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FLOODING: 603 DIE, 1.3 MILLION PERSONS DISPLACED-FG

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq has revealed that 603 persons died, out of over 2.5 million persons that were affected by the release of water from Lagdo Dam by the Government of the Republic of Cameroon.

According to her, 1.3 people were displaced, and 2,407 persons were injured as a result of the flood.

She further disclosed that about 121,318 houses were partially damaged, 82,053 houses were totally damaged, 108,392 hectares of farmlands were partially damaged and 332,327 hectares of farmlands were totally damaged.

The Minister highlighted this during a press conference in Abuja adding that Nigeria government is prepared to meet with the Government of the Cameroon concerning the issue.

 Umar Farouq tasked state governments to work towards making more efforts and measures in evacuating flood victims to higher grounds.

According to her, the Meteorological Agencies are warning that States like Anambra, Delta, Cross River, Rivers, and Bayelsa, are still at risk of experiencing floods up till the end of November.

“While we mourn the unfortunate boat mishap in Anambra and other locations, please, we must note that we are not completely out of the woods.

“So, we are calling on the respective State Governments, LGAs and Communities to prepare by evacuating people living on flood plains to high grounds, providing tents and relief materials, fresh water as well as medical supply for possible outbreak of water-borne disease”. She said

Farouq recalled that on Feb. 15, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) released the 2022 Seasonal Climate Prediction informing Nigerians that the rains of 2022 would be heavier and longer.

According to her, on May 12, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, also released the Annual Flood Outlook.

“Immediately after these two releases, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), was all out in the media and went to all States and FCT. NEMA warned of expected floods and advised on mitigating and preparedness actions needed to take to minimize losses and damages.

“I also briefed the National Economic Council on Sep.22, where I outlined preparedness strategies that all State Governments should take to mitigate the 2022 floods. I have laid this background so that you will appreciate the concern of this Ministry, that despite all these efforts, we still appear to have become overwhelmed by the flood when it came.

“However, we must initiate a bilateral discussion with authorities in Cameroon in November on the periodic opening of the Lagdo dam. The delegation to Cameroon is to be led by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be requested to facilitate the meeting,” Farouq said.

She absolved the federal government of the consequences of the flood adding that there was enough warning and information about the 2022 flood but States, Local Governments and Communities appeared not to take heed.

“There is the need for State Governments to invest in flood management and lead on community base flood early warning systems; hence we called on State Governments to take greater responsibility for flood preparedness and response.

“We are calling on the respective State Governments, LGAs and Communities to prepare by evacuating people living on flood plains to high grounds, providing tents and relief materials, fresh water as well as medical supply for possible outbreak of water-borne disease”.

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