FLOODS: 27,000 students out of schools, lost 378,000 school days

By Ikenna Emewu



Further flooding has affected parts of Nigeria since late September, 2019, according to a recent Red Cross report.

Findings by the Norwegian Refugee Council also indicated that in August, floods dislodged communities, schools and school children in Borno States.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said in a report of October 7, that “Arising from high-water levels in rivers Niger and Benue and heavy rainfall, Cross River, Kogi, Niger, and Taraba states experienced flooding from 21 to 27th September 2019.”

Some of the worst of the flooding came on 21 and 22 when there was a high peak in the water levels for River Niger and Benue. The Niger River at Lokoja, Kogi State, reached 10.5 metres, well above red alert stage of 9 metres.

This escalated when an overfilled dam in northern Cameroon released water into the upper Benue River which caused flood disasters in the states along this river course. When this happened, schools were not spared and students were out of schools, losing study days and hours.

But after this Red Cross report, floods still hit more states and communities with higher casualty figures.

Although the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) after several calls and requests was not forthcoming with actual figures or details, AcademiaUncut found that over 27,000 students in over 320 schools in the affected states were displaced from schools and their studies suffered setback for at least two weeks in each of the affected places.

Altogether, the affected schools lost a total of 4,480 school or study days, or 378,000 student study days for the 27,000 students displaced from schools who lived in internally displaced peoples’ camps without access to school or education for the period.

With the delay by NEMA that later was indicative of lack of data in its disposal, we conducted news slot research through the internet and interactive calls and got the number of states affected and communities at the end of October when the rains abated.

The worst affected states were those at the banks of Rivers Benue and Nigeria including Niger, Taraba, Adamawa, Benue, Kogi, Edo, Delta and Anambra. Others were the riverine and Niger Delta states that sit on flood plains, especially Cross River, Rivers, Bayelsa, Ondo and also Lagos where it is commonplace for schools and homes to be submerged and school children displaced and put out of classes for as long the waters remain.

“Overall the flooding affected around 18,640 people (3,104 households) in 54 communities while some 4,485 people (746 households) are currently displaced due to the flood waters (2,300 in Taraba, 1,129 in Niger state and 1,056 in Cross River.) At least 12 deaths have been reported, with 11 of them in Niger state and 1 in Cross River state,” according to Red Cross initial reports.

This was however the first report of Red Cross, before the September-October phase that was more widespread. With the later incidents, the total persons affected rose to a little over 60,000 from confirmed media report figures by journalists on ground at the affected places whom governments had to intervene to provide relief materials.

Eastern and central areas of the country were hit by floods in August this year.

Later that month flooding hit several northeastern states, worsening by early September.

The Red Cross says that “since June 2019, torrential rainfalls and flash floods hit 124 Local Government Areas within 36 states and Federal Capital Territory – Abuja (FCT) in Nigeria. This has affected a total number of 210,117 people with 171 casualties recorded in hospital and 130,610 people reported to be displaced.”

With additional reports from Floodlist.com


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