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5 socioeconomic activities affected by flooding in Nigeria this year

 As a solution to flooding in Niger State, the governor, Abubakar Sani Bello has ordered the demolition of all structures blocking waterways in the state. He said; “We have to find a way to expand the river, to desilt it so that there will be free flow of water when it rains. A lot of them were actually paid compensation to leave and they refused. So we are just going to go ahead and bring down the houses along the waterlines.” 

Anambra state governor, Charles Soludo has also made moves to provide aid for his people affected by flooding in the state. He recently met with Vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, to appeal for the federal government’s assistance in addressing environmental issues in the state. According to him, Anambra is under a 30% to 40% threat of erosion, and the entire budget of the state for ten years is not enough to address the issues. He appealed for assistance from the federal government and development partners. The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has confirmed one death and over 650,000 displacements due to ongoing flooding in Anambra State. The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) put out a warning earlier this year, that Adamawa, Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, CrossRiver, Delta, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Edo, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa and Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, and Yobe, as well as Zamfara and FCT, were at risk of flooding.  

In September 2022, NIHSA announced that the Cameroon-based Lagdo Dam has commenced the release of excess water from the reservoir, and the water from the dam will cascade into Nigeria through River Benue, affecting communities in Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa, Kebbi, Niger, Taraba, and Adamawa.  

These are some of the socioeconomic activities affected by flooding this year; 

  • Traveling

    Commuters making use of the Abuja-Lokoja route have been cautioned, as several communities and major roads have been completely submerged in water due to flooding. The flooding in several communities in Kogi State has hindered seamless travel. Some commuters have been faced with flooded areas while traveling certain routes, and they have had to use alternative means to continue their journey or return to their take-off point. In September, acting corps marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps, (FRSC) Dauda Biu cautioned motorists and passengers plying Lokoja Kotonkarfe, Kogi routes due to flood.

    He said; “The FRSC wishes to inform the motoring public, particularly those traveling through Lokoja- Kotonkarfe to the South East and Southwest to be cautious of the flood. Those also going to and from the North should exercise extra caution on that route due to the overflow of the confluence state river, which has at the moment taken part of the major expressway. 

    “From the report received about the flood, there are two flash points where the flood is critical. Kabawa road linking Nataco junction in Lokoja-to-Lokoja town as well as Ganaja village which links Lokoja town to Ajaokuta road.”

    Transport companies, independent commercial drivers, and logistics companies are losing revenues daily, as long as the flooding continues to affect interstate travel.  

  • Cooked food selling businesses

    There are a lot of food sellers along travel routes in flood-prone states. Those food outlets are now either underwater or have had to close down due to inactivity on some travel routes. This means a loss of livelihood for families. People are leaving their homes and businesses to seek shelter on higher grounds as floods take over everything from Lokoja to Ajaokuta, Ofu, Igalamela-Odolu, Bassa, Idah, and Kogi-Koto as well as Omala. The cooked food sellers who are still active in the state have to buy foodstuff at increased rates as access to farm produce intra-state is difficult, causing a huge dent in their finances.
    https://twitter.com/OgunsinaIbukun/status/1577049827728556032?s=20&t=mfMQSkeAWmszlk9H4Rp2sg

  • Farming/fishing

    According to Relief Web, a lot of agricultural areas have been affected by flooding in Kogi, Benue, and Nasarawa state borders. Farming communities have lost all their crops in the planting season. Livestock is also not spared as many livestock owners in a bid to rescue themselves from the floods have lost their livestock. In Ogbaru local government area of Anambra state, NEMA has reported 286,000 people displaced due to flooding, these are mostly farmers and their farmlands have been lost. Fishermen in Kogi communities cannot fish and earn their livelihoods, as floods have taken over everything.  

  • Schooling

    A Jigawa state resident, Mr. S. Ibrahim told Nairametrics that education is no longer a priority in flood-affected areas in Jigawa State. According to him, families want to survive first. “Homes, schools, and businesses are flooded, and no one is thinking about schooling. The children need to eat and be safe,” he says. The same logic applies to other states where floods have taken over regular activities. In Anambra state, up to six local government areas have been affected by floods. Schools, houses, farmlands, police stations, and churches have been submerged. One death has been recorded so far according to NEMA.

  • Healthcare

    Hospitals are also part of critical infrastructure that has been submerged in various flood-affected areas. Without access to hospitals in several localities, children are at high risk of infections that may go untreated while they are at internally displaced persons (IDP) camps until aid organizations show up. Pregnant women whose homes are underwater are at risk of giving birth to babies in IDP camps or temporary shelters, which puts the babies at risk of cholera and other infections. In September 2022, Jigawa state flood victims who had relocated to IDP camps complained of not being provided with relief materials and healthcare services. All of these were happening while their governor was abroad on holiday, so, the victims felt abandoned.  

    What you should know

  • Kogi State governor, Yahaya Belllo has announced plans to break the cycle of flooding in Kogi State. He says that in Lokoja, road shoulders along the banks of the River Niger from the entrance of the city in Natako will be widened to establish a sufficient buffer zone between the city and the river. According to him, Ganaja Junction to Ganaja village road has also been recently re-awarded to a more efficient contractor to raise the road above the water levels. He also said affected communities and people will be hosted at IDP camps with food, medicines, clothing, and cash grants for necessities.
  • In September, the Jigawa State governor, Muhammad Badaru established a ten-man committee of engineers to provide a lasting solution to the persistent flooding in the state. The committee has reportedly carried out various assessments of the flood and will begin road and bridge repair regulations around run-off water, as well as activating environmental awareness and drainage clean-up. He also promised flood victims of a quick evacuation.     

 

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