Nigeria has been hit by devastating flooding over the past weeks, which reportedly claimed the lives of at least 600 people, and displaced hundreds of thousands of people after their homes were inundated.
With rains expected to continue over the next days, below is a statement by Abu Jibril, Acting Country Director of WaterAid in Nigeria. He said:
“The flooding has increased the risks for communities in flood prone regions, in a country where an estimated 38 million people are still forced to defecate in the open, and tens of millions more have very limited access to other forms of sanitation. When the water comes like it has now, washing away human waste, it raises the risk of disease outbreaks that could further cost lives and impoverish citizens. We need to act fast to avoid these outbreaks.”
“People who have been forced from their homes need food and shelter, but they also need access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene. The number of displaced people forced to live in camps where access to safe water and good sanitation is further compromised have increased, with women and children most vulnerable and worst affected. A decent toilet and a bar of soap can literally save lives now, as they prevent diseases from breaking out.”
“With climate change upon us, many people in Nigeria are already living on the frontline of the crisis – and it’s likely to get worse. The Government of Nigeria has started a campaign to stop people from defecating in the open, but we also need support from international governments and donors to ensure communities who did the least to cause this crisis, are able to adapt to the changing circumstances and build resilience against future shocks. Healthy communities need the basics: shelter, food, but also safe water to drink and well managed toilets. We need to start investing in that, and we need to do it yesterday.”
Picture source: Internet