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Nigerian displaced communities prepare for rains as first storms raze hundreds of homes

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Zaynab stands next to the remnants of her home she used to share with her six children before it was destroyed by early season rainstorms that brought strong winds and rain to north-east Nigeria.

“I was in the market in the afternoon when the storm came but my six children were inside the house,” said Zaynab as she prepares a meal to break the Ramadan fast. “We lost everything except for a mattress we found across the camp and a few cooking pots.”

As of today (24/05), 395 shelters in camps and camp-like settings in Borno State, including Zaynab’s, have been damaged or destroyed since heavy rains began at the end of April. A total of 41 camps hosting more than 300,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been classified as prone to flooding; some in hard-to-reach areas like Monguno, Konduga, Bama and others.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Nigeria will respond to the needs of displaced populations through a multi-sectoral rainy season emergency response plan. The Organization will prioritize its interventions toward households with children under five, pregnant women, elderly people and single female households.

IOM teams are being deployed to repair or strengthen shelters in case of flooding, sensitize people to flood risks and conduct shelter and infrastructure maintenance. Other small-scale community-driven mitigation measures include waste management in camps and building or repairing drainage canals.

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Zaynab hails from a farming family from Guduf Nagadio in Borno State, the epicentre of ongoing conflict between Nigerian forces and non-state armed groups. Her husband was killed by armed men as they tried to escape violence three years ago. Since then, her family has resided in an IDP camp in Borno State, home to nearly 1.5 million IDPs.

Storms earlier this month displaced Zaynab’s family yet again. IOM’s Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) team have subsequently relocated them and other families to temporary shelters in the nearby town of Gwoza.

Borno State is affected by strong winds, storms and flooding on an annual basis. Yearly rains often ravage shelters where IDPs live, and cause blockage of water circulation pathways and drainage systems.

CCCM teams have constructed water pumps in the affected displacement sites where water ways or drainage systems are non-existent. Sand bags have been used in flood-prone areas to divert water from flowing into shelters or pathways.

“Preventive measures are key,” said Nadia Tithi, IOM Nigeria Shelter Programme Manager. “Urgent needs remain, and this year, we’re reinforcing more than 3,000 emergency shelters before the strongest rains hit,” she added.

Staff are also repairing structures where IDPs live and distributing nearly 4,000 emergency shelter kits throughout Borno and Adamawa States. The kits serve as a contingency measure and in some cases, have already been distributed to affected households.

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With seasonal heavy rains come an increased risk of disease outbreak, particularly cholera, in north-east Nigeria. During the last rainy season in late 2018, the area saw nearly 100 cholera-related deaths. As part of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme, IOM is conducting intensive door-to-door hygiene promotion and awareness raising campaigns to prevent the spread of cholera in communities.

IOM Nigeria’s rainy season emergency preparedness is supported by the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance, the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Nigerian Humanitarian Fund. This support enables IOM to attend to the most acute needs of displaced populations. IOM is appealing for further funds to ensure a holistic response to the multi-sectoral preparedness needs in north-east Nigeria.

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NIGERIA: Governors Arrive Abuja For NGF Meeting

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Governors from different parts of the country have arrived at the  Nigeria Governors’ Forum secretariat in Abuja for a meeting.

During the meeting, as reliably gathered,  the governors are expected to discuss the agenda for the next Federal Executive Council meeting and Local Government Funding, among other issues.

In attendance is the chairman of the forum and the Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, his deputy and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal.

Others are Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom; Anambra State Governor Willie Obiano; Jigawa State Governor Abubakar Badaru;  Akwa Ibom Udom Emmanuel; Delta State Ifeanyi Okowa; Adamawa Umaru Fintiri

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Makinde lauds IUFMP initiative , promises to end flooding in Oyo

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Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state has expressed the readiness of his government to take proactive measures that would help put an end to flooding in the State.

Governor Makinde, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Olubamiwo Adeosun, made the pledge at the closing ceremony of the workshop on Ibadan flood forecast, early warning and implementation support programme held in the state capital, on Wednesday.

The Governor assured that his government would readily support the implementation of the Ibadan Urban Flood Management and other ongoing intervention projects in the state.

Contained in a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the Governor, commended the IUFMP on the flood forecast initiative, which he said: “will furnish our people with prior alerts about impending flood disasters”.

He stressed  that it was that a scientific initiative that would alert the people of the possibility of a looming flood disaster was being launched.

Governor Makinde, also described the Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project (lUFMP) as a people-oriented project set up to change the narrative of incessant and ravaging flood disasters, adding that the project was in consonance with his campaign promises.

The statement added that the Governor had at earlier meetings with the IUFMP team given assurances that Government would take necessary steps to protect the people while charging that the stakeholders on the project to ensure that all hands were on deck to achieve the effective implementation of the initiative.

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“Beyond building bridges, culverts, drain lines, and access roads which are on their own crucial towards ensuring the good life, we as a government also have a duty to give full support to the implementation of the IUFMP initiative that will furnish our people with prior alerts about impending flood disasters.

“This will enable our people to take proactive steps for the preservation of lives and properties. This is a step in the right direction and it will continue to enjoy maximum support of the State Government.

“It is pertinent that we are able to x-ray the factors that can ultimately protect our people from vulnerability to flooding, through adequate knowledge building and information flow on impending flooding and looming dangers. Such information, readily disseminated well ahead of time will save lives.
“I have been told that this workshop, which started yesterday is a two-day programme aimed at sensitising State officials, key stakeholder-agencies and representatives of communities situated along with flood-prone areas, while also informing high-level office-holders about the project,” the Governor said.
Governor Makinde further stated that the State would be expecting value for its investment in the project, which he noted should be in terms of “immediate gains in the area of safety of lives and properties, as well as measurable capacity building for our homegrown technocrats and public servants who would be required to sustain the initiative, post-IUFMP.”

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Governor Makinde, however called on the operators of the project to ensure that the advantages of the project were transferred to other communities in the state through a form of knowledge transfer.

“As I have assured officials of the IUFMP before now, our government will continue to provide enabling environment for the success of other intervention works being carried out at different locations/communities within Ibadan. We expect that all such projects are delivered on schedule to enable our people reap the benefits,” the Governor submitted.

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Terrorists Kill Five Soldiers In Mali

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No fewer than five troops were killed in central Mali on Wednesday when their convoy was ambushed by jihadists, the armed forces confirmed.

The army on its Twitter feed said that the attack occurred on a road between the villages of Boni and Hombori.

“FAMA (the Malian armed forces) suffered five dead. Equipment was also destroyed,” it said.

A local official said gunfire was heard and another said “the jihadists… burned at least two military vehicles. At least two soldiers were also wounded.”

Northern Mali fell into the hands of jihadists in 2012 before the rebels were forced out by a French-led military intervention.

However, much of the region remains chronically unstable and since 2015 violence has spread to the centre of the country.

AFP

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