AFRICA/NIGERIA - Floods: the Nigerian Church appeals for national solidarity

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - An appeal to national solidarity for the people affected by the floods was launched by His Exc. Mgr. Ignatius Kaigama, Archbishop of Jos and President of the Episcopal Conference of Nigeria. The appeal is in a statement signed by Fr. Evaristus Bassey, Executive Director of Caritas Nigeria, sent to Fides Agency. Heavy rains in recent weeks have hit several areas of Nigeria, and the water released by the opening of the Ladgo dam in Cameroon and that in Niger and Jebba in Nigeria have worsened the situation killing about 2,000 people. According to Fr. Bassey, Makurdi (Benue State capital) and Lakoja (capital of the Kogi State) reported serious damage, while some 25 million people living in the riverine areas of the states of Anambra, Niger, Benue, Sokoto, Katsina, Lagos, Ondo, Delta, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Cross Rivers risk being displaced. Already over 38,000 people have been forced to leave their homes in the States of Kano, Jigawa, Cross Rivers, Taraba, Adamawa, Niger and Anambra.
Fr. Bassey confirms that in the diocese of Idah about 30,000 people are accommodated in 13 camps for displaced persons and their number is increasing day by day. "The floods have caused untold suffering to a large number of people, families and communities. Properties worth millions of naira have been destroyed, and thousands of displaced people are stranded and have to face hunger, disease and lack of shelter and clothing," concludes Fr. Bassey. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 16/10/2012)