By Franca Ofili
The Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS) is soliciting support from well-meaning Nigerians to raise 13 million Swiss Francs emergency fund to address flooding in Nigeria.
Mr Abubakar Kende, Secretary-General, NRCS made the call in Abuja on Thursday at a news briefing.
Kende, represented by Mr Benson Agbro, the Director of Disaster Management of the society, said that the flooding had resulted in more than 600 fatalities and left 2,400 people with injuries across the country.
“Barely 10 days ago, the NRCS inaugurated an emergency appeal in order to raise 13 million Swiss Francs which will be used to support up to 500,000 people.
“Also, to focus on the provision of healthcare, water, sanitation, hygiene promotion, search and rescue.
“Rapid NEEDS assessments, deploy emergency first aid teams and many more,” he said.
According to him, when the funds are gotten, NRCS will use it to scale up these activities across the 37 branches of our organisation.
He said that the society had mobilised more than 10,000 volunteers and 514 staff who were actively supporting State Emergency Management Agencies in evacuation, camp management, and relief activities.
Kende said that the society had gotten a few promises of assistance, saying that the task before them were huge and needed the help to achieve its goals.
He said that the floods had triggered a cholera outbreak in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Kende said that according to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), an unusually heavy rainfall in 29 of Nigeria’s 36 states had resulted in massive flooding.
According to him, the report showed that the flood has displaced more than 1.4 million people and affected more than 2.5 million people.
Kende said that the floods are damaging homes, infrastructure, farmlands and displacing people from their communities.
According to him, it has also caused the lack of access to proper sanitation, hygiene facilities and the contamination of water are likely to further increase the spread of cholera and other waterborne diseases.
He said that the latest reports confirmed that at least 2.8 million people had been affected, 612 lives lost, and more than 2,500 people had been injured.
The secretary -general revealed that two million people had fled or were evacuated from high-risk areas, carrying only the belongings they could take with them.
According to him, the society is managing several IDP camps, providing displaced persons with practical and actionable instructions that they can use to seek better health outcomes and mitigate the effects of the flooding.
“We are also carrying out awareness creation in all our 37 branches, we have carried out Relief activities including evacuation of affected persons to safer grounds, awareness activities on water, sanitation and hygiene practices.
“We have activated emergency first aid teams which have been deployed in Cross River, Jigawa and Kebbi states and so many,” he said.
“We will like to appeal to the general public and private sector to kindly donate resources in order to aid the society address flood disaster effort and alleviate the massive human suffering,” he said. (NAN)(www.nanews.ng)
Edited by AbdulFatai Beki/Ese E. Eniola Williams