Deadly Flooding in Nigeria Risks Intensifying Food Insecurity

Major flooding in Nigeria has claimed more than 600 lives, injured 2,400 more, and left almost 1.4 million people displaced, and it has destroyed roughly 123,800 homes, nearly 569,000 hectares of farmland, and many roads throughout the country. Last month’s flooding is also raising food security concerns throughout the country and particularly in Kogi, a state in Nigeria’s North Central region, where Gro's Climate Indicator - Observed Flood showed the worst flooding on record

October 2022 shows the worst flooding on record for GCI - Observed Flood in Kogi

Already, Gro’s Food Security Tracker for Africa, built with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, is forecasting a 6.7% drop in Nigeria’s corn production, as maturing corn in the country’s northern provinces were washed away ahead of harvest. Gro’s Nigeria rice production forecast was similarly cut to reflect the reduced harvested area.

Due to the flooding, the USDA cut the area harvested for both corn and rice in its November WASDE report

Seasonal flooding is common in Nigeria. But under the IPCC’s middle of the road warming scenarios, SSP2-4.5 and SSP3-7, by 2050, the country is projected to see an increase in the magnitude of heavy precipitation that is notably larger than neighboring Cameroon, Niger, and Chad, countries that have also experienced devastating flooding recently.  

Along the Nigerian coast, where the country’s liquified natural gas and fertilizer shipping takes place, the magnitude of Gro Climate Indicator - Heavy Precipitation events increases only marginally from 2022 to 2050, under SSP2-4.5 and SSP3-7.0. However, Nigeria’s coast is particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels. 

In the absence of any adaptation, Nigeria is among the African countries projected to be worst affected by sea-level rise, in terms of the number of people at risk, according to research included in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Working Group II report on climate impacts, released in late February.