THE EDUCATOR - August 8 2019

Flood: Worst days ahead – NIHSA

The Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), has warned that the country would experience severe flood, if urgent measures are not taken to mitigate the disaster. 

This is even as the Agency lamented flagrant disregard for its annual flood predictions which has ravaged some parts of the country and led to the loss of lives, property, and destruction of economic activities.

NIHSA’s Director General, Clement Eze, who addressed journalists yesterday in Abuja, urged residents of Niger, Lagos, Benue, Imo, Edo, Abia, Jigawa, Adamawa, Delta and Cross River States respectively to brace up for the disaster ahead.

Nze included Enugu, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Bauchi and the Federal Capital Territory in flood-prone staff states.

He said: “NIHSA has closely been monitoring the many flooding incidents taking place across the country with the attendant loss of lives and property. It is very unfortunate that the flooding incidents are manifesting just as predicted by NIHSA.

“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 Kogi State,  show the likelihood of spread of damages that may arise from flooding incidents in 2019.

“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 flooding and urban flooding as flood from the upper reaches the Niger Basin (Guinea, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Chad and Cameron).

“The Agency is concerned about the non-adherence to flood predictions for 2019, thereby resulting in avoidable flooding.”

However, Eze, encouraged states with high level of water to clean up drainages, remove illegal structures blocking free flow of water to simmer down the severity.

According to him, “The localised urban flooding incidents being witnessed in some cities and communities are expected to continue due to high rainfall intensity of long duration, rainstorm, blockage of drainage system and poor urban planning resulting in erection of structures within the floodplains and waterways.

“River and coastal flooding  are 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 floodplains, clear blocked drainages,culvert and other waterways.