Written by Sarah NEGEDU

More states to experience flooding in Sept – NHISA boss

The recent flooding being experienced in Abuja and some other parts of the country are early signs of the severe flood to be expected in the coming weeks, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, NIHSA, has warned.

The agency warned that more states across Nigeria are likely to be hit by floods from the Niger Basin.

Director-General of NIHSA, Mr. Clement Nze, who disclosed this at a press conference in Abuja, said Nigeria will be affected by both river and urban flooding as floods from the upper reaches of the eight countries that comprises the basin.

Niger basin comprises eight African countries–Guinea, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Chad and Cameroon.

Nze, while providing update on the 2019 Annual Flood Outlook prediction, also raised concern over the steady rise in water levels across the country.

“Daily records from the agency’s hydrological measuring stations across the country show steady rise in water levels.

“Particularly, the hydrological measuring station downstream the confluence in Lokoja, Kogi State, shows the likelihood of spread of damages that may arise from flooding incidents in 2019.”

He added, “This started manifesting very early as seen in no less than 15 states, namely Niger, Lagos, Edo, Imo, Abia, Jigawa, Adamawa, Delta, Rivers, Cross River, Oyo, Enugu, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Bauchi and the Federal Capital Territory.

“There is high probability that more states would still be affected by both river and urban flooding as flood from the upper reaches of the Niger Basin would be arriving Nigeria in a month time .”

He said the localised urban flooding incidents being witnessed in some communities are expected to continue due to high rainfall intensity of long duration, rainstorms, blockage of drainage system and poor urban planning.

Nze noted that it was very unfortunate that the flooding incidents were manifesting just as predicted by NIHSA in its 2019 Annual Flood Outlook, which was made public on April 30.

This, he said, meant that the relevant stakeholders, especially individuals and state governments, had failed to heed the warnings issued before the onset of flooding season across the country.

Meanwhile, state officials of Emergency Management Agencies, National Water Research Institute and other stakeholders in the sector are asking for increased funding from governments to effectively control floods in the country.

According to them, such funds will be used to work on the dams across the country and ensure adequate channelling of flood water to these dams.

They made the call in Abuja at the national workshop on flood risk mitigation, preparedness and response for 2019.

In his address at the workshop, the Director General, NEMA, Mr Mustapha Maihaja, stated that it was important to properly channel flood water to river basins and from the basins it should be channelled to dams, adding that this would require enough funds.

He noted that the water in dams could be utilised for socioeconomic purposes such as hydropower, irrigation, among others.

The Director General, National Water Resources Institute, Prof. Emmanuel Adanu, said there was a need for prevention of flooding by ensuring that the flood waters were well dammed, adding that this would require increased funding.

 

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