In Pictures: Nigeria Under Water – BBC Feature on Flooding in Nigeria Vividly Captures the Devastating Impact of the Flood on Individuals & Families

Nigeria has in recent months been hit by its worst ever case of flooding. The flood which began in early July 2012 has displaced millions from their homes and killed over 300 people. According to the National Emergency Management Agency, a total of 7.7 million people were affected by flooding during the period, of which 2.1 million were officially registered across the country as internally displaced persons.

The flooding, which was caused by the overflowing of the River Niger has greatly affected many states of the federation. To alleviate the sufferings of people displaced by the flood, billions of Naira has been allocated by the Federal Government and donated by well meaning groups and individuals.

Despite the efforts aimed at reducing the devastating impact of the flood, some parts of the country are still under water with many residents unable to live in their homes or run their businesses.

A recent BBC feature titled “In pictures: Nigeria under water” gives a more personal view of the sufferings people face as a result of the flooding. As stated on the website:

Widespread flooding across Nigeria in recent months has killed 363 people and displaced more than two million. Photographer Gideon Mendel has visited communities in the south battling to recover six weeks after their homes were flooded. He found many people’s houses in Igobeni, Bayelsa state, still waist-high with water.

Here traditional healer Joseph Edem, his wife Endurance and children Godfreedom, aged 10, and Josephine, 12, stand in front of their Igobeni house. The family says the floods were sudden. “I thought we were going to die,” says Josephine. “I don’t know where many of my friends are because water also entered their house.”

Nigerian farm worker Dalami, pictured above in Ahoada in Rivers state, says the day the floods hit more than 50 goats were drowned.

Kingsley Isiakpere and Edna Silas, who have six children, said they were sleeping when the water starting coming into their Igobeni home on 29 September. “We started packing in a rush,” says Mr Isiakpere. “[Now] my walls are spoiled, we have lost clothes, furniture and our building material to improve the house. There is no help from the government. If floods carry on like this people will run away out of this country.”

Ratmas Ebiarohon, pictured washing himself in floodwaters in Igbogeni, says the floods came “without stop”. “My whole house was covered. I am a furniture maker, and it destroyed all my equipment – my generator, my spray machine, my jigsaw. Now I am totally down. I do not know what to do. The value of what I lost is about 4.5m naira [$28,550, £17,800].”

“When the floods started coming we thought it was a joke,” says 37-year-old Godspower Kenz, pictured in his home in Igbogeni. “We never knew it would come up to this level. Most of our possessions are damaged. I have thrown away so many things. There is no work, no food, nothing for us.”

Florence Abraham, 48, says she fled with her husband and five children when the floods came. “I used to employ 26 workers in my bakery [in Igbogeni]. The floods destroyed all my equipment: My mixers, my rollers, my ovens. Everything is lost. I cannot count how many millions of naira. We have no help from anybody.”

Wisdom and Lilian Ginikawa had a small shop selling medicines on the main road nearby their house in Igbogeni. “We had to run away and leave our property,” says Mr Ginikawa. “The flood destroyed all our things and also people have come and stolen things from the house. We did not expect the flood, there was no warning. I have never seen such a flood in my life. We have no money to start afresh. We look for God, but God can’t help.”

Here a young woman strides through floodwaters on her way to church on a Sunday morning, in Igbogeni. Many areas of Bayelsa state, in the country’s oil-rich Niger Delta region, have been flooded, including Otuoke, the home village of President Goodluck Jonathan.

“My child Godstime was a year old. He was taken away by the water,” says Toinzbeze Nelson, pictured holding her daughter Destiny. “When I went to the house to try to save some things, I put my child on the bed. I turned around and he had fallen in the water.” She was living in a squalid camp of wooden houses in Yenagoa for people who left the Bakassi peninsula when it was awarded to Cameroon several years ago and has now sought refuge at a nearby school.

“We lost so many things I cannot count. Mosquitoes they bite us, we do not have enough food here,” Ms Nelson says. Other camps have been set up in Bayelsa to accommodate those displaced by the flooding. The one pictured here is called Igbogeni Camp Nine and is now home to around 500 people.


The impact of the flooding hits home, appears even more real with these pictures and accounts of these people. Most times when we read the news, all we see are figures, statistics, but these pictures have captured in a more vivid way, the sufferings people have faced as a result of the flooding. The woman who lost her child; the couple who lost their home; the woman who lost her business….

We give kudos to everyone who has donated, supported or helped alleviate the sufferings of these people in any little way. This feature serves as a reminder that there is still more to be done, more people who need help and we sincerely hope the flooding comes to an end very soon.

19 Comments on In Pictures: Nigeria Under Water – BBC Feature on Flooding in Nigeria Vividly Captures the Devastating Impact of the Flood on Individuals & Families
  • Nwosu Desmond December 7, 2012 at 2:51 am

    This is serious….I hope the govt. and other world aid bodies can come to the aid of these people as many of them may have lost all they used to own. I really wonder how a lot of these families are going to start all over again in this harsh economy of Nigeria.

    I pray God hears the cries and pleas and tough the heart of people like you and i, govt, Ngo’s, world aid bodies to assist these people to restart again, as much as they can’t possibly recover all they lost, God should console and provide again for them.

  • Princess December 7, 2012 at 3:09 am

    Nigeria… And they are building halls with millions of naira and buying house with billions. Meanwhile the citizens are dying and suffering for just two course meals, a roof over their heads, education etc. God truely needs to intervene. What annoys me the most is d fact that when Nigerians decide to fight about it, they end up killing eachother and then make it a tribal issue moving away from the main issue… Sad much!!!

    • diamond December 7, 2012 at 8:02 am

      you couldn’t have said it better.

  • iamfascinating December 7, 2012 at 3:43 am

    this really brings it home.I pray God intervenes and rebuilds their land, in Jesus name, amen.

  • R December 7, 2012 at 4:25 am

    Truly devastating

  • Ona December 7, 2012 at 5:38 am

    I really hope that this money Adenuga allegedly gave for the flood victims is used properly.I really really hope so. And what exactly is the government waiting for tho? Seriously, these camps arent safe for these young children at all!

  • Son of God December 7, 2012 at 6:16 am

    I’m such a big fan of the “in your face” journalism style of the British media…..Can’t wait to hear the response of the Nigerian govt ……

  • Ides of March December 7, 2012 at 6:19 am

    And yet our government approves billions for banquet halls and personal housing for one man. Words cannot describe the anguish i feel for the people affected

  • Olufunmi December 7, 2012 at 6:21 am

    Is not small thing ohh. May God have mercy

  • HABBA December 7, 2012 at 6:36 am

    i know some of the ladies featured on bella naija can infact single handedly help all these people but wud they? no. they would rather buy bleaching cream and stand on red carpet. BTW these people shud not be in that water. there would soon be an outbreak of disease!

  • Bimby December 7, 2012 at 8:36 am

    I’m speechless. This is sooooo SAD & PATHETIC! Oh LORD, av mercy on these people. Meet them all at the point of their needs , help comfort and console them in this trying time of theirs in Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN!

  • Okechukwu Ofili December 7, 2012 at 8:50 am


  • joe December 7, 2012 at 9:42 am

    nawa oo, and yet uncle JONA approves 2.2billion for God knows what, your asses will catch fire one by one , BODE GEORGE is being awarded leadership awards , what has his contribution be to the economy of this country, rather he stole tax payers money and still he’s been celebrated, GHANA is building the largest SOLAR PLANT come 2013, and MR DUMB SKULL(GEJ) is building a party hall for his party, and yet in his own STATE people are crying for help,how much will it cost to help this family affected, a word of advise, please give GEJ give yourself 24hours and watch this movie its called (24 BY JACK BAUER) you will have a clue how to make intelligent decisions, and what presidency is all about cos its obvious you are dumb.and pls stop wearing that CAP, it makes you look like a dumb ass.

  • Dapo Osuntuyi December 7, 2012 at 9:43 am

    saw this on too its just so sad
    GOD will help us in this country

  • ayo December 7, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Thanks Bellanija for shedding light on this issue. I think we also should be thinking of ways to help this people out of their situation. Even a small contribution of money and non-monetary contribution from BN readers could go a long way in alleviating this problem.

  • chuchusweets December 7, 2012 at 10:11 am

    meeen what is this na. until BBC gets pictures like this nobody understands the IMPACT of this floods. The Pictures are horrid and its quiet unfortunate, This country cannot handle the changes that are coming from the ever evloving climate. If snow hits us, what would we do? DEATH of millions is what we will see.(God forbid).

    I will like to help, if there is any way that we can. these people should be taken to a temporary camp before there is an outbreak of an epidemic-DOUBLE WAHALA!!!!.

  • Mum Enoch December 7, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Nigeria is a failed state! Gej is the failure of all time….. His cabinet still complaining of the food budget in the aso rock… We hear billions of naira everyday, but what is it being used for.. Jonah rot in fire please!

  • Agbaya December 7, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Its so sad GEJ can’t even help people from his own state..Even if hes being biased,at least we would know he’s doing the right thing..I wish this man could be impeached,…He’s just a figure head,powerless leader.. How would you fold your hands and watch the water destroy people and properties this way… ANPP government would have been better off than this ones that parade themselves as ‘democrats’
    What happend to the millions of Naira people and corporate bodies have donated? I tire for this country o

  • jyde December 10, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Most people have no idea whats going on for dis inside our country.
    Those that do,dont care.why sould they when our own govt is doing nothing and refuses aid.
    Dead body open mouth talk say ehn no need grave.Dats our govt.Refusing aid.
    Meanwhile flying upside down inside jet areoplane.Omo na god O.4dis nijah.
    Peope are dying daily no be small.
    Even if i chop,b4 god an man i no fit ignore nijahs plight.For millions its become a struggle to suffer.
    Dis na wetin people fight for “one nation”for civil war.See am now.
    Until e spoil finish b4 we shine eye.

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