In a country that is still recovering from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Matthew, families from the far northern Niger delta are on the verge of losing their homes and livelihoods in a massive flooding event that could sweep them away.
“I am in the process of selling my house and it’s already sold for 50,000 [dollars],” said one woman, her voice breaking.
“But I am in dire straits.
We have no water. “
The situation is terrible.
We have no water.
There are no power lines.
“They told us there is no water, but it’s all we have.” “
We have been forced to leave our homes and now we can only live on the street, because the roads are blocked.”
“They told us there is no water, but it’s all we have.”
“I was told there is a boat and they are giving us water,” she added.
“They promised to give us some money.
But when we came back and asked for money, they said there is nothing for us to do.”
“We can only hope the government will help us and help us recover our property and property that is ours.”
I don’t want them to be in such a situation. “
My children are going hungry.
“How can you leave your children alone? “
It is a catastrophe for our people, our families, our community, the entire Niger Delta,” she insisted.
“How can you leave your children alone?
How can you not send them money?
We don`t have enough money.”
The Nigerian government has promised aid to affected communities, but the local authorities have been unable to reach the people directly, said Mohamed Abubakar, a spokesman for the UN Mission for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Nigeria.
“Our humanitarian aid is being coordinated with the government of Nigeria, but we have not been able to reach these people directly,” he said.
‘No one can help’The floods in Niger come amid a nationwide crisis in which a total of 5.4 million people are in need of assistance and 1.8 million have lost their homes.
As of Friday, at least 17,000 people were reported dead in the affected region, according to the United Nations.
The UN’s humanitarian aid coordinator, Jairo Sall, has appealed to the international community to step in.
In his first international trip to the affected areas since Matthew, Sall said he was told by locals that the government was not responding quickly enough and that the situation was worsening rapidly.
I am calling on the international communities to do everything in their power to ensure that people do not die,” he told a news conference.
According to the Nigerian government, at the end of September, 1.3 million people were registered as affected by the flooding.
More than 6,000 homes have been lost, and over 2,000,000 other structures have been destroyed.
The government has also said that more than 5,000 are still unaccounted for.
At least 1,000 Nigerians have died from the flooding, which has left at least 2,400 missing.
On Friday, a government spokesman said a total recovery effort of 1.5 million people had been mobilized, including 2.3-million-people who have been placed in government care.
Sall said that the UN’s appeal was still being prioritized.
There is no food, water, electricity, and medical care in many of the affected villages, and the situation is deteriorating,” he added.
A UNICEF representative told Al Jazeera the government should focus on providing food, clean water, and medicine to people.
“Our main concern is to provide relief to those who have lost everything and to the millions of Nigerians who are still displaced,” she told Al Jazeera.
While the situation in Niger is difficult, it is not a crisis in isolation, she added, pointing out that the crisis is being exacerbated by the failure of the Nigerian authorities to provide a reliable electricity supply.