Flooding in central Nigeria leaves at least 35 dead

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Much of the country has been affected by heavy seasonal rainfall, including Jos in the centre of the country and the economic capital Lagos in the south, where flooding has caused several road closures and other damage.

The downpour in Jos began at roughly 9:00 pm (2000 GMT) Sunday when many of the city’s residents were at home for the night.

“I have lost seven of my children in this disaster,” said Alhaji Abdulhamid Useini, who described heavy rain pounding his neighbourhood for nearly three hours, which also swept away some of his livestock.

The rainy season typically runs from March to September.

Last week, at least three people were killed by flood waters some 150 kilometres (90 miles) north of Lagos in Ibadan, an area where 102 people died following torrential rains last year.

Nigerian papers have in recent weeks been filled with commentary criticising officials for failing to put in place measures to mitigate the impact of the annual, often severe floods.

The largest cities in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, are overcrowded, with many residents living in haphazardly constructed slums.

Drainage systems are also often poorly maintained and contribute to the problem of floods.

In 2010, flooding affected roughly half a million people in two-thirds of Nigeria’s 36 states.

 

In : Lagos

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