Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Floods test Nigeria’s preparedness

IRIN: Heavy rains have unleashed floods in parts of Nigeria, testing the country’s emergency preparedness one year after its worst flooding in decades. Some 35,000 people have been affected, most of them in five states, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The 2012 floods affected around 7 million people.

According to Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA), this year’s floods have displaced some 600 people and caused one fatality in the northern Kano State, and about 20 bodies were unearthed at a cemetery in the state’s Yan Kaba area. In Katsina State, also in the north, 55 farms were inundated by heavy rains.

NEMA spokesman Ibrahim Farinloye said early warning and rapid relocation of communities helped prevent greater loss of lives.

Forty communities in flood-prone areas in southeastern Benue State have been relocated by authorities, who have also urged people in other vulnerable areas to move. Farinloye said the Borno, Adamawa and Taraba states in the northeast were flashpoints.

“We have been able to contain any adverse humanitarian effects. All the affected states have been able to respond adequately. So far the response has been positive, but we cannot say we have a perfect system,” Farinloye told IRIN....

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