From Nigeria to Pakistan, floods are devastating communities globally
Catastrophic weather events like flooding are becoming more frequent and intense because of human-caused climate change.
Nigeria faces humanitarian disaster
More than 600 people have died in Nigeria's floods, with hundreds of thousands of people still awaiting emergency aid. With 33 out of 36 states hit, the country faces humanitarian risks from disease and food shortages. Floods are a regular occurrence in Nigeria's coastal regions, but these are the worst in more than a decade. Authorities blame heavy rainfall and Cameroon releasing dam water.
Drought broken by floods in Chad
After a prolonged drought, the most prolific rains in 30 years have left large parts of the central African nation of Chad navigable only by boat. Thousands of people have fled their homes, with cattle herders unable to feed their animals. United Nations agencies estimate the droughts and floods have left 2.1 million people acutely hungry, with food prices skyrocketing.
Sri Lanka inundated
At least three people have died in floods in Sri Lanka, with the capital Colombo particularly hard hit. Floods have put parts of the country at high risk of landslides, while more heavy rains are expected in the coming days.
Pakistan faces disease and malnutrition
Unprecedented monsoon rains and floods left more than half a million people living in tents across Pakistan and more than 1,700 people dead. Floodwaters are slowly receding, but survivors in regions like Sindh and Balochistan, now face the risk of water-borne diseases. This is due to the destruction of health facilities, standing water, low medicine stocks, and a lack of sanitation facilities.
Landslides bury towns in Venezuela
Floods triggered landslides and river overflows in Venezuela this month, killing more than 50 people. The government says heavy rainfall has caused the worst weather-related disasters in at least a decade, blaming climate change. More rainfall is forecast across the whole country, including hard-hit Aragua State.
Floods a fact of life in the Philippines
In parts of the Philippines, motorcycle taxis have started modifying their vehicles to cope with repeated flooding incidents. In Hagonoy, outside the capital Manila, rain levels are as high as two meters (6.5 feet) in monsoon season. Earlier this week, a typhoon submerged villages and farmlands across the north of the country.
Is climate change the culprit?
Catastrophic weather events are becoming more frequent and intense because of human-caused climate change. A warmer atmosphere holds more moisture which can result in heavier rainfall. While it's difficult to say just how much climate change contributed to a single event, the overall trend is clear. And the most vulnerable countries are those least responsible for the problem.
What can the world do about it?
To keep within the Paris Agreement temperature targets, countries need to rapidly cut emissions, bringing them to near-zero by mid-century. At-risk countries need to build early warning and flood management systems to reduce the impact of climate disasters, including floods. Paying for systems like this will be a major focus of the upcoming UN climate conference.