One year after devastating floods swept through Bauchi State in Nigeria, leaving behind a trail of destruction and claiming lives, the government’s response and support for flood victims have been lacking. Farmers in affected communities are struggling to rebuild their lives and recover their lost livelihoods, with no assistance in sight. Aminu Adamu reports that the Nigerian Meteorological Agency warns of another flood season in 2023, the communities remain trapped in a cycle of hardship and uncertainty, highlighting the urgent need for government intervention and support.

In the village of Nasarawa, Zaki local government, Bauchi State, Mai Anguwa Dahiru Muhammad, a weary community leader, shares his heart-wrenching tale. He speaks of the ongoing struggle to rebuild his ravaged rooms, destroyed by the relentless floods that wreaked havoc on their lives. With no resources to aid their efforts, an entire year has passed, leaving them trapped in a cycle of hardship. The harsh economic situation in the country has made it impossible to recover. Their farmlands and precious produce were lost, pushing their daily battle to the forefront — the fight for survival.

Mai Anguwa Dahiru, standing amidst the ruins of his once cherished rooms, represents the plight of countless farmers across Bauchi State. In 2022, devastating floods swept through numerous communities, resulting in the loss of properties worth millions and the tragic deaths of many. The authorities confirmed at least ten lives were claimed by the disaster, while roads, bridges, culverts, and drainages were reduced to rubble. Yet, despite the suffering and government negligence, another round of flooding is anticipated in 2023

The scene above paints a vivid picture of the challenges faced by numerous farmers throughout Bauchi State, who have fallen victim to the devastating consequences of flooding. In 2022, a torrential flood wreaked havoc across multiple communities in Bauchi State, resulting in the loss of properties worth hundreds of millions of naira and claiming the lives of numerous individuals. Xchange Hama Media can report that the disaster tragically claimed the lives of at least ten people, while vital public infrastructure, including roads, bridges, culverts, and drainages, bore the brunt of the destruction.

This medium can reveal that the harsh reality of the victims was exacerbated by governmental negligence. Alarmingly, another round of flooding is anticipated in 2023, which will further exacerbate the hardships faced by these communities.

Part of Mai Anguwa Dahiru’s room destroyed

As per the reports from Nigeria’s National Emergency Management (NEMA) and State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Bauchi State experienced a significant displacement of thousands of people in 2022. These individuals sought refuge with relatives or sought shelter in public facilities like schools. SEMA attributed the recurring floods in Bauchi to a combination of factors, including intense and unpredictable rainfall patterns influenced by climate change, overflowing rivers, inadequate town planning, insufficient management of solid waste and water resources, the absence of a proper drainage system, deforestation, and the unfortunate habit of dumping refuse into waterways.

However, during visits to the affected communities, the local inhabitants shared their perspective on the primary causes of the flooding. They emphasized heavy rainfall, river overflow, and natural phenomena as the major sources of the inundation. While each community identified different causes, an interview conducted by Xchange Hama Media revealed that residents near rivers and suffering from a poor drainage system, often clogged with plastic bags, attributed their flooding issues to these factors. In the communities of Warji, Zaki, and Gamawa, residents particularly highlighted torrential rainfall and marshy soil as significant contributors to flooding, primarily affecting their farmlands.

While the local communities may not directly attribute climate change as the sole cause of their flooding problems, experts have asserted that even the intensity and variability of rainfall are influenced by climate change. Professor Adamu Tanko from Bayero University Kano explained that the increase in floods and extreme weather events, including excessive rainfall, are consequences of climate change’s impact on society. He stated, “If we consider the wet conditions, extreme events like rain and weather patterns, all of these are products of the changes occurring in the climatic conditions.

In Gamawa Local Government Area, the communities of Ariya, Kore, and Kubdiya were severely affected by the devastating floods, resulting in significant losses in agricultural produce, farmlands, and residential areas. Despite their dire circumstances, the people in these communities expressed their disappointment to Xchange Hama Media, stating that they received no solace or support from the authorities to help them rebuild their lives, even as another rainy season approached, carrying the potential for another destructive flood.

Musa Saleh Ariya recounted his personal experience, sharing that his goats, farmland, and three rooms were swept away by the heavy downpour preceding the flood that wreaked havoc on the Ariya community during the previous year’s rainy season. He emphasized that every household in the community was affected by the flood, and he personally suffered a significant loss in farm produce, harvesting only two bags out of an expected 30. Forced to seek temporary shelter elsewhere, he lamented the lack of assistance.

Bashar Mamuda, a villager aged 65, also spoke about his devastating loss during the rainy season. He explained that he used to harvest an average of 40 bags of maize, beans, and corn annually from his three farms. However, the flood wiped out everything, leaving him with nothing. He noted that while floods had occurred in the past, the magnitude of the recent floods was unprecedented.

In the neighboring Kore village, residents faced similar devastation in their farms and houses. Salisu Barau, a farmer, shared his harrowing experience, revealing that he lost over 1.5 million naira worth of crops across his millet and guineacorn farms due to the catastrophic flood. The situation left him and others in the community deeply concerned.

The farmers in Kubdiya village, whose livelihoods primarily depend on farming, are apprehensive about returning to their farms due to the near-uselessness of their riverine swamp lands caused by excessive rainfall a few months ago. Shafi’u Yusuf expressed his reluctance to go back to farming, fearing a recurrence of the previous year’s devastating flood. Despite the lack of alternatives, he expressed hope that his terrible experience would not repeat itself.

Saleh Garba’s experience mirrored that of his unfortunate neighbors. He shared that his millet and corn fields were washed away, leaving the area submerged in water during the wet season. He couldn’t salvage even half a bag of crops. Despite expecting assistance from the government, no help came, forcing him to endure the greatest test of his life as he struggled to provide for his family and repay his debts.

The situation for flood victims in the Ganjuwa communities was equally disheartening. Despite the horrific circumstances faced by residents of Kariya and Filin Shagari communities, which suffered the most damage in Ganjuwa, there was no consolation or compensation from the local council or state government. Sagiru Kabiru, a farmer in Kariya, shared that his farm, submerged by the flood, resulted in the loss of 50 bags of grains. He expressed frustration with the lack of concern from those in power and emphasized his determination to return to farming, as it is his only means of livelihood.

Ibrahim Ali, although not directly affected by the flood in his farm, revealed that his house was destroyed. He expressed uncertainty about the future, stating that he was currently working to rebuild his home but was unsure of what the coming year held.

Similarly, in Filin Shagari, farmers remained apprehensive about their experiences during the previous rainy season. The farming community faced the brunt of the devastating floods in the entire Ganjuwa LGA. Muhammadu Haruna, aged 68, described his average yield of 80 bags of rice and maize, explaining that his three rooms and farm were all lost. He acknowledged the lack of government support but expressed his determination to continue working the land and seeking sustenance for his family, relying on their faith that Allah would provide.

Mamman Haruna at farm

In Jama’are Local Government Area, the communities of Kyawawa, Katirje, and Masallacin Idi still bear the weight of devastation caused by the flood, leaving a lasting mark on their memory. Malam Hussaini Magaji Kyawawa shared his harrowing experiences, recounting the two-fold impact of the flood on his life. He lost two bedrooms in his house and suffered heavy losses on his farm.

The destruction on his farm was significant, rendering a portion of it covered in sand brought by the overflowing Jama’are River. The sandy area is now unsuitable for farming, leaving him unable to restore it. As an illiterate farmer, he couldn’t estimate the exact size of his farm, but it was substantial, capable of yielding over 100 bags of grains in a good harvest.

In addition to the devastation he faced, Magaji expressed his disappointment in the lack of support he received. Neither the government nor individuals had provided any assistance, and he expressed gratitude that Xchange Hama Media was the first to inquire about their losses. Sympathy and aid had been scarce, leaving him and others struggling to recover.

Malam Muazu Aliyu, the Mai Anguwan Kyawawa, also suffered losses on his farm and in his house due to the flood. His grief extended beyond the loss of farm produce to the burden of unpaid debts resulting from the tragic harvest of the previous year. Despite planting sorghum, rice, and maize, all their efforts were in vain as the flooding swept away everything. He mentioned owing four bags of fertilizer to Sadik Maitaki, a debt that remains unpaid since the previous year.

Aliyu called on the authorities for support, highlighting the community’s urgent need for fertilizers and other farm inputs to resume farming activities. Many community members would be unable to farm without assistance this year. He appealed to the local government and state government to provide support, even if it meant offering loans to help them recover

Muhammad Nasir Wanzam from Katirje expressed his frustration to Xchange Hama Media stating that the flood had destroyed his two bedrooms and caused the loss of two goats. Despite almost a year passing since the disaster, he emphasized that no support had come from the government. He called on the authorities to provide assistance and help the affected individuals recover from their dire circumstances.

Isah Goje shared his own story, revealing that the flood had caused extensive damage to his house, including the loss of his toilet. As a result, his wives had to temporarily reside elsewhere. Although he managed to make some repairs and bring his wives back, he stressed the need for government support. Goje prayed that the leaders at all levels would be moved to assist them in overcoming this challenging situation.


In the communities of Dagu and Danina in Warji Local Government Area, the aftermath of the devastating flood still lingers, leaving behind a trail of destruction. Despite their resilience, the villages have yet to recover from the extensive losses suffered, with hundreds of houses and numerous farms being destroyed.

In Dagu, the evidence of devastation remains apparent, as the floodwaters merged with farmlands, causing significant damage. In September 2022, the governor of Bauchi State paid a sympathy visit to commiserate with the community over the loss of lives and property. However, some victims who spoke to Xchange Hama Media revealed that the governor’s visit did not translate into any meaningful government intervention or support for them. Garba Sani expressed their disappointment, stating that they lost valuable possessions, farmlands, and houses, but no substantial assistance was provided despite the governor’s visit.

In Danina, Musa Danina shared his own harrowing experience, explaining that his farm couldn’t withstand the relentless floodwaters. He mentioned that promises were made by local government officials and other government representatives who visited them from Bauchi, but the victims did not receive any form of support or loans.

The situation in Zaki Local Government Area was equally disheartening for the demoralized flood victims. Abdullahi Tata, a resident of Nasarawa community, highlighted the impact on both his family and their farmland. They lost three rooms in their house, but the damage was even more severe on the farm, as most of their farms were situated in close proximity to the river.

The communities of Dagu, Danina, and Nasarawa, along with numerous others affected by the floods, continue to grapple with the aftermath of the disaster. Despite promises and sympathy visits from government officials, the victims have yet to receive the necessary support to rebuild their lives and recover from the extensive losses they endured

Women experiences

During the floods that swept across various communities, vulnerable groups such as women, children, and the elderly faced particularly difficult circumstances. In the Filin Shagari community of Ganjuwa Local Government Area, a middle-aged housewife named Rakiya Ado and her 5-year-old daughter, Habiba, tragically lost their lives in the flood. Similarly, in Dagu village of Warji and Yola in Jama’are Local Government Areas, many women farmers saw their farms washed away by the flood, caused by overflowing rivers or excessive rainfall in their swampy terrains.

Hadiza, one of the affected women farmers, expressed that returning to the farm was her only option as it was her sole source of livelihood. Despite the immense losses suffered in the flood, she and others were determined to continue working on their farms, putting their trust in Allah to sustain them during this difficult time.

Hadiza and friends working on the farm in Dagu, Warji LGA

Aisha Haladu, 65, said though there was challenge to her farming especially last rainy season, she argued that it is becoming too much in recent years “I have been farming for years but this flood affected me more than anyone in this neighbourhood. I did not harvest a single grain from my farm because all what I planted was in single location. It is becoming annual event in recent years,” she said.

Aisha Haladu, Filin Shagari, Ganjuwa LGA

 A UNICEF report on the 2022 floods in Nigeria highlighted that 2.5 million people were in need of assistance, with numerous communities submerged. Within this figure, 1.5 million were children who faced various risks such as diseases, drowning, and malnutrition. Action Aid also emphasized the vulnerability of women and girls during floods, exposing them to violence, child marriage, disruption of education, and loss of livelihoods. Pregnant women faced tragic experiences due to limited access to healthcare facilities.

Adamu Nayola, the Director of Planning, Research, and Statistics at SEMA, acknowledged that women, children, and the elderly were the most vulnerable in emergency situations. While specific data was not available, he emphasized their increased suffering and the need for support during disasters. Public infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, and culverts, suffered severe damage. For example, the road linking Zaki and Gamawa LGAs was severed due to the previous year’s flood.

Communities across the visited LGAs expressed their disappointment with the lack of support from relevant authorities, even one year after the disaster struck. The caretaker chairmen of the affected LGAs acknowledged the impact on their people but highlighted that they were not in office when it happened. They expressed their commitment to seeking possible assistance for the flood victims.

SEMA acknowledged that while they provided support to the victims, they could not fully compensate for the losses incurred. The agency distributed food supplies, roofing materials, and other essentials, prioritizing those who had suffered the most significant damage. The director also stressed the importance of raising awareness and preparedness for future eventualities. He advised communities to vacate flood-prone areas and make informed decisions about farming in such locations.

NEMA reports indicated that communities themselves contributed to the flooding through actions like blocking drainages, deforestation, and disregarding seasonal advisories. The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) predicted an imminent flood in 32 states, including Bauchi, in its 2023 Seasonal Climate Prediction. SEMA confirmed that 19 out of Bauchi’s 20 LGAs were susceptible to flooding in the upcoming rainy season.

The communities acknowledged their efforts to prevent flooding by erecting sandbags and clearing their neighborhoods. However, they noted the challenges posed by their swampy terrains, where water naturally flows and inundates their farmlands. Despite their best efforts, they recognized their limitations in preventing flood damage.

The Full Life Empowerment Program (FLEP), an NGO supporting rural communities affected by floods and humanitarian crises, assisted over 20 communities in Bauchi State. However, the organization’s executive director, Alhassan Musa, admitted that the assistance provided was insufficient in light of the economic challenges faced by the communities.

Prof. Tanko highlighted the wide-ranging implications of floods, including public health crises, displacement, loss of lives and livelihoods, destruction of property and infrastructure, conflicts, and food insecurity. He emphasized the need for concerted efforts from all stakeholders, led by the government, to adapt and mitigate the recurrent flooding. Measures such as adhering to town planning guidelines, vegetation restoration, and proper water management from dams should be prioritized.

Governor Bala Mohammed encouraged victims of recent windstorms to emulate the practice of their forefathers by planting and preserving trees. Nigeria’s Hydrological Services, in their Annual Flood Outlook, warned that some states might experience even worse flood devastation than the previous year, with significant property and farmland losses.

This publication is produced with support from the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) under the Collaborative Media Engagement for Development Inclusivity and Accountability Project (CMEDIA) funded by the MacArthur Foundation.


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