HomeNewsNigeria Issues Flood Warning for 31 States, Urging Proactive Measures

Nigeria Issues Flood Warning for 31 States, Urging Proactive Measures

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Nigerians in 31 states are facing a potential flood threat, according to a flood warning issued by the government. The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) unveiled the 2024 Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) this week, identifying over 148 Local Government Areas (LGAs) at high risk of flooding.

The Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Utsev, emphasized the urgency of proactive measures to minimize flood damage. He highlighted the importance of preparedness, early warning systems, and community engagement.

“There is a need for preparedness, early warning systems, and community engagement to minimize damage to lives and property,” said Utsev.

The 2024 AFO, themed “Promoting the Use of Data Analytics and Modeling for Flood Risk Assessments and Food Security,” underscores the government’s commitment to utilizing data-driven approaches for flood management. The identified high-risk areas could face flooding between April and November 2024, potentially impacting populations, agriculture, livelihoods, livestock, infrastructure, and the environment.

Learning from the Past to Prepare for the Future

Nigeria has a history of devastating floods, with 2022 being particularly catastrophic. The World Bank estimated the economic damage from those floods at a staggering $6.68 billion.

In response to these ongoing challenges, President Bola Tinubu established the National Economic Council Ad-hoc Committee on Flood Mitigation, Adaptation, Preparedness, and Response. This committee’s mandate is to develop a comprehensive plan for proactive flood management strategies.

The AFO serves as a critical tool for flood preparedness. By identifying high-risk areas, relevant authorities can take targeted actions to mitigate potential damage. This may include reinforcing infrastructure, creating flood diversion channels, and establishing early warning systems.

Community engagement is also crucial. Educating residents about flood risks and evacuation procedures can save lives. Additionally, promoting responsible waste disposal practices can help prevent clogged drainage systems that exacerbate flooding.

Aligning Flood Management with Food Security

The AFO’s theme aligns with the Presidential Agenda on Food Security. Flooding can have a significant impact on agricultural production, threatening food security. By mitigating flood risks, the government aims to protect agricultural land and ensure food security for the nation.

While the flood warnings raise concerns, the Nigerian government’s proactive approach offers a hopeful outlook. The establishment of the National Economic Council Ad-hoc Committee demonstrates a commitment to tackling flood challenges. By combining data analytics, early warning systems, and community engagement, Nigeria can potentially build resilience against floods and safeguard its people, infrastructure, and food security.

Source: Vanguard  

 

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