Nigeria – Floods in Kogi “Humanitarian Tragedy” Says Governor

Wide areas of the state of Kogi in the North Central region of Nigeria are underwater after the Niger and Benue rivers broke their banks.

Floods in Lokoja, state capital of Kogi, Nigeria, late September 2022. Lokoja sits at the confluence of the Niger and Benue rivers. Image contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data [2022]
Before the floods. Lokoja in Kogi State, Nigeria, July 2022. Image contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data [2022]
Flooding began in late September when hundreds of homes were damaged in areas of state capital Lokoja and Ajaokuta Local Government Areas (LGA). At the time the state government prepared schools to house some 10,000 victims and temporary camps were opened to house others.

Since then the governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, has confirmed that flooding has affected the 9 LGAs which lie along the Niger and Benue rivers, namely, Lokoja, Kogi-Koto, Ajaokuta, Ofu, Igalamela-Odolu, Bassa, Idah, Ibaji and Omala.

The governor added that Ibaji is almost 100% under water while the rest range of the affected areas are around 30% flooded and upwards. Other inland LGAs also have some degree of flooding from smaller rivers and tributaries.

In a statement of 01 October 2022, the governor said “I am deeply distressed by the scope of devastation and suffering that has already been visited on our people by the rising floodwaters this year.

“We therefore have a serious and humanitarian tragedy on our hands, but I wish to assure every person, family and community which has been affected that they are not alone and that help is coming,” governor Yahaya Bello said.

With the help of national partners, the state government will provide shelter at various Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camps, as well as security, food, medicines, clothing and cash grants for necessities, among others. In the long term, we will need to gear efforts towards more sustainable solutions where possible.

In late September the national government reported over 300 people had died and 100,000 were displaced by floods across Nigeria.

Governor Yahaya Bello said that the 2022 floods have been confirmed as Nigeria’s worst flood disaster in a decade and appealed to the nation’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, to declare a State of National Disaster due to flooding in Kogi and other affected states, as was done in 2018.

“The declaration will help to unlock the nation’s latent capabilities to respond more aggressively with more men, money and materials to this harrowing situation,” he added.

On 04 October 2022, Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) reported an unprecedented flood in border areas of Kogi and Enugu state. In Uzo-Umani LGA of Enugu State around 35,200 people have been affected, 53,800 hectares of farm land submerged, along with houses, roads, bridges and public facilities, schools, community health centres , markets and places of worship.

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