2 mn displaced as floods wreck havoc in northern Nigeria

Heavy flooding has displaced about 2 million people, affecting 5,000 villages in northern Nigeria.

Last Updated: Sep 25, 2010, 20:33 PM IST

Abuja: Heavy flooding has displaced
about 2 million people, affecting 5,000 villages in northern
Nigeria, where release of water from two dams on River Niger
has inundated large swathes of land.

The flood gates that discharged the water in the
populous state of Kano were on Chellawa and Tiga dams,
spokesman for the northern Jigawa state government, Umar Kyari
said.

"They were opened last month but the heavy flooding
started because of poor management of the water," Kyari said
attributing the cause of the water rise to heavy rainfall.

Flooding in the region is common due to dam offload
and this year the situation became disastrous as water washed
away anything coming its way, leaving 97 hectares of farmland
waterlogged and causing USD 29 million in damages.

He said 5,000 villages in 11 local governments were
affected and the government is putting efforts to control the
situation and resettle the displaced.

Jigawa is a border state and shares boundaries with
the Niger republic.

Earlier this month, more than 100,000 persons were
displaced in neighbouring Sokoto state following a dam failure
on the Rima River close to Goronyo.

Other states affected by floods are Katsina, Zamfara
and Kebbi -- all in the northern region of the oil-rich
African country.

In one incident, an executive member of the ruling
People`s Democratic Party (PDP) in Katsina State, Surajo Audu,
drowned while crossing a river to his village, Gwanamarde,
from Yammama after heavy rainfall, a local newspaper reported.

The newspaper quoted local government councillor,
Mainasara Abubakar, as saying that dozens of houses collapsed
as a result of the inundation.

Nigeria`s climate varies from the humid at the
shoreline to sub-tropical further inland.

It has two seasons, the rainy season which starts from
April to October and the dry season from November to March.

PTI