LAGOS – More than 600 people are now known to have died in Nigeria’s worst floods in a decade, according to a new toll released on Sunday.
The disaster also displaced more than 1.3 million people from their homes, according to a statement posted on Twitter by the Nigerian Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.
“Unfortunately, as of today, October 16, 2022, more than 603 people have died,” Humanitarian Affairs Minister Sadiya Umar Farouq said.
The previous toll last week was 500, but the numbers rose partly because some state governments failed to prepare for flooding, the minister said.
The floods also completely destroyed more than 82,000 homes and nearly 110,000 hectares of farmland, Umar Farouq said.
While the rainy season usually starts around June, the rains have been particularly heavy since August, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said.
In 2012, 363 people died and more than 2.1 million were displaced by floods.
Sub-Saharan Africa is disproportionately affected by climate change, and many of its economies are already struggling with the effects of the Russian-Ukrainian war.
Rice farmers have warned that the devastating floods could affect prices in the country by around 200 million, which has banned rice imports to boost local production.
The World Food Program and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations declared Nigeria last month as one of six countries at high risk of catastrophic famine.
- Editor/ additional report by AFP