Nigeria lost N2.6 trillion to 2012 floods

Over 7 million people were affected by the floods.

Nigeria lost over N2.6 trillion to the huge flood that swept through several states and affected over 7 million people in 2012, the National Emergency Management Agency said Sunday.

The comprehensive Post Disaster Needs Assessment conducted from November 2012 to March 2013 puts the estimated total value of infrastructure, physical and durable assets destroyed by the disaster at N1.5 trillion (US$9.6 billion) while the total value of losses across all sectors of economic activity was estimated at N1.1 trillion (US$7.3 billion).

The evaluation was conducted by the agency with the support of the World Bank and Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), United Nations, Development partners and relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

The emergency body said the floods, the worst in Nigeria’s recent history, displaced 2.3 million people, killed over 363 persons and destroyed or damaged 597,476 houses.

Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Muhammed Sani Sidi gave the figures while addressing the 4th Global Forum on Disaster Risk Reduction in Geneva, Switzerland at the weekend.

He described 2012 as one of the most challenging years for Nigeria in recent history.

“The flood was a classical case of how disasters can reverse development in a developing country like Nigeria. However the calamities wrought by the 2012 floods offer for our country an important window of opportunity to address difficulties and long-standing development issues.

“It brought all stakeholders together as never before to address the consequences of the flood, plan to reduce the vulnerability of our people and increase their resilience”, he told the gathering consisting of dignitaries from over 150 countries around the world.

He said Nigeria believes that it has the responsibility to increase the tempo of activities in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and enlist the support of every one in confronting the hazards risk in the country especially with the consequences of climate change and global warming steering everyone in the face.

Mr. Sani Sidi however, criticized some aspects of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005 – 2015 which is already approaching its end especially concerning the practice of DRR at the country level.

He said consultation on post 2015 in six geo-political zones and the Federal Capital in Nigeria gives the indication that the participation of women and children will be critical to the successful implementation of any framework on DRR beyond 2015.

“We would want to see more participation of the people at the local level and the inclusion of conflict resolution as major area of risk reduction. The global community has indeed benefited a lot from the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005 – 2015 as blue print for disaster risk reduction.

“We propose that the gap identified in the implementation of the framework in different nations should be addressed to take the benefit of the HFA beyond 2015,” he said.

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