Severe floods displace 600,000 people in Nigeria

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Severe flooding in central north Nigeria's Kogi State has displaced more about 600,000 people, a top government official said Monday.

The number of resettlement camps for the victims had also risen from the initial nine to 87, State Commissioner for Environment Abdulrahaman Wuya told reporters in Lokoja, the state capital.

The camps were mostly public primary and secondary schools and some health centers, Wuya said, adding that the flood affected 457 communities across nine local government areas.

He said government had set up medical stands in the camps while the referral center had been directed to complement the medical stands in the town because of the high number of displaced people.

Wuya said a committee had been set up to evolve measures of addressing all sectors affected by the floods.

According to him, education, agriculture, health and roads are some of the sectors already identified to have been badly affected.

He said government had in the interim decided to merge 87 public primary and secondary schools currently being used as resettlement camps with nearby government schools.

The commissioner said children could not continue to stay at home until the first week of December when experts said the water would finally recede.

Wuya expressed regrets that communities ravaged by the flood were the food basket of the state, saying that the situation constituted a threat to food security and health of the people.

He said government was thinking of how it could assist farmers in the remaining 12 Local Government areas not affected by the flood to expand their farmlands, using mechanized farming techniques.

Apart from this, he said government also planned to provide the farmers with improved seeds and high yielding seedlings to boost production.

At least 18 of the country's 38 states have been affected by floods caused by torrential downpours in recent weeks and concern is growing about the spread of waterborne diseases such as cholera.

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