Over 15,000 Internally Displaced Persons in immediate need of shelter as flood ravages camps in Northeast Nigeria


Alhaji Bashir Camp in Dikwa. Photo: IOM 2022

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Nigeria is providing emergency shelter and other assistance to some of the tens of thousands of people affected by ongoing deadly flooding in the northeast of the country. Over 15,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) are in immediate need of accommodation.

Unprecedented heavy rainfall, in combination with spillage when the Lagdo dam in Northern Cameroon was opened to release excess water, has displaced over 39,500 people. An assessment by IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) concluded that 120 people in Bauchi State died or were injured due to extreme weather conditions between 1 Sept and 12 Sept.

Heavy rainfall and strong winds have caused serious damage to shelters and infrastructure in camps and other sites for IDPs since the onset of Nigeria’s rainy season in June.

IOM is providing relief items including blankets, kitchen sets, mattresses and floor mats, and will also provide emergency shelter to more than 1,500 internally displaced persons. However, funding remains a major challenge to scaling up the response.

“Due to the extent and nature of the floods, if adequate actions are not taken now, the well-being of IDPs will be gravely impacted,” said IOM Nigeria Acting Chief of Mission Prestage Murima. “Flood-prone communities could face protracted food insecurity if their farmlands are affected.”

Communities across Borno, Adamawa, Yobe and other states within the northeast region have been witnessing flash floods since June, which have destroyed farmlands, shelters and sources of livelihood.

In Borno State alone, six camps hosting 15,618 IDPs were destroyed, increasing dependence on humanitarian assistance; over 8,400 households are in immediate need of shelter. Some IDPs are living temporarily with relatives in nearby camps and public buildings such as schools and markets.

“This situation has added new challenges and complexities for the displaced populations like camp congestion and delays in delivery of basic services,” Murima said.

According to OCHA’s latest Humanitarian Needs Overview, 8.4 million people in the north-east states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe are in need of humanitarian aid in 2022. The 12-year conflict in the region has spread to areas surrounding Lake Chad, causing one of the world’s most severe and complex humanitarian crises.

Ahead of COP27 in November, floods in Nigeria show there is a need to be prepared for the scale and scope of the climate crisis by investing in local anticipatory actions, emergency preparedness and camp coordination, camp management, based on a people-centred approach and improved access to financing for communities and local stakeholders who are at the forefront of climate change.

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