Mitigating against flood in Nigeria

A predicted war does not kill a leper is an old common saying among several ethnic groups in Nigeria, it’s an expression used to compliment the saying, “to be forewarned is to be forearmed” once again the nation Nigeria has been given on a platter of golf a chance to prevent another national cum natural disaster which if not prevented will lead to the loss of lives as well as the loss of damages which at a time like this will only go down to add more to the pains and the current anguish of the nation.

With the recent forecast by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) in which it made a prediction warning that several states in the Nigerian federation should be expecting heavy rainfall which might lead to massive flooding. This flood according to the prediction is expected to pass through many parts of the country between the month of September and October. The nation’s hydrological services made this revelation on the 28th of July 2020. This warning came after the occurrence of a flash flooding which swat through Local Government such as Suleja Local Government area of Niger State which left many fatalities as 11 people were reported dead.

In the wake of this report by the Nigerian Hydrological service (NIHSA) advised the various Governors of the State which were predicted to be faced with this situation to commence immediate removal of the residents from the floor susceptible area in order to forestall the loss of lives and properties.

According to the Director General of the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) forecast, about two hundred and seventy five local government areas of the Seven hundred and Seventy Five are expected to be mildly affected while One hundred and Two Local Government Areas are expected to be severely affected.

Among the high-risk areas are Abia, Adamawa, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross Rivers, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe, Imo, Kaduna, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Tobe, and Zamfara states.

By advising the Nigerian populace, state and local government, stakeholders, multinational companies and public spirited individuals, as well as philanthropist to ensure that the adequate measures are put in place to forestall the consequences of having a flood problem in the country.

There are many factors which are responsible for facilitating the outbreak of floods, chiefly among them is the release of excess water from the same in the neighboring countries most especially the upstream Niger and Benue rivers which will affect Nigeria negatively as a result of its location which is in the downstream of other countries in the Niger Basin. Adding to this the nation still has many days of plenty rainfall in the course of the year as more floods are still liable to happen in the month of August, September and October.

 

The Federal Government of Nigeria has over the years been faulty of my cases of negligence on its part as it has failed in its duty to ensure that predictions such as this are well responded to without further delay. It’s a natural occurrence for the nation to experience flooding in most part of its federation, although there are several other man made activities which serve as contributing factors to the occurrence of floods in many part of the nation.

 

Yearly lives and properties as well as valuable investment especially within the Agricultural sector in which farm lands containing farm produce has been washed away in floods. In the year 2012, 32 of the Nigerian’s thirty-six states were affected while 26 of these states was severely hit and damaged by the flood. Over 360 people were recorded to have been killed in the process while over 2 million people were left without homes.

While the level and occurring pattern of flooding in Nigeria is not stable as it fluctuates yearly, nevertheless the issue of flooding remains a recurring issue in most parts of the nation. One of the most prominent factors aggravating flooding in Nigeria as well as the rest of the world is climate change; this has been revealed to contribute more extreme storms and rainfall. Also the rapid urban growth and planning which is poor is another contributing factor.

The challenge of flooding is not just applicable to the Nigerian nation alone but also in other nation of the world. In the year 2007, over 1.5 million people across several nations in Africa which includes nations like Kenya, Sudan, Ghana, Niger, and Ethiopia. Alluvial flooding is common for major rivers – such as Nile, Niger, Benue, Orange, and Zambezi – in Africa. Major cities in Africa are also susceptible to fluvial flooding which occurs when excessive rainfall, over an extended period of time, causes rivers to overflow.

It is imperative for the federal government of Nigeria to understand and take into cognisance the fact that this is not a good time for the nation to have another setback through the occurrence of flooding in the nation. The nation has lost so much already in recent time with the outbreak of the novel virus Covid-19 pandemic.  This has seen the nation struggling to have a firm grasp over its economy while it has imposed stern measures and policies to curtail the economic decline, in this regard it must ensure that it does all it can to ensure that the issue of flood in the nation is reduced to its barest minimum.

It must ensure that there’s the proper drainage and dredging of rivers and streams around, also blocked drainage are properly cleaned and checked to remove all blockage to allow the easy flow of waters around. Furthermore there must be re-evaluation of people from areas where flood is inevitable.

 

Also adding to this the government as well as other major stakeholders must ensure that they go the extra mile in sensitizing the people on the need to ensure that there drainage are well and properly managed, poor waste management in most areas are one of the factors that facilitate flood as most water channels are blocked which prevent the flow of water for taking its natural course.

 

By Marcus Amudipe

September 15, 2020

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