Nigeria Floods Kill Hundreds and Displace Over a Million
Nigeria’s minister of humanitarian affairs, Sadiya Umar Farouq, blamed the scale of the disaster on the failure by branches of government other than her own to take action. “There was enough warning and information about the 2022 flood, but states, local governments and communities appear not to take heed,” the minister wrote on Twitter.
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Another critical factor is climate change.
Matthias Schmale, the United Nations’ humanitarian coordinator for the country, said in a briefing last week that this largely explains the extreme flooding.
“Climate change is real, as we are yet again discovering in Nigeria,” he said.
The phenomenon is causing ruin across Africa, and as the continent is heavily dependent on agriculture, the effects are particularly devastating economically.
Nigeria, which is by far Africa’s most populous country with more than 200 million people, lists in a national climate policy document droughts, poor air quality, imperiled human health and habitat loss alongside floods as the effects of climate change.
A recent paper on climate justice by the nonprofit Africa Center together with the Energy for Growth Hub, a Washington research institute, says almost all African countries have contributed “essentially nothing” to climate change. On the other hand, it says, the United States, the European Union, China, India and Russia are the big emitters of carbon, known to contribute to climate change. But despite pledges to help fund climate adaptation in Africa, rich nations have, so far, produced very few funds, high-level African officials say.