Nigeria Floods Kill Hundreds and Displace Over a Million Lives
Nigeria’s flooding deaths and displacements are unprecedented. The World Bank and others have estimated that $2.6 billion will have to be spent to repair the damage. A report released in July by the New York-based African Centre for Biodiversity and Environmental Management, says that more than $100 billion have been drained from government treasuries, as citizens struggle to recover from the devastation.
“Even my own government, which had been very cooperative with me, says that there is nothing they can do. We have to be prepared to accept the fact that we may have to do something, and that is what we are doing,” said President Goodluck Jonathan in an interview broadcast on national television in the early morning May 27, when the worst of the floods began to recede.
President Jonathan’s office announced that the president would hold a meeting of his cabinet in the coming days to discuss the matter and take emergency decisions. But he did not set a precise date for when it would take place.
“The government has not yet made any decision on the response. We will be discussing that matter with them in the coming days. We will also be discussing the role that private sector can play in helping our government to respond and find ways to make this disaster less painful for us, but this is a humanitarian crisis,” said an unnamed cabinet minister.
The Nigerian news agencies ANA, BusinessDay, and Nigerian Tribune carried similar reports.
A United Nations agency that provides education and communication services to the nation, UNICEF, confirmed that the agency has called for the closure of all schools and colleges in affected regions due to flooding, and warned that as a result, children will have to stay home from school for part of the week.
The agency said some 1,200 schools and colleges were closed nationwide.
UNICEF estimates that at least 826,000 children will be affected by the floods, and that nearly three million people have been displaced.
It has also said that it is concerned about the loss of lives and property in the wake of the floods, and says the floods could “have a devastating effect on the health and livelihoods of the inhabitants of affected areas, particularly in affected parts of the northeast.”
The agency is also calling for the relocation of those displaced who still have a