Flooding across Nigeria has killed at least 148 people and displaced more than 64,000, the Red Cross said Tuesday, warning of an increased risk that water-borne diseases like cholera could spread. Local officials in two northern states have previously reported at least 135 cases of cholera linked to heavy downpour during the rainy season.
The Red Cross said residents in 18 of Nigeria's 36 states have been affected by seasonal flooding and announced the launch of an emergency funding appeal to procure needed relief materials including temporary shelter.
"The situation is likely to become even more dire if nothing is done, with weather forecasts predicting that the rains will continue," said the Red Cross' West Africa chief, Daniel Sayi, in a statement.The latest flood figures mark an uptick from the September 10 toll provided by the Red Cross, when the organisation reported 137 deaths and more than 35,000 displaced.
Cholera, an intestinal infection, is transmitted by water soiled by human waste. The disease leads to diarrhoea, dehydration and death if untreated.More than 200 deaths from the water-borne infection were recorded during Nigeria's seasonal downpours last year.
The rainy season in Nigeria, Africa's most populous country with about 160 million people, runs roughly from March to September.