Over a million people have been displaced in the African country, where the worst flooding in 50 years has caused rivers to swell and forced families to flee their homes.
The rivers Niger and Benue are in full flood, bursting their banks and causing widespread devastation. The River Niger is the principal river in West Africa and the third longest in the continent. Nigeria receives heavy tropical rains each year between May and September but not usually on this scale. The flood has been exacerbated by the release of water from dams in neighbouring countries.
The rising flood water has led to the spread of infectious diseases. Furthermore many dangerous animals, such as crocodiles, snakes and hippos, are now making their way into family homes.
As well as damaging family homes, the flood waters have devastated crop fields, industrial areas and fisheries, prompting concerns over the economic future of the affected districts. The ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) arrived in Nigeria on 28 October and immediately began assessing the extent of the flooding.
SRT leader, Mike Greenslade (AU) reported: ‘The need is simply huge. Our contacts here in Kogi State estimate that there are more than 200,000 people affected by the flooding in the Idah district alone.’
‘There are currently 21 schools across the district being used to provide shelter for people who have had to leave their homes. However, this is only a temporary solution a chidden need to return to school to continue their education. Evacuating these schools will be our priority”
The SRT will be working with key partners, including the local Rotary network and State Governments, to deliver vital shelter and lifesaving supplies to the families affected by the flooding.