TimeTestedNews ||Cholera: FG warns of high-risk during flooding, incessant rainfalls

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The Federal Government has warned that the increasing level of flooding and continuous rainfall may worsen the spread of cholera in the country.

The Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation Joseph Terlumum raised the concern while addressing a press conference on Thursday.

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According to him, a total of 63 deaths and 2,102 suspected cases have already been recorded as of Wednesday, July 3, 2024, since the outbreak of the epidemic.

Recent incessant rains have resulted in floods in some states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), a situation that prompted the minister to call on governments across the country to intensify efforts in clearing drainages.

He said, “We are calling on states and local government councils, to intensify and step up efforts to avert flood-related disasters in their domains as we approach the peak of the flooding season.

“At the national, some states have started experiencing some level of flooding and its associated disaster as of April this year. So far, more than three states such as FCT have experienced high levels of flooding, with several casualties recorded, including displacement of people and loss of properties.”

According to the minister, there has been no release of water yet from any of the dams within and outside Nigeria.

For Kainji and Jebba Dams on River Niger, he said water is still impounded into their reservoirs.

He said river flooding is expected beginning this month, and states likely to be impacted are; Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Adamawa, Benue, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Jigawa, Kogi, Kebbi, Kaduna, Niger, Nasarawa, Ondo, Ogun, Rivers, Taraba and the FCT.

“Clearing of blocked drainage systems and canals, replications of people living along waterways and states and local governments, are encouraged to desilt river channels and canals in their respective constituents, to collect runoff water is part of the recommendation file for flood motifs,” he advised.

His call came days after the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Jide Idris confirmed that the death toll from the rampaging cholera outbreak had risen to 63, and 2,102 suspected cases.

He said cases have now been recorded across 122 local government areas in 33 states of the country’s 36 and the FCT.

Idris added that about 90 per cent of the cases were recorded in 10 states with seven of them in the southern region.

“Of the top 10 states, Lagos, Bayelsa, Abia, Zamfara, Bauchi, Katsina, Cross River, Ebonyi, Rivers, and Delta that contribute about 90 per cent of the cases, seven of them are southern states,” Mr Idris said.

He attributed the outbreak to the ingestion of contaminated food and water, even as he expressed the country’s capacity to curtail further spread despite the challenges posed by the culture of open defecation.