8 April 2021 By Georgina Humphrey.
The Director General of the Nigeria Hydrological Service Agency, NIHSA, Mr Clement Nze, has stressed the need for state and local governments to restore rivers to their natural courses and reduce indiscriminate encroachment on waterways.
Mr. Nze made this known at a Technical session after the unveiling of the 2021 Annual Flood Outlook in Abuja.
He expressed worry over the refusal by some states to adhere to early warnings about floods which he said led to devastating effects being recorded annually in parts of the country.
Nze stressed that enforcement of town planning codes in the country would go a long way to managing construction of houses and drainages appropriately.
“We are calling on states to relocate people that live along waterways and flood plains” he added.
The NIHSA Director General who appealed to states to desilt their rivers, drainages and water channels added that the removal of refuse, weeds and water hyacinth were very important.
In his contribution the Director General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mohammadu Muhammed, noted that the agency had enjoyed robust partnership with NIHSA as a critical stakeholder in disaster management.
According to him, NIHSA’s AFO has been a veritable tool for NEMA in flood preparedness, mitigation and response since 2013.
Muhammed said the agency had also established three automatic weather observation stations in Nasarawa, Gombe, and Ekiti states to enhance flood forecast and management in Nigeria.