Nigeria – Thousands Displaced by Floods in Kogi State

Flooding in Kogi State, Nigeria, has displaced over 10,000 people since 07 September, according to state government sources.

Heavy rainfall in river catchments over the last few weeks has increased levels of rivers in the state and the Niger and Benue Rivers both broke their banks last week. Some of the worst flooding was in Lokoja, the state capital, which lies at the confluence of the two rivers.

The Director General on Media and Publicity to the Kogi State Governor, Kingsley Fanwo has called on Federal Authorities to come to the aid of Kogi State as, according to him, “the state is in dire need of humanitarian interventions”.

Fanwo said thousands of houses are submerged by floods in some flood plains in Lokoja and Ibaji, describing the situation as “desperately pathetic”.

The Kogi State Government ordered the immediate evacuation of areas in Lokoja when the flooding first struck on 07 September. The suburb of Sarkin Noma was particularly badly affected.

Outside Lokoja, affected areas include Ibaji, Igalamela-Odolu, Ajaokuta, Bassa and Koton-Karfe.

The flooding in Kogi comes just days after thousands of people were displaced by floods in Benue state.

Floods in Kogi, Nigeria, September 2017. Photo: Kogi Governor’s Office


State government said that relief camps have been set up in the affected areas for temporarily displaced persons.

Teams from Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) have been working in the area, clearing flood water and debris, as well as providing relief supplies for flood victims, including mattresses and blankets.

Rivers and Flood Warnings

Current high levels of the Niger river upstream are likely to affected parts of Nigeria in the coming days.

Niger Basin Authority (NBA) issued an Orange (mid level) alert for levels of the Niger river in Niamey, Niger, from 07 September which was expected to last for 3 days at least.

The Niger River at Niamey reached 5.935 metres on 12 September, well above mid level (Orange) flood stage of 5.5 metres, but below major flood stage (red level) or 6.2 metres.

Areas around Niamey suffered flooding in late August this year.

Levels of the Niger River at Niamey, Niger, September 2017. Image: Niger Basin Authority (NBA)


The NBA warned that “the rise of the water level in Niamey will spread downstream towards the stations of Malanville at Benin and Jidere Bode upstream of the Kainji dam in Nigeria”.

NBA added “people living near these communities should be particularly vigilant in those areas risk of river flooding.”

According to the last available observation from NBA, the Niger River at Lokoja, Nigeria, stood at 8.92 metres on 31 August, 2017, well within normal boundaries. Minor flood level (Yellow level alert) is at 9.50 metres.

Levels of the Niger River at Lokoja, Nigeria, August 2017. Image: Niger Basin Authority (NBA)

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