Sunday, July 21, 2024

Nigeria’s Flooding Alert: 148 LGAs to be overrun by flood, NIHSA says

NIHSA’s 2024 Annual Flood Outlook reveals that 148 local government areas across 31 states, including Lagos, Rivers, and Kano, are at high risk of flooding.

• July 4, 2024
Flooded Ibeju-Lekki
Flooded Ibeju-Lekki[Credit:Punch Newspaper]

The federal government has warned states and local government areas to brace up for increased river flooding as the country enters the peak of the rainy season.

Joseph Utsev, the Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, handed down the warning at a news conference on Thursday in Abuja. He said precautionary measures should be taken to avert possible disasters from such occurrences.

Mr Utsev said states had been alerted following recent reports highlighted in the 2024 Annual Flood Outlook as unveiled by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA).

NIHSA’s 2024 Annual Flood Outlook reveals that 148 local government areas (LGAs) across 31 states are at high risk of flooding.

The affected states include Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina and Kebbi. Others are Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba and Yobe.

He said governors had been provided detailed forecasts and preventative measures specific to their regions. He said significant flood risks have been identified in 148 local government areas across 31 states, including Adamawa, Akwa Ibom and Anambra.

The outlook, divided into three scenarios, indicated heightened flood risks from April to November, with the most severe flooding expected between July and September.

“Over ten states and the FCT have already experienced varying levels of flooding since April, resulting in casualties and property damage. Notable incidents include the flooding in Trademore Estate, FCT, which led to two deaths and significant property loss,” he said.

Mr Utsev noted the need for states and local government areas to intensify flood prevention measures, such as clearing blocked drainage systems, relocating residents from flood-prone areas and constructing flood barriers.

He said river flooding was expected from major rivers like Niger and Benue, urging continuous monitoring and proactive measures. The minister said that increased rainfall could exacerbate the ongoing cholera outbreak, which had caused 63 deaths and 2,102 suspected cases.

He said a presidential committee had been constituted to address cholera and other waterborne flooding-related diseases.

Mr Utsev said a realigned 2023 flood report had led to a new committee, chaired by Vice-President Kashim Shettima, to address broader disaster management issues, including erosion and desertification.

He said the committee had submitted its report, which the National Economic Council had approved, and that implementation strategies were set to commence shortly.

He added that the Clean Nigeria Use the Toilet campaign and the activation of national laboratories were part of comprehensive measures to enhance public health and sanitation.

Clement Nze, NIHSA director-general, underscored the government’s advisory role, noting that enforcement and local action fell under states’ jurisdiction.

He said the government would continue constructing buffer dams alongside the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon to mitigate flood risks.

(NAN)

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