More than 600 people are now known to have perished in the worst floods in a decade in Nigeria, according to a new toll released Sunday.
The disaster had also forced more than 1.3 million people from their homes, said a statement by Nigeria’s ministry of humanitarian affairs, released on Twitter.
“Unfortunately, over 603 lives have been lost as of today October 16, 2022,” said Humanitarian Affairs Minister Sadiya Umar Farouq.
The previous toll from last week stood at 500, but the numbers had risen in part because some state governments had not prepared for the floods, said the minister.
The flooding also completely destroyed more than 82,000 houses and nearly 110,000 hectares (272,000 acres) of farmland, said Umar Farouq.
While the rainy season usually begins around June, the rainfall had been particularly heavy since August, said the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
Last week, the emergency agency declared that at least 500 people had died in the last few weeks in some parts of the country due to the devastating impact of flooding ravaging some states.
At a meeting in Abuja convened by the federal government comprising all relevant agencies of connected to tackling the menace in the country, the government disclosed that 45,249 houses have also been totally destroyed while 70,566 hectares of farmlands have been damaged.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Abubakar, however, said that despite the huge losses from the devastating floods across the country, there should be no panic over threats to food security.
Last week in Anambra state, a boat carrying more than 80 people, capsized with around 76 people killed in the accident. The people in the boat are mainly victims displaced by flooding in the area who were trying to escape from their submerged homes.
Global Financial Digest reports that in the same area in Anambra, at least 600,000 people had been displaced, according to the country’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
Apart from the catastrophic flooding for states located along the courses of rivers Niger and Benue, at least three of Nigeria’s overfilled reservoirs have overflowed, causing havoc in its wake.
The Anambra tragedy followed the devastating aftermath of a flood that swept through swaths of neighbouring north-central Kogi state a week ago, leaving buildings submerged under water that rose to levels not seen in a decade, according to officials of the Kogi Red Cross Society.