Federal Government of Nigeria has renewed its flood alerts to millions of Nigerians across 314 Local Government Areas of the 774 Local Government Areas in the Country.
Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) had, in their Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) report, noted that the 314 Local Government Areas which spread across 35 States including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) would be affected with varying degrees of flooding.
Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu stated that all States of the Federation has its environmental laws guarding against erecting structures on watercourse, stressing that agencies in charge should make necessary surveillance. He stated that everyone should be involved in the cleaning of drainage, instead of leaving everything to the government.
“Why do we have environmental sanitation in many states, it is for them to be able to do this, and we know that this is going to happen, and they are the ones directly affected”
Mr Adamu continued
“But let me also say that the Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) we normally provide is not for show, it is serious government business to alert the Nation of what is likely to come, we have shared the information with everybody, within the States, and it is their responsibility to take it down to the Local Government Areas”
He pointed out that the dredging of River Niger and River Benue were part of government’s efforts towards reducing flood in the Country.
“We approved such an idea to dredge River Niger and Benue which we have found very useful and we will do a lot to safeguard the banks of the rivers and the communities downstream from excessive flooding”
Some of the states that were listed to likely experience flooding include: Lagos, Niger, Benue, Cross River, Ogun, Delta, Osun, Abia and Ebonyi.
NIHSA Director General, Dr Moses Beckley, explained that areas affected by flood this year are lower than that of last year.
He mentioned that the Annual Flood Outlook forecast was to get the people aware and enlightened, so that they can prepare well in case the flood comes without warning.
“We in the agency advise those living in these areas to relocate to safety regions having the knowledge of hydrological hazard which floods have caused in previous years in the country”.
In a related development, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has been alerted of flooding in some parts of Lokoja, Kogi state.
In a swift response, the agency has made contact with the Commissioner for Environment, State Emergency Management Agency and other relevant stakeholders.
Meanwhile, a team from NEMA will be in the state in order to take appropriate actions on the affected persons and communities.
In a statement it said
“NEMA strongly advises the communities living around the flood plains to immediately relocate to higher grounds for safety, to avoid the danger of the imminent flood.”