Lagos — THE Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, NIHSA, in its prediction of the 2023 Annual Flood Outlook AFO, has warned against the impact of flooding in virtually all states across the country.
In the Outlook themed “Flood Prediction and its Impact” The Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu at the Public Presentation of the 2023 Annual Flood Outlook said that the impact on the Socio-Economic Livelihood of Nigerians” predicted that 178 Local Government Areas (LGA’s) in 32 States of the federation and the FCT fall within the Highly Probable Flood Risk Areas, and these are Adamawa, Abia, Akwa- Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross- River, Delta, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Edo.
Others are, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, as well as Zamfara and the FCT. While 224 LGA’s in 35 States of the Federation including FCT fall within the moderately probable flood Risks Areas. The remaining 372 LGA’s fall within the probable Flood Risks Areas.
The 2023 Annual Flood Outlook emphasized on the categories of flood anticipated as the Minister revealed that the Highly Probable Flood Risks Areas is expected between the month of April and November, adding that the level of floods in this category is expected to be high in terms of impact on the population, agriculture, livelihood, livestock and infrastructure, and the environment, Part of 66 LGA’s across the country fall within the Highly Probable Risks Areas, in the months of April, May, and June, while part of 148 LGA’s in the months of October and November, 2023.
The Minister further explained that the moderate impact level of floods are expected in Parts of 41 LGA’s within the months of April, May, and June, while parts of 199 LGA’s fall within the month of July, August, September, and parts of 73 LGA’s within the months of October and November 2023.
He hinted that Bayelsa, Cross -River, Delta, Edo, Lagos, Ogun, Rivers, and Ondo will be experiencing Coastal flooding due to rise in sea level and tidal surge which would impact on fishing, wildlife habitation and river navigation, whilst cities like Lagos, Kaduna, Suleija, Gombe, Yola, Makurdi, Abuja, Lafia, Asaba, Port- Harcourt, Yenagoa, Ibadan, Benin-City, Birnin- Kebbi, Lokoja, Kano,Nsukka, Sokoto, Ado- Ekiti, Owerri, Calabar, Maiduguri, Osogbo, Abakaliki and Awka will be experiencing flash and urban flooding.
Engr. Adamu noted that the Federal Government is committed to ensuring that necessary measures are taken to mitigate the impacts of natural disasters taking into cognisance the devastating consequences of the 2022 floods.
In addition he emphasized on the need for accurate flood forecasting in protecting, the lives and property of citizens, noting that NIHSA has made a tremendous progress in improving flood forecasting capabilities and confident and that the predictions presented will help to better prepare for response to potential flood events as well as serve as a veritable tool for strategic planning to avert loss of lives and property through adequate coordinated and effective flood early warning and sensitization awareness campaigns, improved flood mitigation strategies and preparedness for risk reduction by all stakeholders.
The Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Esther Didi Walson-Jack, represented by the Director River Basin Operations, Johnson Ochigbo, reiterated on the overall objective of the meeting, stating that it is to sensitize the nation, particularly water users, planners, decision and policy makers, farmers, stakeholders and general public on the need to embark on preventive measures, necessary to improve the safety of lives and reduce potential damages to property and infrastructures that has been witnessed from the recent flood disasters particularly the 2022 flood disaster.
She urged participants to translate the 2023 forecasts into concrete actions that will make the nation’s communities flood resilient noting that the yearly message of AFO to the general public will decline the negative impact of flood thereby promoting better understanding of flood Risks and ensuring that appropriate mitigation measures are deployed.
Stakeholders from the event, attended by Heads of Agency/CEO of various government parastatals, NGOs, as well as academia, commended the Minister of Water Resources for his unflinching support to NIHSA and to NIHSA for its timely release of AFO prediction.
The Director General (NIHSA), Engr. Clement Nze, in his closing remarks noted that the 11th edition of the AFO has been apt and remarkable in all ramifications.
He expressed gratitude to the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu noting that NIHSA has always received support from the Minister as well as the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack and all the Directors in the Ministry, in addition to the synergy enjoyed with sister agencies, NIMET and NEMA.
Nze further urged stakeholders to do the needful and utilize the Data/Information provided in AFO 2023 in order to avert and minimize adverse effect of flooding in Nigeria.
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