Flood disaster has become a consistent natural disaster in many parts of the world. However, Nigeria and the United States appear to be one of the prominent countries worst hit by the devastating flooding challenges.
In this piece, Legit.ng highlights major striking similarities between the flooding experiences in Nigeria and the US.
1. History of flooding experience
- Nigeria experienced a very devastating flood disaster in 2012 when two million Nigerians were displaced and 363 died.
- In 2015, floods displaced 100,000 and led to 53 deaths
- In 2016, 92,000 were displaced 38 died
- In 2017, floods affected 250,000
- In 2018, the flooding has already wrecked some havoc and Nigerians are afraid that in October 2018, it could be as bad as or worse than it was in 2012.
The United States
- Hurricane Katrina killed about 1,800 in 2005
- Super Storm Sandy killed 147 in 2012
- Hurricane Harvey killed 106 in 2017
- Hurricane Maria killed 3,057 in 2017
- Hurricane Florence killed 48 in 2018
2. Loss of human lives and property destruction
In both countries, flooding has caused serious property destruction and damage to the economy.
3. Government’s handling of the disaster
There has been widespread criticism of Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
For instance, the poor response of NEMA to the 2012 flood appears to have politically damaged President Goodluck Jonathan, while the US federal government’s poor response to Hurricane Katrina did the same to President George W. Bush.
In addition, there are media reports that President Donald Trump was concerned about criticism of his administration in the aftermath of Puerto Rico’s Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Florence, where most of the damage was in North Carolina.
4. Major causes of flooding
In the US, the flooding has been the direct result of hurricanes, while in Nigeria, the flooding is associated with heavy rains that cause the Niger and Benue rivers and their tributaries to overflow and in the Niger Delta, sea surges. This is also similar to what happened in North Carolina in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.
Summarily, the major cause of flooding in both countries, although not much talked about, is the impact of climate change.
In the US, hurricanes appear to be more frequent and more severe. In parts of Nigeria, rains are notably heavier, and the sea level in the Gulf of Guinea is rising.
In other parts of Nigeria, rainfall is diminishing and the Sahara is advancing.
There is little consensus in the US about how to respond to climate change, and the Trump administration withdrew from the Paris treaty that set limits on the emissions of greenhouse gases and provided for other measures designed to ameliorate climate change, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) stated.
President Muhammadu Buhari, in different international gatherings, has also brought the attention of world leaders to the issue of climate change and the country’s readiness to partner with other countries in addressing it.
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