World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that it has donated emergency medical supplies to Anambra State in Southeast Nigeria, in response to the flooding disasters that have occurred during this rainy season and that have affected more than half a million people in the state. WHO said in a statement on Thursday, November 10, 2022, that Anambra is one of the worst-affected states in floods hitting more than 30 states in Nigeria. Many houses and health facilities in the state have been submerged, wreaking havoc on people’s physical and mental health.
WHO’s coordinator in Anambra, Adamu Abdulnasir, revealed in the statement that the global organization is working with health officials in the state to provide medical services and strengthen disease surveillance to ensure that help can be given quickly if a disease breaks out. He added that the donations, which included the medicines and rapid test kits for various diseases, will ensure that people in the affected areas get the care they need to deal with their immediate health problems.
More than 500 have died and more than 3 million displaced.
The Federal Government has revealed in late October that more than 500 people have died and more than 3 million have been displaced as a result of the flooding across the country since the start of the rainy season in 2022. The 2022 floods in Nigeria have affected many parts of the country, as many as 30 states. From data released by the FG, the floods have injured more than 2,400 persons. In the same vein, more than 80,000 houses have been damaged as well as more than 300,000 hectares of land totally damaged.
While Nigeria typically experiences seasonal flooding, these floods were the worst in the country since the 2012 floods. The flooding was said to be caused by heavy rainfall and climate change as well as the release of water from the Lagdo Dam in neighboring Cameroon, which began on September 13, 2022. The flooding began in the early summer of 2022, and it is expected to continue through November. On October 7, 2022, a boat carrying people who were fleeing the floods capsized on the River Niger, causing 76 people to die.
FG and UN blames climate change for the floods.
The Federal Government of Nigeria has blamed the floods on unusually heavy rains and climate change. The United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Nigeria, Matthias Schmale, opined that the flooding could be largely explained by climate change. Climate change in Nigeria and in some other places has been responsible for flooding, droughts, decreased air quality and loss of habitat. The flooding was made intense on September 13, 2022, with the perennial release of water from the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon.
The excess water released from the dam cascades down the River Benue and its tributaries, and flooding communities in Kogi, Benue and some states in the Northeast. When the Lagdo Dam was constructed in 1982, there was an agreement by the government of Nigeria to build a second twin dam in Adamawa State known as the Dasin Hausa Dam project. It was to be situated in Dasin Village in Furore Local Government Area. But it was never built by the Nigerian government.
Cameroon gave Nigeria enough warning and information about the floods.
The Nigerian Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, said that there was enough warning and information about the 2022 flood from the government of Cameroon. She blamed local governments, states and communities for not acting promptly despite the warnings. Also, the indiscriminate building of houses on natural flood plains and storm water paths as well as poor drainage system in many residential areas clog channels with waste, and this has heightened the problems further.