The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency ,NIHSA, says a total of seventy-four Local Government Areas across the country will witness high flood risk during the rainy season this year.
The Director-General of the agency, Clement Nze, stated this in an interview with radio Nigeria in Abuja.
Nze explained that all the thirty-six states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory are expected to experience different levels of flooding.
He therefore said the implications of the twenty-nineteen predictions indicate that there will be shorter period of rain falls and early seizure.
The Director General appealed to state governments to sensitize those at the local government areas on the need to open up drainages and blockages to avoid flooding
He therefore advocated for the construction of flood-resilient communities to enable the country curtain the impact of flooding, adding that there was need to close the knowledge gap around the issue of floods policymakers and planners at the national and local levels.
Nze who attributed non- adherence to early flood warnings as the major problem militating against prevention, mitigation and preparedness urged stakeholders to work out modalities on the prevention of floods as the rainy season approaches.
The highly probable states to experience flooding include Osun, Lagos, Benue, Oyo, Cross River, Sokoto, Plateau, Abia, Edo among others.
According to Nze, the agency’s recently published 2019 AFO report, some parts of the eight Hydrological Areas of the country within nine Sub-Basins comprising Sokoto, Niger, Adamawa, Benue, Anambra, Imo, Edo, Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross River, Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Oyo and Yobe states are predicted as highly probable flood risk areas in 2019, covering about seventy-four LGAs, while the report also predicted that flood incidents would be less probable in about two hundred and seventy-nine LGAs.
“Moreover, the 2019 AFO report stated that coastal states like Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Lagos, Ondo and Rivers are expected to experience coastal flooding due to rise in sea level and tidal surge which would impact on fishing, habitation and coastal transportation” he added
Nze reiterated that the AFO predictions are scientifically crafted and strict adherence by state governments to avoid actions that impede free and easy passage of water through its natural courses like building on water ways, blocking drainages could avert devastating flood disasters.
The NIHSA boss maintained that the Agency’s mandate is to, amongst other things, provide timely and accurate data and information that guide stakeholders to ensure that water 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 workong 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.
By Georgina Humphrey/Abuja