Displaced by devastating floods, Nigerians are forced to use floodwater despite cholera risk. This is the first time a country has experienced and suffered such a large-scale disaster.
On August 8, the Niger River crested at its highest level since 1974, according to the river gauge gauge of the National Water Commission (NWC). The river at that time had already crested a record level of 497.5 metres (1,716 ft). A week later, the river had yet again reached such a height, rising to an astonishing level of 522.2 metres (1,717 ft). Though it is difficult to establish which is more surprising, the NEMA (National Emergency Management Agency) recorded that the river had breached its banks in parts of the country. In addition, many villages were under water.
To the relief of many, the river eventually began to decelerate, showing signs of recovery. However, a water management expert, who preferred to remain anonymous, told The Economist that the floods would certainly damage national economy and the Niger Delta.
At some point, the national government issued a statement about the government’s efforts to mitigate the situation. The Ministry of Education stated that schools and colleges would remain closed, public offices would be closed and no new allocations would be made. The military was also warned to remain alert in order to ensure security.
While floods are natural hazards and could be caused by a variety of unrelated causes, the worst of the natural hazards have been largely eclipsed by the impact of the floods. The situation is also likely to become worse as a result of the recent heavy rains which have caused many more rivers to flood, according to the Environment and Natural Resources Institute.
Despite the situation, Nigerians continue to depend on the floodwater and continue to migrate to escape from the floods. According to the World Food Programme, more than one million Nigerians had migrated to the coast to escape the floodwaters.
According to a UN report, the number of displaced persons in the country increased to 4.9 million, mostly in Niger Delta state, in the affected