[Image source: BBC]
The coverage of the flood has focused on the immediate impacts including the unfortunate loss of lives and the destruction of property. According to the Federal Government, the floods have fully or partially destroyed over 200,000 houses. But more than the immediate impacts of loss and displacement, floods have social, economic and environmental consequences that outlast them. So, here’s a look at the long-term worries that come as a package deal with these floods.
Food scarcity and inflation
Nigeria’s 2022 flooding crisis has caused the partial or total destruction of 440,719 hectares of farmland across the country. The disaster has visited key agricultural production areas like Benue State. The effect of flooding in these areas will almost certainly impact food production and lead to a shortage. When that happens, inflation is never far behind. Unfortunately, Nigerians already suffer enough from food inflation.
[Image source: NLNG]
Nigeria’s flooding crisis is also going to have a long-term effect on the supply and prices of gas. The floods have forced the shutdown of gas production in affected areas.
The Nigeria Liquefied and Natural Gas (NLNG), the company responsible for Nigeria’s gas exports has already declared a force majeure which is contractual jargon for, “This thing don pass us. Anything you see, take it like that.”
Nigeria was already facing a gas supply crisis due to oil theft, and now the disruption caused by the floods will make it even more difficult to earn our daily $2k in the global market.
The spread of diseases
Floods create the perfect environment for water-borne diseases like cholera, diarrhoea and typhoid to spread. This is another post-crisis issue that can trouble Nigeria’s already fragile health sector.
[Image source: IOM]
The 2022 floods have already displaced over 1.3 million people from their homes. These people are currently homeless and are now at the mercy of loved ones, kind strangers or the people who hide palliatives.
Many Nigerians who are residents of internally displaced persons (IDP) camps are already complaining of neglect. Depending on the level of the devastation suffered, it’ll take a long time for many of these Nigerians to get back on their feet.
More than losing homes, some Nigerians are losing their businesses to the floods. Some of these businesses will take a minute to resume operations after the water recedes, while some may never even reopen. It’s not the best situation for a country already dealing with record levels of unemployment.
[Image source: BBC]
Flooding can contaminate clean water bodies, and damage roads and other critical infrastructures like electricity poles and transformers that’ll take the Nigerian government ages — and inflated contracts — to repair.
Disruption of education
Education is one of Nigeria’s important sectors that critically needs a boost. But flooding further complicates the sector’s progress. Many state governments in Nigeria regularly use schools as temporary shelters in emergencies like floods, which further disrupts students’ education.
Flooding is a traumatic event. Some of the millions of Nigerians affected by the floods are bound to feel the weight of the devastating losses suffered in the blink of an eye. It’s important that the government provides social support to victims of floods.