Surveyors seek role in flood risk management, disaster mitigation

For effective disaster mitigation in Nigeria, there is need for land surveyors to be given priority in flood risk management.

A civil and environmental engineer, Sunday Egbiki made the submission at the 32 Annual General Meeting and Luncheon of the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors (NIS) with the theme: “Flood Risk Management And Disaster Mitigation: The Roles of Multi-Disciplinary Professional”, in Lagos.

Egbiki, who was the guest speaker and managing director of Ornament Engineering Limited, stressed the need for involvement of expertise from a variety of disciplines for sustainable flood risk management and disaster mitigation.

According to him, Nigerian government and the Nigerian professionals should wake up and put a preventive and strategic planning in place to mitigate the effects of flood in Nigerian.

Noting that total flood control is not possible but it can be seriously mitigated if preventive actions are taken, he called for proactive approach by the government, saying reactive flood management leads to high costs for recovery and rehabilitation and results often in ad-hoc measures that are not sustainable.

With the recent approval of N1.6billions to flood affected cities, Egbiki said it is a delicate balance, which politicians need to maintain in their political response to a large flood event, reassuring the population and at the same time keeping in view a long-term perspective of sustainable development.

To achieve this, surveyors, he said should be equipped with the right tools and soft-applications to enable them produce the necessary data and base maps needed for sustainable flood risk management.

Apart from land surveyors, who are the first professionals in IFM, the guest speaker said other professionals such as economists, environmentalists, sociologists, hydrologists, flood managers, geologists, lawyers, urban planners and developers, should be involved for an integrated flood management approach.

He also called on government at all levels to ensure proper and effective use of ecological fund; and encourage the integration of environmental flood insurance schemes to protect people’s life and properties when disasters strike.

Egbiki further proposed the strengthening of National disaster and emergency policies to facilitate effective disaster preparedness and response, saying this approach will not only save lives and livelihoods, but it will equally reduce vulnerability to flood menace.

Earlier the chairman, Lagos State House Committee on Land Matters, Hon Sikiru Osinowo, represented by Hon Adeyinka Oyediran noted the contributions of surveyors in the development of Nigeria and Lagos state, saying nobody can brush aside their contributions in the resolution of land disputes.

Also the outgoing chairman of Lagos branch of NIS, Olugbenga Alara said the branch under his leadership had kept to its vision of building relationships and sustainability, a vision guided by the core value of service, professionalism, integrity and commitment which was widely applauded and adopted by the entire membership.

At the event attended by Lagos State Surveyor General, Olutomi Sangowawa the new Chairman of the Lagos State Chapter, Adeshina Adeleke and his executives were inaugurated while several awards were presented to individuals and organisations.

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