At least 148 persons have died as a result of the flooding in 21 states of the federation, the Head, Disaster Management of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, Umar Mairiga, said on Tuesday.
Speaking at a news briefing in Abuja on Tuesday, Mr. Mairiga said that about 64 thousand others have been rendered homeless by the floods.
The heavy rains in recent weeks and the release of water from Lagdo dam in Cameroun have caused widespread destruction of lives and property and forced many families into makeshift camps.
According to the Red Cross, an estimated 134 thousand people have now been affected by the floods. Also there is a growing concern about the spread of waterborne diseases such as cholera.
“We are targeting 10,000 people in 10 locations of Adamawa, Taraba, Kogi, Plateau, Katsina, Cross River, Jigawa, Kogi, Benue and Edo,” Mr. Mairiga said.
He said the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) had launched an emergency appeal for funds to aid the teeming number of victims affected by the flood.
He said that the funds raised through the appeal would support ongoing efforts by the society to provide victims with emergency shelter and other essential relief items.
According to him, a Field Assessment and Coordination Team, FACT and a Regional Disaster Response Team, RDRT, have been deployed to support the relief effort.
He said that N33.5 million had been provided from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund to start the operation.
The Red Cross “with support from the IFRC and other partners, has been distributing food and non-food items, including mosquito nets, shelter tool kits, tarpaulins, hygiene kits and kitchen sets to affected families.
“Volunteers from the organisation are also carrying out awareness-raising campaigns for people at risk from water borne diseases,’’ he said.
Mr. Mairiga said that one of their major concerns is the development of gastro-enteritis, which is the irritation and inflammation of the stomach and intestines.
“The society will not only sink shallow boreholes but also provide the communities with water purification tablets (aqua tabs), Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS) to forestall outbreak of gastro-enteritis,’’ he added.
He said that the society also had an elaborate plan for training and retraining volunteers and community members on hygiene and sanitation.
Mr. Mairiga thanked the IFRC for providing elaborate response to support the affected communities; and called on the public, corporate and international organisations to support the Red Cross to further assist more people.