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More Than 100,000 People Have Been Displaced By Floods in Central Nigeria

Flooding in Benue State, Nigeria has displaced hundreds of thousands, President Buhari reports.

MAKURDI, NIGERIA—More than 100,000 residents in Benue State have been forced to leave their homes as a result of major flooding in the central Nigerian region.


According to Premium Times Nigeria, the floods have affected people in 24 communities. The Executive Secretary of the Benue State Emergency Management Agency, Boniface Ortese, told the News Agency of Nigeria, that in the neighborhood of Achusa alone "200 houses were affected with 5,125 persons displaced. In Idye 217 houses were affected while 5,200 persons were displaced."

"I have received with great concern reports of the flooding in Benue state, displacing, from early estimates, more than 100,000 people," wrote President Muhammadu Buhari on Twitter on Thursday.

"I have directed NEMA Nigeria to immediately mobilize personnel and resources to the aid of the affected communities and persons," he wrote in another tweet. The president also promised to monitor and share "updates on the rollout of the Federal Government's humanitarian response to the Benue flooding disaster."

Buhari and his administration have faced criticism from those who believe there's been a lack of urgency in response to the flooding.

On Friday, government spokesperson, Garba Shehu released another statement further mapping out the government's plans for action. “The president extends his sympathies to the government and people of Benue State, and assures that the federal government will make available any assistance needed to enable the state government and the affected communities cope with and surmount the impact of the flooding,” said Shehu.

Earlier this week, floods in Niger left hundreds in the county's capital without shelter. Inclement weather has also affected people in Sierra Leone, India, Houston, Bangladesh and Nepal within the past month.

Millions of Nigerians were displaced back in 2012, when flooding occurred across 30 states.

Interview

Amadou & Mariam Forever

We talk to the legendary Malian duo about their rich past, songwriting process and their advice for young African artists with disabilities.

Amadou & Mariam don't require an introduction.

The couple has been making Afro-blues music for over 35 years, drawing inspiration from their home of Mali, for over 35 years.

Their 1999 albumSou Ni Tilé sold 100,000 copies. In 2005, their album Dimanche à Bamako won the French Victoire de la Musique prize for Best World Music Album of the year and the BBC Radio 3 Award for Africa. It also went platinum in France after selling over 300,000 copies. The duo have performed with U2, Coldplay, Blur and many others.

We caught up with them below for a conversation about their rich past, their songwriting process and their advice for young African artists with disabilities, ahead of the duo's performance at the upcoming London Jazz Festival 2021.

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