Hard-hit Nigeria is by no means the only African nation dealing with severe impacts from climate change. A new assessment from the World Food Program (WFP) identifies 19 countries in Central and West Africa dealing with floods caused by excessive rainfall.
Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, Gambia and Chad are among the countries where, in addition to hundreds of fatalities caused by flooding, the rains have destroyed crops and displaced people from their homes.
Chad has seen the worst flooding in 30 years, with river flooding forecast to make matters worse in coming days.
“The floods hit West Africa as world leaders prepare to meet on the climate crisis at COP27 in Egypt and highlight the urgent need to help communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis adapt, expand solutions that address loss and damage incurred during climate-related disasters, and invest in climate action in fragile contexts,” said WFP.
Chris Nikoi, the WFP regional director for West Africa, said the floods are an added stressor in the lives of those already dealing with conflict, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and soaring food prices.
Food prices are still on the rise compared to the 5-year average, with maize prices up 106% in Ghana and wheat up by 49% in Mauritania. In Sierra Leone, the cost of imported rice is up by 87%, using the same comparison.
WFP says the global community needs to support the regional response with additional funding.
“Strengthening resilience and promoting climate adaptation is an essential part of anticipating climate hazards, restoring degraded ecosystems, and protecting vulnerable communities against the impact of climate extremes,” Nikoi said.
Image: Nigeria floods/WFP