A consultant to the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mr Dauda Gowon, has urged Nigerians to adhere to flood warnings.
Gowon spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) in Abuja on the sidelines of a stakeholders’ workshop on flooding.
He said people leaving in flood plains should adhere to the warning signals and advice from the government to protect their lives and properties.
“First of all, if you are in a flood-prone area, either you leave the place or listen to the advice circulating on the radio and other media.
“You can save yourself and save your properties when you know there is a flood coming.
“Then in the areas where people contribute to flood through various unhealthy activities, please stop.
“Where you build your house and destroy trees in the process, when you destroy the vegetation, all those are part of the reasons for flood which is bad for us.”
He noted that Nigerians leaving in coastal areas were often exposed to the dangers of flooding.
“Science and events have also shown that the last thing one should do is to stay in coastal areas or build permanent structures in flood-prone areas.
“There is something with people, they know the flood areas, but yet go there, not only in Nigeria; it happens in Malawi, India, people still build houses in flood plains.
“In such cases, what do you expect government to do when they don’t heed the warnings given?
“I know they live there, but they must be duly sensitised on the dangers of living in these places; the decision is theirs to make,” he said.
Furthermore, Gowon, who is also a water specialist, called for the implementation of “isohyets’’ in forecasting flood in Nigeria.
NAN reports that isohyets are lines drawn on a map connecting points, having equal rainfall, property and temperature at a certain time or for a stated period.
“I am appealing to the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, universities and other agencies to use isohyets in their operations.”
Gowon also called on the agencies to put in place mitigation and adaptation measures to tackle the effects of climate change. NAN