Ogun, Lagos, Delta, 29 other States to experience devastating flood - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Ogun, Lagos, Delta, 29 other States to experience devastating flood

THE Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Engr Joseph Utsev, Tuesday, revealed in 2024 Annual Flood Outlook, AFO, presentation revealed that Bayelsa, Delta, Adamawa, Rivers and 28 other States would be worst hit by flood.

Utsev during the presentation organized by the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency, NIHSA, said the theme of 2024 AFO, ‘Promoting the use of Data Analytics and Modeling for Flood Risk Assessments and Food Security’ aligns with the presidential agenda on food security, which forms the fulcrum of the Tinubu-led administration, with the goal to lift at least 100 million of the population out of poverty, with the aim of making Nigeria a prosperous nation.

However, the Minister disclosed he has appealed to the State Governors, notified them on the 2024 AFO, and also sent maps on the level of flooding to expect in their respective States so they can understand and act on the urgency of the predictions.

The Annual Flood Outlook, AFO, report presentation is a yearly event by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, NIHSA, an agency under the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation.

Basically, the AFO is to create awareness of rainfall and possibly flood activities in different parts of the country and in order for government at all levels to kick-start preventive measures to mitigate the impact it would have on lives, infrastructures, farmlands and businesses.

It is also an early warning to Nigerians generally to ensure they stop activities that would aggravate the crisis by being pragmatic and proactive to minimize the potential and foreseen losses and damages the rains and floods could cause.

The event was attended by National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Federal Ministry of Environment, World Metrological Organization, WMO, Save the Children, and others.

He said, “To address the perennial flood disasters in Nigeria, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, inaugurated the National Economic Council Ad-hoc Committee on Flood Mitigation, Adaptation, Preparedness and Response to proactively develop a roadmap to enhance Nigeria's flood mitigation, preparedness, adaptation and response capabilities. It is important to note that the Presidential directive was predicated on the periodic updates and briefings on situations of flooding in the country by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency.

“General Highlights of the 2024 Annual Flood Outlook, AFO; The 2024 Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) shows that part of 148 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in 31 States of the Federation fall within the High Flood Risk Areas, while part of 249 LGAs in 36 States of the Federation and the FCT fall within the Moderate Flood Risk Areas. The High Flood Risk States are: Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross-River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe.

“Seasonal Outlook: High Flood Risk Areas between the months of April and November, 2024; The level of floods in this category is expected to be high in terms of impact on the population, agriculture, livelihoods, livestock and infrastructure, and the environment. Part of 72 LGAs across the country fall within the High Flood Risk areas in the months of April, May and June; while part of 135 LGAs in the months of July, August and September; and part of 44 LGAs in the months of October and November, 2024 are within the High Flood Risk zones. The details of the LGAs and their corresponding States are contained in the AFO publication.

“Moderate Flood Risk Areas between the months of April and November, 2024; Moderate impact level floods are expected in parts of 63 LGAs within the months of April, May and June; and in parts of 221 LGAs within the months of July, August and September; and parts of 100 LGAs within the months of October and November, 2024.”      

According to the Minister, city centres that would experience flash and urban flood include Abakaliki, Abeokuta, Abuja, Asaba, Benin City, Birnin–Kebbi, Calabar, Ibadan, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, Makurdi, Nguru, Onitsha, Oshogbo, Port Harcourt, Sokoto, Warri and Yola, while, coastal and riverine flooding will be experienced in Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Lagos, Ogun, Rivers and Ondo due to rise in sea level and tidal surge and this would impact on fishing, wildlife habitation and river navigation.

However, he called on stakeholders, decision and policy makers, relevant federal and state government departments and agencies to take note of the information contained in this 2024 AFO and prepare in advance.

“While the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) is doing her best to carry out aggressive sensitization and awareness campaigns, we must all join hands to keep clean our environment, waterways (i.e. drainages, gutters, etc.) and flood paths, and maintain proper refuse disposal and waste management practices to reduce incidence of flooding.

“I have the strong view that the 2024 Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) will serve as a veritable tool for effective 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. Together we can work to minimize the impacts of flood on our communities and ensure a safe and more flood resilient Nigeria”, he said.

In a goodwill message, the Director General, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Zubaida Umar, while acknowledging NEMA’s partnership and collaboration with the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, said the AFO has been utilized by the agency to develop the annual ‘Climate Related Hazard’ preparedness and response strategy which serves as early warning message for Nigeria.   

Meanwhile, the Director General, Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, NIHSA, Engr Clement Nze, said, “Nigeria lost over 665 people last year, and World Bank put the amount of money lost at over $6.8 million to flood in 2022, so it is important to have proper understanding of Annual Flood Outlook for proper measures to mitigate the impact.”

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