On The Need To Curb Ravaging Floods Nationwide 

On The Need To Curb Ravaging Floods Nationwide 

Nigeria is among nations that majorly practice rain fed agriculture, therefore, ordinarily the rainy season should come as a big blessing to farmers and others alike.Contrastingly, as climate change continues to escalate its devastating effects over the years, the season comes with recurring cases of flooding as well as windstorms that lead to deaths and damage to property in different parts of the country.

Recently, 327 houses were destroyed by windstorms in two communities of Nkarasi and Abinti in Ikom Local Government Area of Cross River State and rendered about 300 people homeless.

As a way out of the situation, relevant authorities have been working assiduously to militate against annual flooding across Nigeria.For instance, as the rains arrived in March, Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, unveiled this year’s Annual Flood Outlook, which indicated that high flooding will hit 233 Local Government Areas in 32 States including the Federal Capital Territory, FCT Abuja.The AFO aided the abatement of flood risks in the country through early warnings and forecasting, and applauded the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency for improving on its predictive capacity through the introduction of new approach to the 2022 AFO which are designed into three respective scenarios of flood outlook for the months of April to June, AMJ flood outlook for September to July, JAS, and flood outlook for the months of October to November,ON, respectively.

The general outlook of 2022 Annual Flood Outlook shows that 233 local government areas in 32 States of the Federation and FCT fall within the Highly Probable Flood Risk Areas, while 212 Local Government Areas in 35 States of the Federation including FCT fall within the moderately probable flood risk Areas.

The remaining 392 Local Government Areas fall within the probable flood risk Areas.The highly Probable Flood risk states include Adamawa, Abia,Akwa Ibom,Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River,Delta and Ebonyi, others are Ekiti, Edo, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara and FCT.

Besides, eight States will battle with tidal surge and rise in sea level I, this year, based on the AFO.Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Lagos, Ogun and Ondo will experience coastal flooding due to tidal surge and rise in sea level.

Also, flash and urban flooding will be experienced in parts of major cities including Lagos, Kaduna, Suleja, Gombe, Yola, Makurdi, Abuja, Lafia, Asaba, Port Harcourt, Yenagoa, Ibadan, Abeokuta, Benin City, and Birnin kebbi. Others include Sokoto, Lokoja, Maiduguri, Kano, Oshogbo, Ado Ekiti, Abakaliki, Awka, Nsukka, Calabar and Owerri.

Interestingly, effort are in top gear by the Ministry of Water Resources to put in place structural control measures such as dams, canals, storm drains and other facilities to divert flood waters from highly probable flood risk zones in the country through strong collaboration between neighbouring countries with regards to water releases from dams within their catchments and better preparedness to avert any flood incidents.

The measures put in place, while commendable; however, there is need to complement this effort. Nigerians must ensure that they take all necessary precautionary measures to avoid the impending flooding and guarantee that their drainages are well cleared at all times. This is the only way to mitigate the devastating impact of the expected flooding on the various sectors of the economy and on the people.

Climate change resulting from global warming is attributed to anthropogenic influences, leading to many consequences, one of which is flooding. It is one of the major environmental crises that keep recurring every year in Nigeria from one region to another.

Although most cases of flooding in the world are as result of natural phenomena caused by antecedents such as melting of icebergs, hurricanes, overfilling of the major rivers, many other flood types, especially in Nigeria are human-caused.

Over the years, the perennial incidences of flooding in Nigeria which has resulted in an annual destruction of lives and properties running into billions of naira ought to have attracted more proactive measures with clearly enunciated data to evaluate the causes and consequences of the menace.

A critical analysis revealed that many cases of flooding experienced in this country are caused by dam failure, for example, the flood event in Sokoto and Lagos states which overfilled major rivers, coastal storms was attributed to ignorance or utter negligence of warnings from Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NIMET, and other meteorological agencies, delay in evacuation of flood victims and settlement of people at flood-prone areas such as riverine areas and seacoast.

The need for government and other professional bodies to collaborate and implement preventive measures, while ensuring the use of information from NIMET and other agencies against the future flood events becomes eminent.

AljazirahNigeria urges the Federal Government through the Ministry of Environment and its affiliate agencies,  respective State Ministries of Environment in whose purview it is to address this issue of national concern, to be rather forthright by ensuring that the measures which will ensure its occurrence and attendant consequences are put in place, being that the major cause of the perennial flooding incidents in the country are more or less due to human negligence rather than from inevitably natural causes.    

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