Nigeria has declared a ‘national disaster’ following severe floods that have left at least 100 people dead in several states across the country, officials say.
Thousands of people have been displaced following weeks of heavy rainfall in some central and southern states, the country’s emergency response agency, NEMA said Tuesday.
Nigeria’s two major rivers have burst their banks sweeping away homes in the central part of the country.
The agency warned the situation could worsen as water levels continue to rise in Lokoja capital of Kogi State, which lies at the confluence of the Niger and Benue rivers and is often one of the most affected states during the rainy season.
Five emergency operation centers have been created to coordinate search and rescue operations, while also providing humanitarian support for those displaced by the floods, Sani Datti, a spokesman for NEMA said.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved $8.2 million “for the procurement of medical and relief materials” to help flooding victims, he said.Nigeria’s rainy season usually lasts from July to September, and the country suffers from flooding almost annually.
However, climate change and poor town and housing planning have worsened the situation this year, Datti told CNN.
NEMA has advised residents in flood-prone areas to evacuate their homes.