Homes submerged by the flooding in Sokoto State, Nigeria, 2010. © Chris Houston / MSF

By Staff Writers
Dakar (AFP) Oct 19, 2010

The United Nations said Tuesday that 377 people had died in flooding in central and west Africa, with nearly 1.5 million people affected since the start of the rainy season in June.

"2010 has seen the largest number of people affected and dying from flooding", the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a news bulletin received by AFP in Dakar.

The highest toll was in Nigeria with 118, followed by Ghana (52), Sudan (50), Benin (43), Chad (24), Mauritania (21), Burkina Faso (16), Cameroon (13), Gambia (12), with other countries reporting less than 10 dead.

Most people were affected in Benin (360,000), followed by Nigeria (300,000), Niger (226,611), Chad (150,000), Burkina Faso (105,481), Sudan (74,970) and Mauritania (50,815).

Other countries had less than 50,000 people suffering from the floods.

"These floods worsened the situation in Niger and Chad, which are already facing a severe food crisis", OCHA said.

"In Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad rain is leading to cholera epidemics," it added.

The rain "also disrupted the start of the school year in several countries and led to losses in the social and economic infrastructure, houses and farming". …

377 dead in west and central African floods: UN


BBC
24 September 2010

About two million people in northern Nigeria have been displaced after authorities opened the floodgates on two dams, an official says.

The flooding began suddenly when the gates on the Challawa and Tiga dams were opened, a spokesman for the Jigawa governor said.

The dams are in Kano state, but about 5,000 villages in neighbouring Jigawa state have been affected, he added.

Several states in northern Nigeria have been hit by floods this year.

It is not yet clear whether residents received a warning or if anyone was injured or went missing in the flooding, reported the Associated Press news agency. …

In neighbouring Niger, millions are facing food shortages after a prolonged drought caused crops to fail. That was followed by severe flooding last month. Millions are now facing food shortages.

Northern Nigeria flooding 'displaces two million' 


Médecins Sans Frontières
September 17, 2010

More than 100,000 people have been forced to leave their homes due to flooding in northwestern Nigeria after a dam failed on the Rima River near the town of Goronyo, in Sokoto State, on September 8. Dozens of villages were submerged when a large section of the Goronyo dam’s spillway collapsed in the midst of this year’s rainy season, one of the wettest on record.

In the affected villages, people have been struggling to hold back the rising waters with sandbags. Thousands of mud-brick houses have been destroyed by the flood. Homeless people are living under improvised shelters of plastic sheeting and sticks, on whatever dry ground they can find. The fortunate are finding refuge with neighbors and families.

Others are fleeing to higher ground, wading through floodwaters that are chest-deep in places with their belongings balanced on their heads. At a secondary school in Goronyo, thousands of people have sought shelter for themselves and their livestock. Conditions are cramped and unsanitary. People don’t know when they will be able to return to their villages, to salvage what is left of their homes and try to rebuild their lives.

In addition to losing their homes and possessions, many families have seen their crops completely wiped out and their stores of food ruined. In an area where people depend on subsistence agriculture, this represents a complete loss of livelihood. For these families, finding sufficient food will be a major concern in the coming months. …

Nigeria: 100,000 Displaced by Flooding in the North

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