IOM decries humanitarian crisis as floods ravage IDPs in Northeast
The International Organization for Migration, (IOM), Nigeria, has said that not less than 15, 000 Internally Displaced Persons, (IDPs), in Northeast Nigeria are in immediate need of shelter and food due to floods which destroyed their camps.
Alerting about the worsening humanitarian crisis in the region, the body pointed out that unprecedented heavy rainfall, in combination with spillage from Lagdo dam in Northern Cameroon which was opened to release excess water, has displaced over 39,500 people apart from those already in IDP camps.
In a communique signed by its Public Information Officer, (PIO), Stylia Kampani, the IOM said it is providing emergency shelter and other assistance to some of the tens of thousands affected by the ongoing deadly flooding in the region.S
The communique notes that an assessment by IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix, (DTM), concludes that 120 people in Bauchi State died or were injured due to extreme weather conditions between 1st September and 12th September 2022.
“Heavy rainfall and strong winds have caused serious damage to shelters and infrastructure in camps and other sites for IDPs since the onset of Nigeria’s rainy season in June.
“IOM is providing relief items including blankets, kitchen sets, mattresses and floor mats, and will also provide emergency shelter to more than 1,500 internally displaced persons. However, funding remains a major challenge to scaling up the response,” the communique reads.
IOM Acting Chief of Mission in Nigeria, Prestige Murima, also said: “Due to the extent and nature of the floods, if adequate actions are not taken now, the well-being of IDPs will be gravely impacted.”
According to her, “Flood-prone communities could face protracted food insecurity if their farmlands are affected.”
Communities across Borno, Adamawa, Yobe and other states within the northeast region have been witnessing flash floods since June, which have destroyed farmlands, shelters and sources of livelihood.”
The organisation said that in Borno State alone, six camps hosting 15,618 IDPs were destroyed increasing dependence on humanitarian assistance; and over 8,400 households are in immediate need of shelter.
“Some IDPs are living temporarily with relatives in nearby camps and public buildings such as schools and markets.
“This situation has added new challenges and complexities for the displaced populations like camp congestion and delays in delivery of basic services,” Murima said.
Quoting the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, (OCHA’s), latest Humanitarian Needs Overview, (HNO), IOM said 8.4 million people in the north-east states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe are in need of humanitarian aid in 2022 alone.
“The 12-year conflict in the region has spread to areas surrounding Lake Chad, causing one of the world’s most severe and complex humanitarian crises.”
The body pointed out that ahead of COP27 in November, floods in Nigeria show there is a need to be prepared for the scale and scope of the climate crisis by investing in local anticipatory actions, emergency preparedness and camp coordination, camp management based on a people-centred approach and improved access to financing for communities and local stakeholders who are at the forefront of climate change.