The minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, recently confirmed that Jigawa, a state in the Northwestern region of Nigeria, was the worst state affected by flood. This is contrary to the belief that Bayelsa, with a riverine setting, was the most affected state by flood. 

The criteria for this conclusion include the number of deaths recorded and displaced persons per state, the number of injuries, partially damaged houses, totally damaged houses, and farmlands partially and completely damaged.

By the numbers 
Published flood data as of 24th October 2022 showing a comparison between both states reveals that while 257,913 persons were affected in Bayelsa State, 166,076 persons were affected in Jigawa State. 219,471 were displaced in Bayelsa while 68,883 were displaced in Jigawa.

  • The number of injured persons was put at 81 and 148 for Bayelsa and Jigawa, respectively. Also, 58 deaths were recorded in Bayelsa while 91 were recorded in Jigawa.
  • They put the number of houses partially damaged by floods in Bayelsa at 26,509 and 1,564 for Jigawa, while 703 farmlands were partially damaged in Bayelsa and 3,849 were affected in Jigawa.

The big picture 
For many years, the menace of recurring flood has been a major crisis to Nigerians living in the northern region of the country. The effects of these floods have resulted in the death of hundreds of people, destruction of thousands of homes and farmlands, including cemeteries. In 2022, many have named the flood as the worst in the country’s history, as the damage it has left in its wake cannot be quantified. 

  • Northern states have been hit the most by flooding incidents in the country as six states including Niger, Jigawa, Yobe, Kano, Katsina and Kebbi have accounted for about 35 percent of the over hundred floods recorded in Nigeria between 2011 and 2020.  
  • Statistics from the six geographical zones of Nigeria within the last decade show that the North-West zone had the highest frequency of flooding, with 31 instances, followed by the North-Central and North-East zones with 20 and 19 instances, respectively.

Why this is happening 
Several reports have revealed that the recurring flood in northern communities, including Niger, Benue, Kogi, Jigawa, etc., was as a result of the release of water from the dam. Other major factors include building houses on waterways, thereby blocking the water routes and increased rainfall. 

What you should know 
The most recent federal government report stated that the 2022 flood had displaced over 3 million people, killed about 603 people, submerged 340,000 hectares of land, and destroyed over 82,000 houses.

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