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Nearly 200 dead, including 9-year-old girl, from flooding in Nigeria

Seasonal flooding in Nigeria has claimed the lives of nearly 200 people since August, and the devastation is expected to get worse. (PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)

Water levels continue to rise in Nigeria along with the death toll, after weeks of flooding have devastated the country and killed nearly 200 people, including a 9-year-old who was swept away while fetching water.

What are the details?

According to The Guardian, Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency reported Thursday that 199 people have died since the Niger and Benue rivers burst their banks in late August due to torrential rains. Another 1,000 people have been injured.

Nigerian media outlet Vanguard reported on Wednesday that one of those killed was a 9-year-old girl, Benedict Uzo, who became caught up in the rushing floodwaters while trying to fill a bucket.

NEMA estimates that more than 800,000 people have been impacted, with over 280,000 left homeless. Four of Nigeria's 36 states have been declared national disaster areas, and authorities expect things to get worse before they get better. Another eight states have been placed on red alert.

Bloomberg cited an alert by the country's hydrological services agency warning that this year's flooding could reach the devastation of Nigeria's 2012 event, which left 363 killed and 2.2 million people displaced.

Nigeria's agriculture industry has been rocked by the disaster, too, with farmers losing close to an estimated 200,000 metric tons of unharvested rice. About 371,000 acres of production land has been destroyed.

Secretary-general of the Nigerian Red Cross, Abubakar Kende told The Guardian that in addition to economic impact from crop and livestock losses, "One of our biggest concerns following extensive floods like this is the threat of cholera and other diseases."

Already this year, Kende said, nearly 28,000 cases of cholera have been reported across the country.

Anything else?

NEMA points out that "floods have become a perennial challenge with increasing intensity each year, leaving colossal losses and trauma."

According to the BBC, the flooding issue in Nigeria isn't just attributed to heavy seasonal rains — inadequate drainage systems, bloated dams and poor urban planning are also perennial factors.

CNN reported that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved $8.2 million "for the procurement of medical and relief materials to meet the needs of victims of the flooding."

Brandon Walson, an incident coordinator for NEMA told CNN, "In some communities, people are trapped and we are trying to make arrangements to evacuate them."

One last thing…
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