Nigeria has declared a state of emergency after two major rivers burst their banks, killing more than 100 people and forcing thousands more from their homes in the past fortnight.
The declaration by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) paves the way for more aggressive measures to be taken to handle the crisis which has hit communities in 12 of Nigeria’s 36 states.
Nema director Mustapha Yunusa Maihaja called the situation “alarming and devastating”.
The floods are the worst to hit Nigeria in six years. The destruction is huge, the death toll is high and survivors are struggling to cope.
Some of the victims were killed by collapsed buildings while others were swept away by flood waters.
The declaration of a national disaster means the government could trigger the immediate deployment of all available resources and personnel, including the security forces, to deal with the floods.
The authorities say as Nigeria continues to witness heavy rains and the rivers continue to swell, more floods are expected, raising fears of more destruction.