A new report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has shown that Nigeria, the US, Australia, Pakistan, and others have lost about $173.2 billion to climate change-related disasters, a situation which further validates calls by experts that the world needs improved investment in cleaner sources of energy.
The WMO report titled State of the Global Climate 2022, revealed that many parts of the Sahel, particularly its eastern half, saw significant flooding during the monsoon season, especially towards its end and that Nigeria, Niger, Chad, and the southern half of Sudan were particularly affected.
The report further showed that the flooding was exacerbated in Nigeria when heavy local rains in October fell as floodwaters arrived from upstream.
“Over the course of the season, 603 deaths in Nigeria and 159 in Niger were attributed to flooding, with $4.2 billion in reported economic losses in Nigeria,” the report showed. “Over 250 000 people were displaced in Chad’s capital, N’Djamena, between October and December”.
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The report also revealed that while rainfall in South Sudan, where prolonged flooding occurred in 2020 and 2021, was near or below normal, extensive flooding continued as a result of flows from upstream. It showed that Pakistan experienced exceptional flooding during the monsoon season, peaking in late August.
In East Africa, rainfall has been below average in five consecutive wet seasons, the longest such sequence in 40 years. As of August 2022, an estimated 37 million people faced acute food insecurity across the region, under the effects of the drought and other shocks, the report showed.
According to the WMO, over 1,700 deaths were reported in Pakistan and over 2 million dwellings were damaged or destroyed, with over 33 million people affected in some way. Crop and livestock losses were also severe, as the floods affected much of the country’s agricultural land. Total damage and economic losses were assessed at $30 billion.
“The impacts of the floods were broadly similar to those of 2010,”the report showed. “There was also significant flooding in India at various stages during the monsoon season, particularly in the north-east in June, with over 700 deaths reported during the season from flooding and landslides, and a further 900 from lightning,”.
Story was adapted from Business Day.