Hundreds killed in Nigeria floods, more than 1.4 million displaced
Nigeria’s most populous city, Ibadan, is submerged in floodwaters and with no electricity, water and food, more than a million people are trapped, and many more are homeless, in their huts, in slums.
In Lagos’s suburbs, residents are being told to stay indoors, and shops are closed. In Abuja, the capital, only ambulances are allowed on the streets.
Nigeria’s disaster relief agency has announced a rescue effort, while it is too early to say if the floods will trigger another Boko Haram insurgency.
In a country that has not been hit by terrorism since a bloody insurgency ended in 2009, the flooding is a deadly blow. It may also be a warning that another disaster is coming because of climate change. The flooding has already caused more than 600 million dollars in damage.
“It’s terrible,” says Nnamdi Ogunleye, director of the Center for Climate Change and Development at the University of Ibadan, a former World Bank colleague of mine. Ogunleye says there is very little data on the impacts of climate change in Nigeria, but the floods may be another example of how water is becoming a greater factor in climate change.
Nigeria has already been the victim of another disaster: in 2016, an earthquake killed thousands of people in the northeast. The United Nations says that is likely to increase as the world becomes more populated and more vulnerable to climate change.
And the floods in Nigeria are not only a tragedy. They are also a warning for the rest of the globe. The United Nations agency for climate change says there is a 90 percent possibility that climate change will increase the frequency, intensity and duration of disasters for many countries around the world. That may include the country in which the floods are occurring, Nigeria.
Nigeria is one of the world’s youngest economies, but it is more than 800 miles long. It has 1 billion people