Floods Kill 600 in Nigeria, Displace 1.3 Million

Oct 19, 2022

More than 600 people are dead and 1.3 million are now homeless in Nigeria because of flooding. It’s the worst for the country in 10 years, officials said. 

The floods have covered 1,300 square miles, much of it farmland. That's raising fears that the nation’s food supply problems will worsen. Much of Nigeria's farming takes place in the country's center and northwest. Those areas have seen conflict. That conflict has already threatened food production.   

The effects don’t stop at Nigeria’s borders. Nigeria LNG Limited is a major natural gas company. It has declared “force majeure” because of the flooding. That means the exporter can't fulfill its contracts with other countries. Because Russia shut off gas to western Europe, those nations have looked for gas elsewhere. Nigeria has been one of the alternate sources. 

Flooding is a yearly problem in Africa’s most populous country. Heavy rains struck Nigeria harder this year. Officials also blame the floods on water released from Cameroon’s Lagdo Dam. Cameroon is a country that neighbors Nigeria. Its Lagdo Dam has operated since the 1980s. The dam floods Nigerian communities every time water is released. 

Nigeria planned to construct a second dam to contain the excess flow. That never happened. 

A United Nations official pointed to another cause for the floods. “Climate change is real, as we are yet again discovering in Nigeria,” he said.

Mohammed Sani Gambo was one of the lucky ones. He has a two-story house. His family escaped to the top floor as the waters rose. 

"When the water first started rising we thought it wouldn't be this serious," Gambo told the BBC. "but by the next day, the whole place was flooded.” 

Photo from Reuters.

Which of the following was not cited by the article as a likely cause of flooding in Nigeria? (Common Core RI.5.1; RI.6.1)
a. climate change
b. heavy rains
c. rising sea levels
d. water released from a dam
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