40,000 persons displaced by floods in Borno ― UN

The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), has expressed concern over the conditions of more than 40,000 displaced persons affected by flood in Rann, Kalabalge Local Government Area (LGA) of Borno.

In a statement issued in Maiduguri on Saturday, OCHA said the affected persons including women and children lacked access to food and basic services due to floods which submerged Rann, Kalabalge LGA headquarters, and its environs on November 7.

OCHA attributed the flood to the release of excess water from Kaalia River, neighbouring Cameroon, in the statement signed by its Head of Communication Eve Sabbagh.

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It said that the flood-damaged an estimated 4, 000 hectares of farmlands and destroyed crops, which Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Rann mainly depended on for food.

The UN agency lamented that the area was difficult to access for humanitarian assistance due to the high level of insecurity and dilapidated road.

“Stranded populations are running short of food and those who can afford it are paying high sums to be transported to the other areas, putting their lives at risks while crossing the river or running for safety.

“More than 300 people from Rann have managed to reach Ngala, a town some 40 kilometres away from the area, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), they managed to leave Rann before the road became impassable.

“Humanitarian partners are mobilising resources to reach the stranded population via the UN Humanitarian Air Services until access is secured for small boats.

“Providing food is the main priority, along with water, shelters and emergency health services,” OCHA said in the statement.

The UN agency revealed further that more than 100, 000 people were also affected by severe floods in seven local government areas of Adamawa since Oct. 27, occasioned by torrential rainfall and overflow of water from rivers Niger and Benue.

It explained that the flood caused displacement to about 19, 000 people, adding that the government had set up nine IDP camps, to facilitate an effective response to affected persons.

It also said that the UN and humanitarian partners had scaled up assistance in Adamawa and provided reproductive health kits to more than 56, 000 people, 400 families received non-food items and 4, 000 other families got farming inputs.

According to the UN agency, also more than 300, 000 persons are affected in Adamawa and Borno in the worst flood disaster since 2012.

OCHA noted that the damage was five-times higher than expected in the humanitarian contingency plan, which was based on an average from previous floods.

“The latest flood is coming at a time when the rainy season would usually be over, compounding an already dire humanitarian situation in two of the three states most affected by the 10-year old conflict, with 7.1 million people in need of urgent assistance this year.

“The 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan for Nigeria is seeking 848 million dollars to assist 6.2 million people and is 60 per cent funded so far,” OCHA added.

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