Agency warns against flood, tasks states on preventive strategies

Scene of flood in Lagos

Scene of flood in Lagos

NO fewer that 11 states in Nigeria have been described to be at risk of flooding, as rains have begun to fall, the Nigerian Hydrological Agency (NHSA) in its 2015 Annual Flood Outlook has revealed.

But the agency, has however, said that Nigerians have nothing to worry about, if all concerned states come up with effective mitigation strategies, capable of preventing flooding within their territories.

The agency highlighted high flood risk areas to include Sokoto-Rima, Niger, Benue Basins and parts of Anambra basin.

While NHSA disclosed that coastal flooding resulting from sea level rise and tidal surges are likely to occur in Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta and Lagos states, it added that flash flood might be experienced in some urban locations such as Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Sokoto, Birnin Kebbi, Ibadan and towns along the Nigeria coastlines.

It had mentioned that flood events within these basins are influenced largely by factors operating outside Nigeria. Some of the runoff generated as far as the foothills of the Futa Djallon Mountain in the Republic of Guinea, may end up in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria.

NHSA observed that some parts of Nigeria are precariously placed in terms of flood vulnerability because the factors generating the flood are from areas outside the territorial boundaries of Nigeria, adding that control of such floods therefore becomes difficult without regional agreements and cooperation.

“Indeed rain is here and there is every need for Nigerians to put in place responsive mitigation measures that would help in reducing flooding hazards. There is no gainsaying that flood and other extreme weather and climate events are often accompanied by loss of lives and property, damage to crucial infrastructures, disruption of socio-economic activities and in some cases, displacement of people in the affected areas.

The agency noted that the 2012 unprecedented flood experienced in the country is still much fresh in the minds of many Nigerians, especially for those who are yet to fully recover from the disaster.

Report has it that about 27 states of the federation were affected causing the deaths of over 400 persons and displacing about two million people from their homes.

It noted that the devastation caused by extreme events and especially floods have been exacerbated by low level of awareness of the consequential effects of human activities on drainage systems, such as dumping of refuse, erecting of structures on flood plains and other indiscriminate actions that interfere with the free flow of water. The issues relating to hydrological hazards such as flood and drought have increasingly been major disturbing concerns world over.

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