NIGERIA: Flooding, rainstorms force people from homes in the north

Monday, September 3, 2007

Flooding and rainstorms in two northern Nigerian states have left thousands more people displaced and killed many livestock, local officials said.

Heavy rains lasting more than 12 hours in northeastern Kebbi State on 28 August submerged at least 300 houses in Dakingari village, leaving more than 3,000 people homeless, Bala Yusuf, an official of the Suru local council in charge of the area said.

“Nobody died in the flood but survivors lost their farms and animals,” said Yusuf. “And they have nothing to eat.”

Many of the survivors are now sheltering in the local primary school, getting by on donations of food they have received from neighbours and friends.

Rainstorms in northern Gombe State on the same day tore the roofs off many buildings and granaries in the village of Lakenturum in the Shongom district. The violent wind uprooted trees, knocked down walls and took away roofs, Danladi Garba, Shongom council chairman, said. The village health centre and two primary schools were also damaged in the storm.

Garba said in northern Gombe State, more than 200 displaced people currently in make-shift shelters need urgent assistance. More than 20 people died and thousands were made homeless when flooding last hit Gombe in August 2004.

Nigeria’s rainy season usually lasts until the end of October before several months of dryness. Floods in the past month have been the worst Nigeria has experienced for several years, so far claiming more than 30 lives in different parts of the country.

Particularly at risk are towns and settlements lying close to rivers and streams, especially those lying downstream from dams on the country's major waterways, including the Niger, Benue, Kaduna and Ogun rivers, according to the National Emergency Management Agency.

Source: IRIN
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