The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) has come up with the 2021 flooding predictions, urging states and local government areas to immediately take measures to avert impending disasters.
Director General of the agency, Clement Nze gave the warning in a statement he titled “2021 Flooding Season: Time to Prepare is now”. He said a major reason for flooding incidents in the country is because states and local government areas are not proactive to implement measures that will minimize the adverse effects of flooding.
Nze recalled predictions in the 2020 Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) occurred same way it was announced. “377 LGAs in 36 states of the federation, including the FCT were severely affected by flood, while hundreds of thousands of hectares of rice, maize, sorghum and sugarcane plantations were destroyed as well as thousands of houses destroyed,” he said.
The Director General revealed that Nigeria is gradually stepping into the 2021/2022 Hydrological Year in the River Niger Basin covering Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Chad, Cote D’ Ivoire, Guinea, Mali and Nigeria.
He explained that Nigeria’s geographical location downstream of all the countries in this Basin places it at the receiving end of disastrous floods and pollutions from all the countries upstream.
He advised that states, LGAs and individuals still have time to take necessary steps to avert or minimize disaster as Nigeria gradually inches closer to the peak of rainy season with its attendant flood incidents,.
He noted “The persistent flooding and flood disasters have become an annual event in Nigeria since 2012 when the country experienced her worst flood disaster in recent history. It could be recalled that in 2012, hundreds of lives were lost, thousands of citizens rendered homeless with property losses running into trillions of naira”.
Nze urged states and the general public to take necessary measures to prevent the ugly flooding menace of the past years and recommended the following measures: Clearing of drainage system and canals and also embark on projects for improving hydraulic conveyance of surface run-offs during peak flows; removal of refuse, weeds, water hyacinths and floats on water channels and on all avenues for river run-offs.
Encourage people living along the water-ways and those and those having socio-economic activities on the flood plains to relocate to safe areas before the peak of the rains; improved system for flood monitoring, flood forecasting and flood early warning:
There must be effective and efficient operational procedure for dams, and reservoirs and maintenance of other hydraulic and water infrastructure across the country as well as construction of dykes, floodwalls, buffer dams, detention basins and water retaining structures;
There must be enforcement of Town Planning Code of Conduct in the country to allow for the construction of houses, and drainage structures as outlined by Town planner and constantly freeing the waterways from obstructions and provision of adequate refuse dumping facilities among others.