IFRC launches Emergency Appeal as severe flooding displaces over 60,000 people across Nigeria
GENEVA, Switzerland, October 2, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ – Severe flooding in Nigeria has left at least 148 people dead and displaced over 64,000 people across 18 of the country’s 38 States. Torrential downpours in recent weeks have caused widespread destruction and forced many families into makeshift camps. An estimated 134,000 people have now been affected by the floods and concern is growing about the spread of waterborne diseases such as cholera.
In response to the worsening crisis, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has today launched an emergency appeal for CHF 898’094 to help the Nigerian Red Cross Society assist 10,000 people.
“The 2012 rainy season has brought more precipitation than earlier years,” said Daniel Sayi, IFRC Regional Representative for West Coast Region, based in Abidjan. “And the situation is likely to become even more dire if nothing is done, with weather forecasts predicting that the rains will continue.”
Following the onset of the flooding, the Nigerian Red Cross Society, with support from the IFRC and other partners, has been distributing food and non-food items including mosquito nets, blankets, sleeping mats, jerry cans, buckets, hygiene kits and kitchen sets to affected families. Volunteers from the organization are also carrying out awareness-raising campaigns for people at risk from waterborne diseases.
“One of the major concerns is the development of a serious health situation due to the spread of waterborne diseases such as cholera, which is still on the rampage in the country,” Sayi said.
The funds raised through the appeal will support the ongoing relief efforts of the national Red Cross society and continue to provide those affected by the floods with emergency shelter and other essential relief items.
An IFRC Field Assessment and Coordination team (FACT) and a regional Disaster Response Team have been deployed to support the relief effort. An amount of CHF 200,000 has already been allocated from IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to start the operation.
Many other countries in West Africa, including Niger, Senegal, Mali, Burkina-Faso, Niger, Chad and Mauritania have been affected by severe flooding following heavy rainfall. The situation across the region has worsened considerably in the past two months and now affects more than 800,000 people. In all affected countries, the volunteers and staff from National Societies have been mobilized to provide support and immediate assistance to affected populations.
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)