About 85 individuals were on an overloaded boat on 7 October when the flooding of the Niger River made it tip over. Almost everyone on the ship lost their lives when it reportedly capsized in a flood-swollen river flowing through the Anambra state of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, the President, mentioned on 9 October.
President Buhari’s office reiterated that emergency services confirmed a death toll of 76.
He directed emergency services to offer immediate relief to the victims. He added that he’s praying for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives, for everyone’s safety, and the well-being of the near and dear ones of the victims.
Earlier on 9 October, the emergency services said that the rising water level was messing with the rescue activities. The water level is high and risky for a smooth rescue and search mission, Thickman Tanimu, the National Emergency Management Agency’s southeast coordinator, informed AFP.
National Emergency Management Agency asked the Nigerian Air Force to provide helicopters for the rescue mission.
The state governor of Anambra, Charles Soludo, urged the residents of the flood-ravaged areas to promptly relocate, adding that the government would also provide relief to those affected by the disaster.
The development continues to shock the government and people of Anambra State. Boat accidents are regular in Nigeria due to overloading, poor maintenance, speeding, and disregarding the navigation rules.
From the start of the rainy season, several regions of the West African nation comprising over 200 million individuals were devastated by the floods.
Over 300 have been killed, and about 100,000 were left homeless, per emergency services.
The rain washed away crops and acres of farmland, sparking unexpected fears of food shortage, hunger, and famine in a country struggling with the impact of the ongoing pandemic and the raging war in Ukraine.