Designed by me
In case you don’t know, Nigeria is currently experiencing the worse flooding in its history, the last time a flood like this happened was 10 years ago in 2012 and this one surpasses that one by a mile.
The cause of this flood hasn’t exactly been shared but there is some speculation that it is due to a dam opened in Cameroon, while some say it is due to rainfall; I definitely do not believe that it is rainfall.
Now, while a lot of states are being affected in my country, I will be focusing on my state “Bayelsa” because well, I am closer to it and it is easier to share facts and my experience that way.
I titled this article the experience, losses, and aftermath because I personally will like to break it down for those who aren't in Nigeria or those who are here but do not understand the magnitude of this.
I feel like a lot of people have no clue what is happening here and our media/government isn't helping or aiding.
About a month plus ago, we started hearing that there will be flooding, I live in the southern part of Nigeria which is surrounded by water so this was a concern to us.
Regardless of these “rumors”, the government did nothing to combat it and we weren't even given an official warning or statement which might have helped a lot.
A few weeks ago, we noticed the water rising around my house, and a few other places, most speculated that it was rainfall, and we hoped it was but in three days, we realized that the water in the streets was getting to “lap level” and this was definitely not rainfall or normal.
With this realization, we started packing and raising what we could up, the goal was to raise it higher than the “2012 flood level” because no one expected it to surpass that; in case you don't know, 2012 was literally knee level inside my home.
After doing this, we decided to spread ourselves, my mother went to my brother and the rest went to other siblings.
At this point, it wasn't alarming to anyone in my state because it hadn't affected a lot of people; most still tagged it “rain”.
About a few days after, it got worse very fast, roads were being separated, houses that hadn't been affected by the flood ever were affected and we were cut off from the rest of Nigeria; we still are unless you plan on canoeing which isn't safe or practical.
Being cut off meant no food, no fuel, and all these meant panic and price hikes; fuel from 185 naira jumped to 500 naira, rice from 25000 naira went to 60000 naira, and everything else went incredibly high.
What was done? Well nothing, the government shared a cup of rice in most places which wouldn't have helped anyone, especially those who had lost their homes.
Back to me: I had moved to my sisters at this point hoping to be “safe” but the water apparently decided that being homeless twice sounded fun and it affected my sisters too which affected me; crazy stuff.
Moving on to the loss because if I keep talking about the experience, I wouldn't stop.
The first loss is the loss of lives, there has been a lot of death from children to adults; some slept and fell into the water while others, didn't have anywhere to go and ended up dead.
A lot of deaths have been recorded and this truly breaks my heart because most of these people had to die because of carelessness and lack of planning.
The second loss is properties, my mother hearing that the water was higher than 10 years ago went back to my home using a boat and we realized that well, it was way higher and all the things we raised were affected; right now all I have is what I took out and this can be said for the whole state.
Lastly, loss of business/investments, recently someone lost over 3500 chickens which amounts to millions and this isn't the only person who has, I can't even imagine how people are dealing with this right now.
I don't exactly know what will come after but surely hardship, pain, and diseases; most of us have lost everything, most have lost family, and since we have corpses amongst other things floating in the water that we have to move around in, there will surely be diseases
Also, with people having no choice but to eat dead chickens and being exposed to mosquitoes, I suppose there will be an outbreak of malaria and birdflu; I already feel sick.
I haven't wanted to write this post because thinking about it breaks my heart but awareness is needed and a lot of people need to know what is happening especially since the government isn't helping.
A group of people who I am friends with are trying to help those in the streets and it is amazing how they are doing that without aid from our government.
Also, I do know people in Nigeria who don't know how bad this is so I hope this post gives you light into our lives right now.
All photos were either taken by me or sent to me by my friends.