northwestern Nigeria flood victims faced shortages of food and shelter

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SABONGARIN DOLE, Nigeria — Thousands of people from more than 30 flooded villages in northwestern Nigeria faced shortages of food and shelter on Wednesday, with fears building of disease outbreaks.

Officials in Sokoto state said more than 130,000 people had been displaced by flooding three weeks ago when a spillway from the Goronyo dam burst from heavy rains, sweeping through the villages.

Spillways are designed to absorb the controlled release of water from dams.

Dozens of displaced camps have sprung up in the Goronyo district, where most schools have been turned into shelters for displaced communities, Yusuf Muhammad, a teacher in Goronyo, told AFP.

Aid workers from Doctors Without Borders have set up clinics in three camps to help displaced residents.

Doctors there were treating malaria and infections and they were concerned too about cholera outbreaks due to a lack of clean water.

“The displaced camps are spread all over the Goronyo district and have little access to food, water and latrines,” Gautam Chatterjee of the French aid organisation told AFP in a camp in a school in Goronyo.

Large areas of the north of Africa’s most populous nation have been hit by flooding in recent weeks, displacing scores of people and destroying huge swathes of farmland.

In Jigawa state, officials say two dams opened last month caused flooding that affected some two million people, with 50,000 families homeless.

Deadly cholera outbreaks have already hit parts of Nigeria’s north this rainy season.

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