West Africa – Floods in Nigeria and Guinea Leave Dozens Dead – Nigeria Authorities Advise Evacuations

As many as 30 people have died in floods in Nigeria over the last few day as the country’s disaster management authority has issued a warning about further potential flooding.

Also in West Africa, at least 7 people have died in landslides and flooding in Guinea after several days of heavy rain.

Nigeria

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Nigeria yesterday advised states and local governments to immediately relocate residents in communities along rivers, waterways and flood-prone areas to safer grounds to avoid unnecessary loss of lives.

Floods have already affected several states in Nigeria over the last 10 days, including Zamfara, Anambra, Sokoto, Kebbi and Kano.

Zamfara

Local media are reporting that at least 24 people have died in Zamfara state, where floods over the weekend of 05 to 06 September destroyed 400 homes and left 2,000 homeless. Gusau, the capital of Zamfara State, is said to be the worst affected area. Some reports claim that heavy rain and ensuing floods struck late at night, and many of the victims were taken by surprise and died trapped in their homes.

Anambra

In Anambra, eye witnesses say that 6 people – all believed to be local traders – died on Saturday, 06 September 2015, when they were swept away by flood water after long periods of heavy rain. Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency, quoted by local media, say that 116 communities in the state are currently affected by floods.

Sokoto

NEMA officials in Sokoto report that flooding is still affecting areas in Gwadabawa, Goronyo and Kebbe in Sokoto State. Some areas have been under water since the flooding first began there during late August 2015.

Kebbi

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) are reporting flooding in several areas of Kebbi state, including Birnin Kebbi, Bagudo, Argungu, Bunza, Augie, Suru and Dandi, causing damage to crops and homes. As yet, no fatalities have been reported.

Kano

Local media are reporting that major roads and residential areas in Kano metropolis were hit by massive floods on Monday, 07 September 2015, following heavy downpour that lasted for several hours.

Assessing flood damage Sokoto, Nigeria. Photo: NEMA
Assessing flood damage Sokoto, Nigeria. Photo: NEMA

Flood Prevention Measures

Director General of NEMA, Muhammad Sani Sidi, said yesterday that the agency has also embarked on mitigation and preventive measures against flooding by organizing workshops on flood awareness through its six zonal offices and six operation offices in the country.

He urged state and local government authorities to introduce flood control programmes such as clearing of drainages and canals to ensure free flow of water, construction of new drainage channels where necessary, preventing new building and development along waterways and relocating those living in and near flood plains to safer areas.

Flood awareness campaign in Nigeria. Image: NEMA
Flood awareness campaign in Nigeria. Image: NEMA

Guinea

Elsewhere in West Africa, at least 7 people have died in flooding in Guinea since heavy rainfall began on 06 September.

ECHO, the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department, report:

“In the prefecture of Boffa, the rainfall of 6-7 September has reportedly triggered a landslide in the village of Kolon Kola. The entire village of 480 inhabitants has been affected, while seven people were killed, according to government officials quoted in media. Access to the village is impeded due to floods that have damaged the road infrastructure.”

Further heavy rainfall is expected in parts of western Guinea, including the prefecture of Boffa, over the coming days.