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Politics UN Boss, Antonio Guterres ‘deeply saddened’ as Nigeria floods claim 199 lives

Nigeria has been experiencing large-scale floods ever since the country's two main rivers, the Niger and the Benue, burst their banks after heavy rains began in August 2018.

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UN Boss, Antonio Guterres ‘deeply saddened’ as Nigeria floods claim 199 lives play Aerial view of some flooded houses in Anambra state (Twitter/NEMA)

The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said on Thursday that he is “deeply saddened” after floods claimed about 199 lives, and a further 1,310 injured across Nigeria.

Nigeria’s two main rivers, the Niger and the Benue, burst their banks after heavy rains began in August 2018, and the country has been experiencing large-scale floods ever since.

The Secretary-General extended his condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of Nigeria and wished the injured a speedy recovery.

 

In a statement released on Thursday, October 11, 2018, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA),  said activities conducted so far by the United Nations include: food distributions by the World Food Programme (WFP); the provision of emergency medical care as well as disease control for cholera and malaria, by the World Health Organization (WHO); and distributions of hygiene or “dignity” kits, for women and girls by the UN sexual and reproductive health agency (UNFPA).

The UN maintained that it will continue to stand in solidarity with the country and “ready to support as required”

Nigeria declares national disaster

A state of national disaster has been declared in the four most-affected states of Kogi, Niger, Anambra and Delta.

Overall, around two million have been affected.

More than 561,000 people are internally displaced as a result and over 350,000 need immediate help - especially temporary shelter, food, safe drinking water, household items and medical care. In addition, more than 150,000 hectares of farmland are entirely inundated which raises serious medium-term food security concerns, as to how farmers will be able to replant vital crops.

 

Close to 80,000 houses were damaged including 18,000 completely destroyed, and more than 320 roads and bridges are impassable. In the most affected areas, children have not been able to go to school for weeks.

Nigeria releases N3 billion to the emergency agency

The Nigerian government had released N3 billion to respond to the flood disasters following a red alert issued by the country's Hydrological Services Agency (NHISA).

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