The United Nations Children’s Fund, (UNICEF) has said no fewer than 600 persons died while 1.3 million others were displaced from their homes during the flooding that ravaged parts of the country this year.
Chief of UNICEF Field Office, Enugu, Mrs Juliet Chiluwe, who said the figure was obtained from government records of the flooding which occurred between September and October, affected 34 out the 36 states of the country.
The UNICEF officer stated this during an official handover of the organisation’s supplies for Anambra State Flood Response for delivery to the state government yesterday.
The supplies which according to Chiluwe were just the first set among those the organisation had earmarked to distribute to the state included 100 drums of chlorine for disinfection of water sources, 40 cartons of Aquatabs for household water treatment and 320 cartons of Ready to Use Therapeutic food (RUTF).
The items were handed over to the deputy governor, Dr Onyekachukwu Ibezim, on behalf of the state governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo.
Chiluwe, in her address said; “We acknowledged that since September 2022, the worst floods in a decade affected 2.8 million people, of which an estimated 60 per cent are children, across 34 of the 36 states in Nigeria. Of those affected, 1.3 million people have been displaced, and over 600 people have died in relation to flooding according to government data.
“Continuous heavy rains have collapsed hundreds of public health facilities, water systems and sanitation facilities, increasing the risk of waterborne diseases, such as cholera, diarrhea and malaria.
She added, “To contribute to the effort of government and other development partners, UNICEF, with funding the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has initiated a multisectoral response comprising Health, Child Protection and WASH sectors, to mitigate the impact of the floods support the early recovery-phase of the affected population in Anambra State.
“For Child Protection, the response will focus on protection concerns in three key areas: the provision of psychosocial support for flood-affected children; the prevention of family separation and the reunification of separated and unaccompanied children, as well as the strengthening of community-based protection systems related to GBV.”
In his response, the deputy governor commended the interventions UNICEF had been making in the state in various aspects, especially as it concerned women and children.
He assured the state government’s continued collaboration with the world body, stating that the government was working out modalities to mitigate the effect of the flooding on victims in different parts of state as well as putting proactive measures to check such emergencies in future.