Devastating floods in Nigeria have put the lives of more than 1.5 million children at risk, UNICEF warned Friday.
“Children and adolescents in flood-affected areas are in an extremely vulnerable situation,” Cristian Munduate, UNICEF representative in Nigeria, said in a statement.
She said children face the risk of contracting waterborne diseases and emotional and psychological distress.
Nigeria has witnessed the most severe flooding in the past decade, affecting 34 out of the 36 states in the West Africa country. Some 1.3 million people have already been displaced.
Cases of diarrhoea, cholera, respiratory infections, and skin ailments are also on the rise.
“In the north-eastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe alone, a total of 7,485 cases of cholera and 319 associated deaths were reported as of 12 October,’’ the statement said.
According to local media reports, more than 600 people have lost their lives and over 200,000 houses have been damaged.
UNICEF says the current floods are adding another layer of complexity to an already precarious humanitarian situation in Nigeria where cases of malnutrition are high.
The agency says it needs additional funding and resources to respond to growing needs and to sustain ongoing humanitarian interventions, with a focus on the most vulnerable, including children with disabilities.