Nigerian Communities Forced to Rely on Dirty Floodwater


Nearly a month after Nigeria’s worst flooding in a decade left hundreds dead and more than a million people displaced, communities continue to remain submerged.

CNN International correspondent Larry Madowo reports from the country’s southern Bayelsa state, much of which is now a river that has driven entire communities away from their homes.

Desperate to survive, many locals fleeing raging floods which have wrecked their homes and livelihoods are also forced to depend on floodwater for sustenance.

For displaced inhabitants of northern Bayelsa’s Odi town, who have found new homes in roadside shacks and tent shelters with no access to running water, stagnant floodwaters are the only available alternatives for drinking, cooking and bathing.

As she rinses her uncooked fish in dirty floodwater next to her neighbour doing his laundry, local trader Chigozie Uzo shares her fears of catching a waterborne disease.

“I’ve heard of cholera,” she told CNN, “but I don’t have a choice than to use this water.”

Humanitarian agencies fear the floods will contribute to a health disaster and Nigeria has already seen a rise in cholera infections as floods ravage many parts of the country.

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