BreakingNews 6/6/16: Niger Delta on flood alert

[ Masterweb Reports: Odimegwu Onwumere reports ] - “Flood is said to occur when a body of water moves over and above an area of land which is not normally submerged. It could also be seen as the inundation of an area not normally covered with water, through a temporary rise in level of stream, river, lake or sea viewed flood as a natural consequence of stream flow in a continually changing environment,” Lekan Olofinji, an environmentalist, says on Facts about flood in Nigeria that you should know.
 
The sea level is rising. Natives of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, the floodplain communities, are apprehended with thoughts of relocating to safer cities following a prediction by the United Nations (UN) dictating that an estimated number of hundreds of thousands of people are prone to the effects of colossal flooding this year.
 
“Worldwide, there has been rapid growth in number of people killed or seriously impacted by flood disasters. Indeed, the amount of economic damages affects a large proportion of people in low-lying coastal zones or other areas at risk of flooding and extreme weather condition,” UN-Water reports, say.
 
In 2011, the UN-Water reports also elucidate that floods, including urban flood are seen to have triggered about half of adversities worldwide; and 84% catastrophic deaths in the world is attributed to flooding.
 
Four Years After
The amplification is coming four years after hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and displaced in the affected area in 2012.
 
In the Orashi axis of the Niger Delta, the UN agencies provide financial support to complement the efforts of the Nigerian government, due to the hazard of flooding.
 
“Recent events signal a clear need to refocus efforts on flood prevention, not just response,” says Jamal Saghir, the Director of the World Bank’s sustainable development department for Africa.
 
The UN advocates that countries concoct forceful programmes to calculate and react to floods, in order to diminish their crash by systematising “prevention, improving planning and speeding reaction times.”
 
The UN believes that such programmes will also help reprieve agencies, synchronize aid allocation more efficiently.
 
The United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) at the peak of the flooding approves the sum of USD$ 6.5 Million as part of the UN support to the Government of Nigeria’s efforts to address the humanitarian needs. Over 500,000 of the flood affected people in the stiff hit states across Nigeria, the CERF supports provision of humanitarian assistance in the area of “health and nutrition, education, water, sanitation and hygiene, livelihoods, as well as the provision of basic non-food items to the most vulnerable internally displaced families.”
 
“With support from the World Bank/Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Reconstruction (GFDRR), the United Nations Systems, the European Union (EU) and other development partners, the Federal Government conducted a Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) of the 2012 flood disaster from November to December, 2012,” say experts.
 
Climate Change
The international and local communities are jittered, saying that climate change derelicts havoc in Niger Delta with floods, droughts, and rise in temperature and food deficiency.  
 
“Total rainfall in 2012 was 150 per cent above normal levels in Mali, Senegal, northern Burkina Faso and the Lake Chad basin countries of Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon.
 
“Rheal Drisdalle of Plan International, a children’s development organization, says that the floods burst the banks of the Niger River, which reached levels “not seen since the 1920s,” a report by the World Meteorological Organization, says.
 
Communities in Abia, Delta, Bayelsa, Edo, Imo States and other parts of the country are affected. The effects are swallowed buildings by flood, malnutrition, and sickness. Businesses collapse and farmers record their losses. Across the 22 states that are swallowed by the flood which comes from the water released by the neighbouring Cameroon from her Ladgo Dam, the story is the same.
 
While human beings record lives that have been lost in the disaster numbering hundreds of thousands, livestock in their numbers are affected and property worth billions of Naira are being destroyed, the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment Report of the National Emergency Agency (NEMA), reports. Relief camps are noted in the villages and towns with individuals and organisations, and the UN donating foods and cash. Donors are sought by the UN; and the media is drenched with the news of the disaster: The flooding is one in the country in 50 years. Some 618,000 houses have been shattered. In Niger Republic, flood has killed 65 people and 125,000 others are bestowed destitute. The same fate befalls Senegal and other West African countries.
 
UN says of the victims
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says over two million population have been driven out of their homes by rising waters of the River Niger, hence the agency appeals for $38 million as humanitarian support (with the bulk money going to restoration of water, sanitation and hygiene services) to respond to widespread flooding in Nigeria.
 
"The response plan is for $38 million. It targets 2.1 million people who are in need of assistance in a number of humanitarian sectors such as water and sanitation, food shelter material and non-food items such as mosquito nets and kitchen sets. The majority of those displaced are living with host communities, some are in camp like settlements.
 
“Many are in public buildings such as schools. All those millions of people who have been affected are mainly from farming and fishing communities along the river and they have seen either their farmlands completely inundated, they have been their fishing equipment nets etc washed away; so they have been robbed off their livelihood," the UN reports, say.
 
It is observable that the response plan targets 2.1 million people who are in need of assistance in a number of humanitarian sectors, such as water and sanitation, food, shelter material, and non-food items, such as mosquito nets and kitchen sets, says the OCHA spokesperson, Jens Laerke; Laerke continues, saying that majority of those displaced are living with host communities; some are in camp-like settlements and others in public buildings such as schools. Many of the people affected by flood have been robbed of their livelihoods.
 
Continuous flood disaster
Over 7.7 million people are affected by flooding in Nigeria, as according to UN; with UNICEF saying, “the displaced people are getting their drinking water from ponds, streams and unprotected wells” in the affected regions.
 
OCHA says that food insecurity, due to the destruction of farmlands and fishing areas, pose a great risk. Four persons and over 30,000 persons, 2,170 homes and nearly 545 hectares of agricultural land are affected by Niger floods in August 2015, the UN reports. An Engineer in Delta State tells the UN in a town hall meeting, saying that snakes and other precarious reptiles are taking over their places of refuge.
 
“Many of the victims were affected by various forms of diseases. The state did its best to avert the trend by evacuating victims from affected communities to new locations across the state to check the trend, especially nursing mothers and their babies,” Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan as Governor of Delta State, tells the UN delegation.
 
 
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