Author: Thomas

The Niger Delta Crisis

The Niger Delta Crisis

Displaced by devastating floods, Nigerians are forced to use floodwater despite cholera risk

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A woman walks past the damage caused by floods in the village of Ado in Niger.

Barry Cooper, director, WFP (World Food Programme)

1 July, 2017 • 10:23pm

Floods in the Niger Delta, particularly the river Niger, have been the cause of multiple deaths, displaced communities and economic devastation for many communities in the last few years.

In August, the river Niger reached its highest ever in many years in terms of breadth, affecting both the Niger and Benue river basins. The Niger Delta region is estimated to have lost 2.5 million hectares of arable and other land due to the floods. Around 2.2 million people have been displaced, of which 600,000 are refugees, with a further 800,000 expected to be displaced, and nearly 1,000 people killed.

The situation in the Niger Delta, which is at the heart of Africa’s oil and gas industry, is very concerning. According to WFP, there are more than 4,000 people in Niger affected by the floods. The vast majority, around half a million people, have been affected by the floods and the situation is much worse in the southern region of Benue State, which has reported more than 1,000 people killed in the past year.

In the first five weeks of July, floods in the Niger Delta killed over 600 people and displaced approximately 400,000. Many of those who died were members of the same family who have since died of cholera.

The current Ebola outbreak is also affecting the lives of Nigerians directly, with over 200 people reported killed by the virus in the past six months to date.

The Niger Delta crisis is further amplified by the current conflict between forces loyal to the local communities and the military in the region and by conflicts over the exploration licenses granted by the Nigerian government.

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