Over 100,000 people have been displaced from their homes in Benue State, Nigeria. This newest disaster is one of many in recent months and years to Benue. Benue State is in the Middle Belt of Nigeria, and has been a hot spot for violence from Fulani Herdsman towards Christian farmers. This means a large IDP population already exists in the state, and this new disaster will further add tension and struggle to the people’s lives there.
2017-09-01 Nigeria (AlJazeera) More than 100,000 people have fled their homes because of major flooding in the southeastern state of Benue in Nigeria, according to President Muhammadu Buhari.
“I have received with great concern reports of the flooding in Benue state, displacing, from early estimates, more than 100,000 people,” Buhari wrote on Twitter late on Thursday.
He said his government “will make available all assistance” to those affected.
“We will surmount this disaster, and, working with the State Govt, bring succour and relief to all affected persons and communities.”
Helen Teghtegh, head of local NGO Community Links and Human Empowerment Initiative, said the region had been battered by heavy rains over the past two weeks with the level of the Benue river steadily rising.
Many residents in the state capital Makurdi have fled their homes since Wednesday, she added, launching an appeal for donations.
“We are still trying to get accurate data, we don’t know the number of casualties, but we are having a meeting tomorrow with local groups and emergency services, so we should know better,” said Teghtegh.
Photographs of inundated Makurdi began spreading on social media on Thursday, showing cars and thousands of homes completely submerged. Others showed men and women carrying mattresses, bags, and other belongings as they fled on foot.