25 Sep 2010

Flooding 'displaces two million' in Nigeria

9:58 pm on 25 September 2010

About two million people in northern Nigeria have been displaced after authorities opened floodgates on two rivers, government officials say.

Torrents of water swept through plains and low lying areas of Jigawa state after the floodgates on two dams in neighbouring Kano state were opened, the BBC reports a spokesman for the Jigawa governor as saying.

The spokesman criticised the officials involved saying they had acted indiscriminately.

About 5,000 villages in Jigawa state have been affected, farms and property destroyed and livestock killed.

The number of people displaced amounts to about half the Jigawa state's population.

The floodgates are normally opened every year during the rainy season.

Several states in northern Nigeria have been hit by floods this year and the Nigerian authorities say the floodgates had to be opened because water levels had become dangerously high.