Nigeria is experiencing its worst flooding in a decade, with at least 600 people dead and more than 1.3 million people displaced, according to authorities.
Nigeria is no stranger to floods, but unusually heavy rainfall since early summer this year has affected 33 out of 36 states in the country.
The national emergency management agency has described the damages as “colossal”, according to a statement.
Floods have inundated and damaged important food production regions, which have raised concerns about food security in the upcoming months.
The government has scaled up rescue efforts and started to distribute 12,000 metric tonnes of food and essential items to heavily hit areas, according to the president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari.
As directed by HE President Muhammad Buhari @nemanigeria has commenced the distribution of 12,000 Metric Tonnes of food and non-food items to states devastated by the recent floods.— Sadiya Umar Farouq (@Sadiya_farouq) October 14, 2022
In a press release, the government’s humanitarian agency said local authorities’ lack of preparedness and an excess amount water released from the dam in Cameroon had contributed to the damage from the floods.
“There was enough warning and information about the 2022 flood, but states, local governments and communities appear not to take heed,” the minister of humanitarian affairs, Saiya Umar Farouq, wrote on Twitter.
At the same time, people in Nigeria are continuing to move back into areas next to rivers that are prone to flooding despite warnings.
“As soon as the flood subsides, people go back to the same places and block water channels,” the Red Cross said, according to BBC.
“Flooding and the food insecurity can be largely explained with climate change factors. So, climate change is real, as we are yet again discovering in Nigeria,” the UN said.
Floods are expected to continue until the end of November.