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Friday, May 11, 2018

Agency warns Lagos, Ogun, Osun, 31 others to prepare for flood




THE Nigeria Hydrological Agency (NIHSA) has warned 34 states in flood prone areas to prepare.

NIHSA, in its 2018 Annual Flood Outlook, said the states are at risk of river and coastal flooding this year.

It projected flooding in 318 local government areas and about 78 are at high risk.

The states with high risk of river flooding include Sokoto, Niger, Benue, Niger Delta, Anambra, Ogun-Osun, Cross-River and Yobe.

The agency said Lagos, Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta, Ondo may likely experience coastal flooding due to rise in sea level and tidal surge, which will impact fishing and coastal transportation.

Major cities like Port Harcourt, Sokoto, Lagos, Ibadan, Kaduna, Yola, Abuja, Maiduguri, Makurdi, Calabar, Jos, Owerri, Oshogbo, Ilorin, Awka, Abakaliki and Birnin-Kebbi are expected to experience flash and urban flooding due to poor drainage system.

Other cities include Kano, Yenegoa, Abeokuta, Ado-Ekiti, Lokoja, Lafia, Nsuka, Gombe, Suleja, Karu, Nyanya, Abaji, Onitsha, Sapele and Hadejia.

Minister of Water Resource Suleiman Adamu said going by the prediction, water levels on the River Niger and Benue among other major rivers would rise and remain high during the rainy season.

“We can manage these extreme events in such a manner that their deleterious effects are mitigated and become less devastating,” he said.

He expressed concerns that some dams were getting silted up and the storage capacity was reducing, causing water to be spilled through the waterways.


The minister urged the River Basins, which are the custodians of the dams to provide necessary warning, adding that dams are usually regulated, except if there was serious threat based on the volume of water the dam can hold.

He lamented that communities and government agencies had not been taking the flood outlook seriously, leading to loss of lives yearly.

Adamu maintained that the government could only do the prediction by providing necessary information, adding that it was left for the states, local governments and communities to take necessary actions.

He stressed the need for people to stop building in flood prone areas and stop giving illegal building permit.

The minister called for building of drainages, cleaning up of storm water drains on an annual basis to allow water to flow, creation of artificial flood plains and ensure maintenance of natural flood plains.

Acting Director General, NIHSA Olayinka Ogunwale projected that the severity of flood in 2018 would not be as bad as what was experienced in 2017 and would not be up to that of 2012.

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