Open floodgates displace two million in Nigeria | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 26, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 26, 2010

Open floodgates displace two million in Nigeria

Opened dams have displaced some two million people in northern Nigeria, officials said, adding to flood misery that has already washed away entire villages across a wide swathe of the region.
The flooding in Jigawa state following the opening of the dams last month has wiped out huge areas of farmland and sent residents seeking shelter in schools, according to the local government.
No deaths were reported in Jigawa state, but casualties have occurred elsewhere. In Sokoto state in the country's northwestern corner, local chiefs told NGO workers that around 40 people were killed when a dam burst, but the number could not be confirmed.
Heavy seasonal rain has led to the flooding and opening of the gates in the north of Africa's most populous nation.
"We have about two million people affected," Umar Kyari told AFP, adding that there were no reported deaths in Jigawa, which has a population of about 4.3 million people.
The water has subsided to a degree in recent weeks in Jigawa, but a number of villages remained submerged on Friday, with water up to the roofs in certain areas. Some villagers were using canoes in the area.
Many of the villages in the flooded areas consisted of mud-and-thatch huts and were populated by fishermen who work the river and farmers growing maize, millet and rice.
Jigawa is located in the far north of Nigeria along the border with the Niger.
In Sokoto state, in Nigeria's northwestern corner, entire villages have been reported washed away after a dam burst earlier this month.
Doctors Without Borders has been working to assist the displaced there with water and shelter.
The organisation has estimated that around 40,000 people remain displaced in northern Sokoto, but it has been unable to confirm the numbers because access to the area is difficult and boats scarce.

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