06 August 2020 By Georgina Humphrey
The Nigerian hydrological services Agency, NIHSA, has called on stakeholders to work out modalities on the prevention of floods.
Director General of the Agency, Mr. Clement Nze made the call in an interview with Kapital FM in Abuja.
Mr. Nze attributed the non- adherence to early flood warnings and improper allocations of land as the major problem militating against prevention, mitigation and preparedness.
“Localised urban flooding incidents being witnessed in some cities and communities in the country are results of late preparations. Nze noted.
Mr. Nze who explained that the heavy downpour in the month of June was a signal that the country would experience heavy flooding appealed to Nigerians to prepare for the peak of the raining season which comes between August and September.
“The advice became necessary as it alerts Nigerians that the country would soon experience the peak of raining season for the year 2020 and now is the time to prepare for it”
He therefore advised Nigerians living along water ways with socio- economic activities on flood prone areas to relocate.
Nze who explained that flooding incidents were usually caused by high rainfall intensity of long duration, rainstorms, blockage of drainage system and poor urban planning resulting in erection of structures within the floodplains and waterways appealed to state governments to partner the Agency to mitigate flooding across the country.
“Therefore, States and local Governments should endeavour to remove structures built within the floodplains, clear blocked drainages, culverts and other waterways,’’ he said.
On the recent flooding in Abuja and its environs , he explained that the Federal Capital Territory Authority has embarked on massive demolition of buildings to pave way for water channels.
“The Agency has been advocating for open drainages that will be maintained regularly to enable the country mitigate flooding”
On how to mitigate Perennial flooding across the country, the Director General appealed to State Governments to sensitize people at grassroots on the need to open up drainages and get proper allocation before building to avert blockages and avoid flooding.
Nze who said the implications of Perennial flooding in the country were enormous explained that in year 2012 assessment reports by the National Emergency Management Agency indicated that the flooding affected the Agricultural sector and loss of lives stressed that all hands must be on deck to avert flooding.
The Director-Genera explained that all the thirty-six States of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory are expected to experience different levels of flooding.
“A total of one hundred and two Local Government Areas across twenty- eight States in the country would suffer severe flooding while two hundred and seventy- five Local Governments would witness different flooding risk during the rainy season this year.
The NIHSA boss maintained that the Agency’s mandate is to, amongst other things, provide timely accurate data and information that guides stakeholders to ensure that the rains which comes as a free gift of God is properly managed in ways that make it more beneficial and less disastrous.
Nze explained that NIHSA is working with key stakeholders like the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), National Orientation Agency (NOA) and State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs) to ensure that proactive steps are taken to avert flood disasters in the country.
The NIHSA Director General therefore appealed to relevant authorities and Nigerians to take responsibility in making sure that drainages are opened up for easy flow of water to avert Perennial flooding confronting the nation.