Nigeria: Floods Anticipation - Emergency Plan of Action - DREF Operation n° MDRNG034


A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

Since 20 June 2022, abundant rains are being recorded over localized areas in southern Nigeria, with total amount of rains exceeding 100mm per day so far. Floods have also started to be recorded in some parts of the area at risk, mainly in Northern localities and urban areas since the end of June 2022. Currently, more flash floods are recorded and general alerts are for the moment in yellow alert with close monitoring of meteorological experts issuing frequent alerts since July.

For the next few weeks, heavy and enhanced rain is forecasted over the majority of West Africa. This corroborates earlier forecast by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), which in its Annual Flood Outlook (AFO), predicted that 233 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in 32 states of the Federation and the FCT fall within the Highly Probable Flood Risks Areas, while 212 LGAs in 35 States of the Federation including FCT fall within the Moderately Probable Flood Risks Areas. The remaining 329 LGAs fall within the probable flood Risks Areas. The Highly Probable Flood Risk States are; Adamawa, Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross-River, Delta, Eboyin, Ekiti, Edo, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa and Kadunna, others are, Kano, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba and Yobe, as well as Zamfara and FCT. Indeed, more than 2000mm of rainfalls are projected by NiMeT in areas of southern Nigeria and 390mm are projected in the Northern Part of the country from the week of 20 June and beyond. This trend follows the same path as previous years, which led to key flooding affecting almost 20 states in the country with more than 10,000 households randomly affected in various ways, with always at least 3,000 households homeless and/or displaced.

Indeed, in the past decade, especially during the last three years, there has been an observed pattern of flooding in Nigeria; floods becoming the second most recurrent hazard affecting the country, after the epidemics. The high flooding period generally recorded from August to October is usually characterized by collapse of major dams, overflow of riverbanks and heavy occupation of residential areas or environment by large mass of water due to heavy flow of run-off rainwater, uprooting and washing off residential buildings, blowing away roofs of buildings. In addition, the rainy season also brings with it, landslides in which hills and high lands collapse burying people’s buildings and farmlands. The menace of erosion also comes in to contribute to further deterioration of the condition of the people and environment.

Moreover, climate change is aggravating the recurrence and intensity of flooding across the country and mainly around border sea and river states. In urban areas, floods incidences have been aggravated further following the rapid urbanization with the deficit in waste management causing poor drainage in localities like Jalingo, Taraba state capital of Nigeria.

This situation is usually not limited to residences, as often farmlands are either swept away by flood water or completely submerged in flood waters for close to a month. In 2020 for example, Kebbi – the country's biggest rice-producing state, vast farmlands were completely submerged in flood waters, while in Jigawa state, a total of 18 out of 27 Local Government Areas (LGAs) were affected, with Gwaram, Birnin Kudu, Kirikasamma, and Gumel as the worst hit. Wide swaths of farmlands have been washed away with a loss of crops amounting to billions of Naira. Incidences of livestock being swept off are also common during the flood season while fishing communities report fishing implements either being swept away or destroyed. This in most instances exposes communities to vulnerabilities with no livelihoods to cater for their needs.

In 2019 and 2020 incidences of flooding were reported in October, while incidences of flooding were reported in September of 2021. This implies that the effect of Climate Change may be causing rainfall patterns to change and consequently cause flooding in vulnerable communities earlier than usually anticipated.

Already, an upward trend in the number of people affected by flooding has been recorded in the past 4 years and expected to increase further in Nigeria as indicated in figure 2. According to World Disaster Report 2020 (quoting the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC), it is very likely that extreme precipitation events will be more frequent and more intense in the coming years, particularly in the midlatitudes and wet tropical regions of the world, including Nigeria. In addition, the IPCC indicates that increasing global warming may result in a larger fraction of the global population being affected by major river floods (IPCC, 2014b). There is very high probability that coastal ecosystems and low-lying areas will experience more coastal flooding events.

The general annual flood outlook for 2022, shows that 233 LGAs in 32 States of the Federation and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) fall within the highly probable flood risk areas, while 212 LGAs in 36 States of the Federation and the FCT fall within the moderately probable flood risk areas. The remaining 392 Local Government Areas fall within the probable flood risk areas which includes Adamawa, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River, Delta and Ebonyi. Others are, Ekiti, Edo, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara and FCT. Incidence Report from branches already shows indecencies of flood in some of these states.

As a main lesson learnt issue from the various floods response, these trends are showing the necessity to anticipate the forecasted hazard and contribute much earlier to the preparedness system to reduce the vulnerability in the area at risk of flooding during this rainy season listed in the table alongside.

Based on the above, there is potential for humanitarian consequences requiring a response from the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement ahead of the peak of the rain season in Nigeria. As such, Nigeria Red Cross Society (NRCS) will take preventive measures to prepare for the anticipated impact that these events could have on the humanitarian situation before the flood season hits the country.