Displaced by devastating floods, Nigerians are forced to use floodwater despite cholera risk
People walk in the rain in the state of Plateau, Niger in 2013. (Photo by: NAN)
Nigerians have long taken for granted that the floodwaters that once devastated their homes during the monsoon season are now a source of life. In most cases, they have left their homes with little to no damage, thanks to the resilience of their local population. Still, Nigerians are forced to cope with a severe cholera outbreak that has killed more than 4,000 people and left thousands of others in need of hospitalization.
In the city of Tillabery, Niger’s northern capital, the body of a 27-year-old who had moved there to work in a factory was discovered on Wednesday. He had died of dehydration after working in the fields for three days. On the same day, police confirmed that at least 13 people had been infected with cholera across the country, mostly in the North West Region of Nigeria.
The floods that have swept through the state of Plateau also caused a loss of life. At three different locations in the city of Kourou, people took refuge in a soccer stadium, a bus station or their homes. Residents of several villages that have been flooded on both sides of the rivers Koko and Nokororokoroa in the state of Baukponpa in Burkina Faso are also said to have fled to the city for safety. The death toll reported so far in the country’s most populous region, the North East, is 2,829 people.
The flooding triggered by heavy rainfall and a thunderstorm is already known to affect the population in the area where Nigerians live.
“We had a large rainy season last season. The water level [in Lake Chad] increased to such an extent that many Nigerians, especially children,