Flooding in Nigeria Impacts Millions

by Oluchi Achi Uzodimma, 2022 Goldin Global Fellow, Nigeria

Nigeria experienced its worst flooding in a decade this October, resulting in the deaths of at least 600 people. More than 2 million people and 200,000 homes have been affected by the severe floods, according to Nigeria’s humanitarian affairs ministry.

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Communities along the River Niger and River Benue have been particularly impacted as water levels rose up to 13 metres, with homes and public buildings inundated. The floods have had wide-ranging effects –from food insecurity to fuel shortages.

Flood menace in Nigeria has become a normal and re-occurring phenomenon which can have devastating impacts on human livelihoods and infrastructural development. Causes of this problem are both local and global; local factors include population density , poor governance, poor drainage facilities and decaying infrastructures and lack of proper environmental planning and management strategies.

On a global scale, climate change and environmental catastrophes, as well as unsustainable human and technological endeavors, have accelerated and amplified the rate of such disasters. The consequences of which see the spread of diseases, loss of thousands of lives from various parts of the country, and properties and homes destroyed.

The floods wrecked and are still wrecking a Farmland which is estimated at $20 million; what is easily Nigeria’s largest private farming enterprise. We are not even talking about the damage to small-farm holders whose livelihoods have also been washed away. Individuals traveling from Lagos to Abuja, a journey which ordinarily takes 10 hours (even at the worst of time) took several days with many people becoming stuck on the road in various ways.

That was only one of the many tales of misery from the current floods. My friends and relatives were also affected by this disaster. My biggest concern is for the children I work with. Their community was equally affected. Some of them lost their parents in the process. The flood separated families. It was like the biblical red sea that got separated into two. Crossing over was a challenge leaving them with no option than to remain where they are.

The floods have severely impacted these children's lives; they are unable to stay in school, their parents have lost their means of livelihood, and their community has no access to good food and other basic necessities.

I regard this as an environmental and emotional trauma.

My team and I have done the little we can to help them out. These children need shelter, clothing, food and education. I wish that the flood will come to an end and normalcy begins.


Goldin Institute grassroots social change

Fall 2014 Newsletter

It has been several weeks since we've given you an update on what we have been up to. Locally and abroad, much is moving forward and we are excited to share this newsletter with you!

Watch a brief video overview of this newsletter: 

Philippines

As usual, there is much activity and progress in the Philippines. Access to safe drinking water continues to be a priority for our Global Associate Dr. Susana Anayatin as she and her team install safe water wells in the Mindanao region. We are excited about their progress and would like to share with you our new interactive map which illustrates completed and planned projects. Click on each completed project to get a snapshot of the many individuals who now have access to safe-water. This map dynamically changes as Susana and her team update the data and make plans to service new schools.

  The Goldin Institute Philippines have provided safe drinking water to over 24,000 students throughout Mindanao.  

As in many countries, one step forward can be met with many challenges to our progress. Recently, Cotabato City and the Maguindanao Province experienced severe storms that resulted in flooding. Over 15 villages are under-water and schools are faced with adversity as books, classrooms and facilities are damaged. Despite the flooding and difficult learning environment, students are motivated to learn and teachers are able to work around the challenges and teach strategically. To help provide direct support to the flooded region, please click here. All donations in the month of September will be dedicated to flood relief and are fully tax-deductible.

In addition to flood relief, Dr. Anayatin and her team remain focused on safe drinking water access and are motivated to keep the community united.On Sept. 12, 2014, J. Marquez Elementary School in partnership with the Department of Education, the Philippine Army and the Goldin Institute Philippines launched the Peace Consciousness Month and International Day of Peace with the theme "Nagkakaisang Bayan para sa Kapayapaan," translated to United People for Peace. The activity symbolically paralleled the recent peace process occurring between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Philippine Government. The activity promoted peace amidst a diverse student population and the Mindanao community. Students were instilled with the value of peace by engaging in various activities such as a peace poster contest and a peace jingle contest.

 

Go Grassroots!

Goldin Institute is excited to announce GoGrassroots, a Tumblr site created as an online forum for those working at the grassroots level. The site supports grassroots movements across the globe. Regardless of their involvement with the Goldin Institute, organizations are able to share ideas, peer review each other's work and learn from each other as grassroots movements continue to positively impact communities in need. Take a look at the site to learn about innovative grassroots work and the skilled leaders who are directing the initiatives.

gograssroots teaser

One innovative leader you may have recently seen on GoGrassroots is Brian Concannon, Executive Director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. The Goldin Institute partnered with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs to host a discussion featuring Brian and Fran Quigley, author of the new book How Human Rights Can Build Haiti. A key message Brian conveyed during the event was that effective change in Haiti begins with the work of those struggling within the country.

 

[quote]Invest from the bottom-up; those experiencing Haiti on the ground are the voices that know what is needed to help themselves and the country."[/quote]

- Brian Concannon, human rights attorney

 

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GoGrassroots was the brainchild of our intern Alexis Smyser. Alexis has recently completed her 10-month internship with the Goldin Institute. Please join us in congratulating her on a successful completion of her internship. We thank Alexis for all the good work she has done for the Goldin Institute and wish her well on her next endeavor!

 

Co-founder Diane Goldin and Advisory Board member Mimi Frankel at the Chicago Council for Global Affairs

Next Newsletter

Keep an eye out for our next newsletter where we will highlight the continued work of the National Platform in Uganda.

As always, if you have suggestions of individuals who may want to receive this e-newsletter or stories you think we should tell, contact us at news@goldininstitute.org.