More than 300 people have reportedly died from flooding in Nigeria in 2022 alone while 150,000 people, half of who, are children, have been severely affected by floods in recent weeks.
This is according to Save the Children International (SCI), which warned that decades of conflict and insecurity, drought and poor rainfall, have damaged food sources and livelihoods across Niger and Nigeria, leading to soaring levels of hunger.
The group said torrential rains are expected to continue in southern Niger and Northern Nigeria until the end of September, which could lead to further loss of homes, crops and livestock.
SCI in a press statement warning of the flood said stressed that since early July, intense rainfall has affected communities along the Niger-Nigeria border, triggering flooding which has washed away or damaged at least 14,900 homes.
It added that most of the displaced families have been forced to shelter in schools, abandoned buildings, makeshift tents, or with distant family members, with many leaving all their belongings behind.
”Floods in the Sahel region are becoming more frequent and widespread, adding that more than 300 people have died from flooding in Nigeria this year, while at least 75 people died in Niger this summer”
It noted that the flooding has also wreaked havoc in Niger’s Maradi, Zinder, Tillaberi and Tahoua regions, with more than 100,000 people affected in Niger alone.
SCI added that in Nigeria, flooding has also wreaked havoc in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa States.
Its Country Director, Famari Barro said it was important that assistance is provided to those affected and particularly children, who are always most vulnerable at times of crisis.
He said children need a stable environment, and we need to ensure that children can return to school in the coming days. It is important that classrooms are available and safe for children and that families can return safely to their homes.
“Without immediate support, the situation could deteriorate in the coming weeks as people could face multiple crises with the peak of the lean season and significant displacement could still occur with negative coping mechanisms such as child begging or sex for money.
“To date, the humanitarian response plan for Nigeria for 2022 has only been 37% funded. The worst is probably not over, we must act and develop prevention measures.”