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2 million people displaced by flooding in Nigeria

Half of the state of Jigawa have been displaced after authorities opened two swollen dams.

THE NIGERIAN AUTHORITIES opened the gates of two dams today, after swelling caused by strong seasonal rains, leading to about 2 million people being displaced.

Water from the Challawa and Tiga dams tore through rural Jigawa state, forcing about half the population to flee their homes.

The authorities opened the flood gates on two rivers after noticing the dams were filled too high.

Umar Kyari, a spokesman for the state governor told Associated Press: “They released water indiscriminately… that’s what why the water flows.”

“When the rains became too much they realised the water was too much and opened the dams,” he said.

Aminu Mohammed, state information commissioner, said that displaced families were being brought to rural schoolhouses and other government buildings out of the reach of the floodwaters.

“The flood has washed away all the farms and houses,” Mohammed said.

As much as 222,400 acres of farmland – including food and livestock – have been washed away. The estimated cost of the damage is €22m.