Editor’s note: Organizations continue to assess the damage and impact of the ongoing Nigeria floods. We’ll update this story with additional Nigeria-based relief groups on the ground when more ways to help become available.
Over 1.4 million people have been displaced, more than 90,000 homes have been destroyed, and about 500 people have died in some of the worst flooding Nigeria has seen in a decade.
Since mid-September, the flooding — driven by rainfall intensified by human-induced climate change and poor climate resilience infrastructure — has washed away entire communities and destroyed thousands of hectares of farmland.
Nigeria was already facing multiple humanitarian crises: violence from the militant Islamist group, Boko Haram; outbreaks of disease including cholera; and critical levels of malnutrition. Now, climate change is exacerbating the situation and putting even more people at risk.
Nigeria is responsible for less than 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions — a minuscule proportion when you consider that the richest 10% of the world’s population are responsible for over half of carbon emissions. By 2030, it is estimated that up to 118 million extremely poor people — living on less than $1.90 a day — will be exposed to drought, floods, and extreme heat in Africa.
Wealthier nations — which have contributed the most to climate change — need to step up and support African countries in adapting to and planning for climate change, as well as paying for the loss and damage it’s already incurred. Are they doing it? The short answer is: no.
Wealthier countries must also take the lead in providing resources for the loss and damages already incurred by the poorest and most vulnerable communities around the world because of climate change. To do so, they must work with communities on the front lines around the world to assess the costs of the “loss and damages” they have already endured, and continue to experience, and ensure a transparent and equitable mechanism is established to disburse this funding. Resources provided for loss and damage must be new and additional to the $100 billion a year pledge for climate finance.
Ahead of November’s COP27 in Egypt, climate activists, such as Adenike Titilope Oladosu, are intensifying the call for climate finance to address the country’s climate crisis.
Over 12 years ago, the world’s richest countries promised to deliver $100 billion every year from 2020 to 2025 to climate finance (money to help lower-income countries most affected by climate change adapt to its effects). But they've fallen short of their pledges, saying that the promised funding now likely won't be delivered until 2023. But the climate crisis is devastating countries from Pakistan to Sudan right now.
Here are the climate realities from Nigeria 👇— Adenike Titilope Oladosu (@the_ecofeminist) October 5, 2022
This is why addressing #LossAndDamage is central to climate justice.
Without #ClimateFinance, we cannot solve the climate crisis.
The danger of loss & damage is that it could become irreversible.
Pictures from Kogi state flood. pic.twitter.com/frjiyBOYkr
However, despite COP27 being dubbed the “African COP,” African climate activists from some of the countries most affected by global warming say they are struggling to get access to the UN climate summit.
“I have a voice, I want the privilege to speak,” said climate activist Goodness Dickson, from Abuja, Nigeria. “Despite Egypt being called an African COP, we’re having a very serious challenge and many countries most affected by the climate crisis won’t be represented.”
Nigeria is battling it's worst flood in a decade with more than 500 people killed in 2022 and 1.4 million people been displaced by the flooding.— Goodness Dickson (@GoodnessDk) October 14, 2022
The flooding will worsen food insecurity and inflation in Nigeria.#SaveOurPlant#ClimateStrike#FridaysForFuture#ActNowpic.twitter.com/MDCLlpWOJC
Here’s a list of eight things you can do to join the effort to support people affected by the floods in Nigeria.
Donate to Global Relief Agencies
1. International Rescue Committee
The International Rescue Committee provides vital support to Nigerians struggling to overcome a daunting combination of poverty, natural disasters, and armed conflict to ensure their safety, dignity, and human rights. You can read more about the IRC’s work and make a donation.
2. Save the Children
Save the Children in Nigeria is providing families with shelter, hygiene products, dignity kits, cooking utensils, drinking water containers, enriched flour for children aged 6 months to 2 is responding to the flooding in Nigeria across six states: Kogi, Jigawa, Adamawa, Benue, Yobe, and Oyo and providing families with shelter, hygiene products, dignity kits, cooking utensils, clean water, food and cash transfers to assist with their most basic needs.
Famari Barro, Save the Children's Country Director in Nigeria, told Global Citizen: "It is important that assistance is provided to those affected people, particularly to children, who are always most vulnerable at times of crisis. Without immediate support, the situation could deteriorate in the coming weeks as people could face multiple crises with the peak of the lean season, and significant displacement could still occur.” Donate now.
3. Nigeria Red Cross Society
The Nigeria Red Cross aims to alleviate the situation of the vulnerable people, which includes those affected by the floods and the poorest communities in both urban and rural areas amongst whom are women, children, aged, displaced, and other vulnerable people. Register in their database to make a donation.
4. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) mobilizes and coordinates humanitarian assistance to people in need worldwide. Donate now.
5. UNICEF Nigeria
Since the start of 2022, there have been 233 cholera deaths since the start of the year, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC). Intense rain and flooding increases the risk of water-borne diseases such as cholera.
UNICEF in Nigeria is working to promote the rights of children in Nigeria, particularly to prevent the spread of diseases. Find out more about UNICEF in Nigeria and donate.
6. Educate Yourself
If you’re not in a position to donate, another important way to engage is by learning more about Nigeria and issues.
Although the floods have been devastating and all-consuming, Nigeria is more than its climate disaster. Try reading about organisations fighting to end child marriage in the country or meet the Nigerian activist using technology as a powerful tool to fight poverty.
7. Take Action With Global Citizen
Using your voice to call on world leaders to address climate change is another crucial way to help Nigeria.
In 2009, wealthy nations pledged $100 billion in climate finance annually for vulnerable countries on the front lines of climate change and communities living in extreme poverty. But they still haven't delivered on their promise. Use your voice by calling on G20 leaders now to demand that the nations most responsible for climate change pay up.
8. Keep Using Your Voice
Several people are using Twitter to condemn the lack of coverage and support from the international community.
How these floods ain’t serious news in Nigeria is actually funny. These places are homes and forests. It’s really bad. Asaba and Lokoja. pic.twitter.com/5igI2s7rNH— Falnyi J. (@Sir_Jabulani) October 8, 2022
Retweeting, liking, and sharing the stories of Nigeria’s climate change survivors online can be a massive show of support, help spread awareness, and drive further support. Your voice is a powerful tool — use it.