At least 102 die in southwestern Nigeria floods
IBADAN, NIGERIA (BNO NEWS) — Serious flooding in the southwestern region of Nigeria has left more than 100 people killed, local media reported on Friday.
The flooding began on Friday last week in Ibadan, the capital of Nigeria’s Oyo State. The Nigerian Red Cross has said at least 102 people have been killed, according the Nation newspaper. Police have so far only confirmed 32 fatalities.
The flooding has been caused by heavy rainfall in the region, but Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi, who declared Ibadan a devastated disaster area, also underlined the effect of illegal houses and structures which were constructed on water ways and river banks, blocking water channels.
“The law says you must construct your building at least 150 meters (492 feet) away from water ways. What we see now is that a lot of people are constructing not only on water ways but on the river bank,” Ajimobi was quoted as saying by the newspaper. “The water thus has no way to flow. So, the first thing is to ensure that we clear the river paths.”
Governor Ajimobi went on to warn residents to remove their structures within seven days or get them demolished by the government. “What we are saying is that all rules and regulations must not only be obeyed but must be enforced,” he stressed.
Emergency teams have been deployed in the area, as the government has already set up temporary camps with relief material for victims.
Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency, meanwhile, has forecast that the year’s rainfall will be much heavier than last year, which affected several states and around 500,000 people.
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