Nigeria: ‘Prepare For Longer Period Of Rain This Year – NIHSA

The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, NIHSA, has called on Nigerians to prepare for longer period of rain this year.

The Director General of the agency, Mr. Cement Nze made call while briefing newsmen in Abuja.

Nze said that the warning became necessary as it served to alert Nigerians that the country would soon experience the peak of raining season for the year 2020 and the dry season is the time to prepare for floods

He said the localised urban flooding incidents being witnessed in some cities and communities in the country are attributed to late preparations.

Nze who explained that flooding incidents are 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 for early enlightenment campaigns.

“River flooding, as well as coastal flooding, is expected to come into place as the nation approaches the peak of raining season.

“Therefore, states and local governments should endeavour to remove structures built within the floodplains, clear blocked drainage, culverts and other waterways,’’ he said.

Nze said that the agency will closely monitor the rains across the country to protect the loss of lives and property.

He stressed that the Agency will adequately keep Nigerians abreast if the predictions by the Nigeria meteorological Agency go through.

“This means that the relevant stakeholders, especially the individuals and state governments have vital roles to play by averting floods across the nation.”

On the current issue of dams in the country, Nze explained that there was a need for more smaller dams in strategic locations across the country in order to prevent flooding during the raining season.

According to Nze, for about forty years, Nigeria could not build the Dasin-Hausa dam in Adamawa State to cushion the impact of any release of water from Lagdo dam in Cameroon, despite being advised by the neighbouring country to construct a dam.

He noted that it was important for the country to construct dams in order to effectively manage the menace of flooding.

“If we can build small dams within the tributaries of River Benue and do proper monitoring, it will go a long way to address any catastrophe coming from River Benue.” Nze added.

On the flooding effect of the Lagdo dam in Nigeria, Nze stated that the Nigerian government failed to construct its own dam after being advised by Cameroon to do so.

He said, “The Lagdo dam was built between 1977 and 1982 And when they started building this, they advised Nigeria to build its own so that if they should release water when it becomes inevitable, our own dam will hold the water, But for almost forty years or so, our own has been on the drawing table,  that is the Dasin-Hausa dam.”

Nze further explained that so far Nigeria and Cameroon have signed a memorandum of understanding to adequately intimate Nigeria whenever water is being released from the Cameroonian end.

Geogina Humphrey/Abuja

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