Sadiya Farouq, the minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, has stated that from an assessment carried out so far by the ministry, Bayelsa is not among the top ten most affected states by the recent floods.
Addressing State House Correspondents at the weekly ministerial briefing on Thursday, November 3, 2022, the minister said, instead, Jigawa is ranked the number one most-hit state.
She made the comment in reaction to claims by elder statesman and leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Chief Edwin Clark, who implored the Federal Government to act to save flood victims in the Niger Delta and not abandon them.
The ministry said the criteria used to arrive at the conclusion are based on the following indices: the number of deaths recorded and displaced persons per state, number of injuries, partially damaged, houses totally damaged, and farmlands partially and totally damaged.
According to the Federal Government’s flood data as of October 24, 2022, 257,913 persons were affected in Bayelsa while 166,076 persons were affected in Jigawa. 219,471 were displaced in Bayelsa while 68,883 were displaced in Jigawa.
The number of injured persons was put at 81 and 148 for Bayelsa and Jigawa respectively. Also, 58 deaths were recorded in Bayelsa while 91 were recorded in Jigawa.
The number of houses partially damaged by floods in Bayelsa was put at 26,509 and 1,564 for Jigawa while 703 farmlands were partially damaged in Bayelsa and 3,849 were affected in Jigawa.
Millions Displaced, Over 600 Killed
According to the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, over 600 people have died and millions displaced by devastating floods that hit more than 20 states in the last few months.
Houses and farmlands have been submerged in Lagos, Yobe, Borno, Taraba, Adamawa, Edo, Delta, Kogi, Niger, Plateau, Benue, Ebonyi, Anambra, Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Jigawa, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto, Imo, Abia States, and the Federal Capital Territory.
The 2022 floods have attracted international “solidarity”. In a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, King Charles III sympathised with Nigeria over the “devastating” incidents.
President Muhammadu Buhari last month gave the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, 90 days to develop a comprehensive plan of action for the prevention of flood disasters in Nigeria.