NIHSA Issues Red Alert Over Flood-related Disasters

The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, NIHSA, has warned Nigerians to brace up for more floods.

Director-General of the Agency, Mr. Clement Nze made the call in Abuja while updating newsmen on Flooding Situation in the Country.

Mr. Nze said the country could experience more flooding because of a combination of climate change factors, population growth, urbanisation, economic development, and poor drainage systems.

He explained that changes in climate precipitation, river change flow regime, and rise in sea level would increase the likelihood of floods in the country.

“As the rainy season advances, more states in the country have started experiencing floods; this agrees with the flood scenarios presented in the 2021 Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) Nze added.

The Director-General NIHSA stressed that some of the states that have already experienced floods in 2021 are Lagos, Nasarawa, Anambra, Imo, Abia, Kwara, Kaduna, Rivers, Enugu, Ogun, Delta, Taraba, Yobe, Ekiti, Borno, Ondo, Katsina and Maiduguri which are caused by poor drainage systems as localized rainfall generated the flash or urban flooding.

He explained that the Lagos situation is made worse by the rising sea level from Arctic ice melting in the last decade.

The Director-General said the Agency was monitoring the development as the critical months approaches adding that its also monitoring developments on the River Benue Sub-basin to keep close contact with the Cameroonian authorities with regards to flood scenarios in the upper catchment of the Sub-basin.

According to Nze Nigeria is located within the River Niger Basin which was occupied by nine countries with Nigeria at the lowest portion of the Basin which means once the upper catchment of basin is flooded Nigeria will experience flooding.

Nze stated that NIHSA had made efforts towards improving flood forecasting and management through the publication of the Annual Flood Outlook (AFO).

According to him, the public was engaged in flood sensitisation workshops, updating the hydrological database, and improving the hydrological modeling system.

He added that legislation enforcement and review of environmental Laws, enforcement, and review of housing, land use, urban and regional planning rules, and regulations were urgent measures that needed to be taken into consideration to control the risk of further flooding in the country.

Mr. Nze, therefore, appealed to both the state and local governments to intensify and step up efforts towards averting flood-related disasters in their domains as the nation gradually gets into the peak of the flooding season which is July to September and early October.

Georgina Humphrey/ Abuja

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