencies. What are the short terms measures that would be taken by the agencies responsible and then long-term actions.
“Fortunately for us, the National Flood Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan for Nigeria has just been approved by the Federal Executive Council and it contains all the details of the roadmap.
“So, we are very clear on what to do and we have a book that will guide us. The document will be put to good use by the agencies.”
While responding to the subnation governments’ response to the early warning notice issued by relevant regulatory agencies, he said: “The prediction and mapping have reached a level where we could pinpoint specific States, LGAs and communities and because disaster management is on the concurrent list, States and LGAs affected have been formally written to ahead of the impact.