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Flooding: 1.5 Million Nigerian Children May Suffer Waterborne Diseases, UNICEF Warns

The United Nations Children’s Fund has warned that 60 per cent of 2.5 million Nigerians risk contacting waterborne diseases following the flooding that has ravished some communities.

UNICEF made this known in a statement issued on Friday.

It revealed that the 60 percent which is about 1.5 million children are at risk as floods has affected 34 out of the 36 states in the country.

It said, “Report from the UN agency has disclosed that, more than 2.5 million people in Nigeria need humanitarian assistance – 60 per cent of which are children – and are at increased risk of waterborne diseases, drowning, and malnutrition due to the most severe flooding in the past decade.”

The statement added that the floods, which have affected have displaced 1.3 million people, with over 600 people losing their lives, and over 200,000 houses damaged.

“Cases of diarrhea and water-borne diseases, respiratory infection, and skin diseases have already been on the rise.

“In the north-eastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe alone, a total of 7,485 cases of cholera and 319 associated deaths were reported as of 12 October.

“As rains are expected to continue for several weeks, humanitarian needs are also expected to rise,” it added.

Cristian Munduate UNICEF Representative to Nigeria, disclosed that children and adolescents in flood-affected areas are in an extremely vulnerable situation.

“They are particularly at risk of waterborne diseases and emotional and psychological distress. UNICEF is working closely with the government and other partners to provide life-saving assistance to those who are most in need.”

“Immediate priority needs for children include health, water, sanitation, and hygiene; as well as shelter and food.

“Additional funding and resources are required to respond to growing needs and to sustain ongoing humanitarian interventions, with a focus on the most vulnerable, including children with disabilities,” he said.

Report on UNICEF’s Children’s Climate Risk Index, considered Nigeria to be at ‘extremely high risk’ of the impacts of climate change, ranking second out of 163 countries.

ENDS

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