The Nigerian hydrological services Agency, NIHSA, has called on stakeholders to work out modalities on the prevention of floods.
Director General of the Agency, Mr. Clement Nze made the call in an interview with Kapital FM in Abuja.
Mr. Nze attributed the non- adherence to early flood warnings and improper allocations of land as the major problem militating against prevention, mitigation and preparedness.
“Localised urban flooding incidents being witnessed in some cities and communities in the country are results of late preparations. Nze noted.
Mr. Nze who explained that the heavy downpour in the month of June was a signal that the country would experience heavy flooding appealed to Nigerians to prepare for the peak of the raining season which comes between August and September.
“The advice became necessary as it served to alert Nigerians that the country would soon experience the peak of raining season for the year 2020 and now is the time to prepare for it”
He therefore advised Nigerians living along water ways and citizens having socio- economic activities on flood prone areas to relocate.
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 to partner the Agency to mitigate flooding across the country.
“Therefore, states and local governments should endeavour to remove structures built within the floodplains, clear blocked drainage, culverts and other waterways,’’ he said.
On the recent flooding in Abuja and its environ, he explained that Federal Capital Territory Authority has embarked on massive demolition of building to pave way for water channels.
“The Agency has been advocating for open drainages that will be maintain regularly to enable the country mitigate flooding”
On the issue on how to mitigate the Perennial flooding across the country, the Director General appealed to state governments to sensitize those at the local government areas on the need to open up drainages, get proper allocation before buildings avert blockages to avoid flooding.
Nze who said the implications of Perennial flooding in the country are enormous explained that in year 2012 the National Emergency Management Agency accessment reports indicated that the flooding affected the Agricultural sector and lot of lives lost stressed that all hands must be on deck to avert 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.
The Director-General explained that all the thirty-six states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory are expected to experience different levels of flooding.
“A total of one hundred and two Local Government Areas across twenty- eighth states in the country will suffer severe flooding while two hundred and seventy- five local government areas will witness different flooding risk during the rainy season this year”
Nze said that the agency would closely monitor the downpour of rains across the country to protect the loss of lives and property.
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.
The NIHSA Director General therefore appealed to relevant authorities and Nigerians to take responsibility in making sure that drainages are open up for easy flow of water to avert Perennial flooding confronting the nation.