Flooding has once again hit areas of northeast Nigeria, severely affecting thousands of people in Borno State. Meanwhile the flood situation in neighbouring Adamawa state continues, with almost 20,000 people displaced.
The UN says the floods in Borno and Adamawa state are the worst in seven years. About 300,000 people have been affected so far this year, which is five times more than expected.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), flooding in the town of Rann, Borno State, has affected around 40,000 people, leaving them with little or no access to food or services. Many of those affected are internally displaced people (IDPs) living in refugee camps.
Flooding began on 07 November, 2019, after the River Kaalia broke its banks in neighbouring Cameroon. Parts of Far North Region in Cameroon were hit by flooding in late October.
UN OCHA reports that flooding has damaged an estimated 4,000 hectares of farmland, “destroying crops that are the main source of food for internally displaced persons (IDPs) staying in Rann, a remote town in an area where violent attacks from non-State armed groups are frequent and access is difficult for humanitarian assistance due to the high insecurity and poor road conditions.”
“Stranded populations are running short of food and those who can afford it are paying high sums to be transported to the other areas, also putting their life at risk while crossing the river or travelling to safety. More than 300 people from Rann have managed to reach Ngala, a town some 40 km away, according to the International Organization for Migration. They had managed to leave Rann before the road became impassable,” the UN added.
Humanitarian partners are mobilizing resources to reach the stranded population via the UN Humanitarian Air Services until access is secured for small boats. Providing food is the main priority, along with water, shelters and emergency health services.
In neighbouring Adamawa State, more than 100,000 people are also affected by severe flooding across seven Local Government Areas since 27 October, following torrential rainfall and overflow of water from the Niger and Benue rivers. Around 19,000 people have been displaced from their homes.
The UN and humanitarian partners are scaling up assistance in Adamawa State as well and have already provided reproductive health kits to more than 56,000 people; non-food items to 400 families; and farming items to 4,000 families in areas that were not reached by Government assistance.