From: Femi Oyelola, kaduna
The Executive Director, National Water Resources Institute, (NWRI), Kaduna, Professor Emmanuel Adanu has called on government to focus more on preventing disasters than managing it in order to save human, material and financial resources.
He made the call at a stakeholders workshop on construction of Flood Marks held in Kaduna yesterday
According to him, flooding is a natural phenomenon that human race must put up with; adding that the attendance disaster or benefit of this phenomenon is what we have to manage effectively to the benefit of human existence.
Prof Adanu explained that flood marks are just like mile posts from one town to another and it tells people how far they have travelled or how the distance they still have to cover to get to their destination to enable them prepare.
“The year 2012 was a unique one for Nigeria especially for the young ones and even the elderly. That was the highest level of flooding Nigeria had. It was considered 60, 80, and a 100 year return period in some locations in the country. So, we are using that as a standard benchmark.
“We are going to have mark posts or symbols or beacons all over the country along flood planes and then mark the levels of flood as in maximum we have had, then we graduate it down, or up from green to yellow and red.
“It should be noted that not all flood have negative impact as the first flood was intended to clean the earth of human iniquities,” he said.
Also, the Director Planning, Research and Forecasting, National Emergency Agency, (NEMA), Mr. Kayode Fagbemi, said the flood mark is going to serve a record purpose, as data will be gathered to say at a particular year this was the level of flood and then we can have historical data
In her remarks, Chief Programme Officer, Department of Public Enlightenment and Mass Mobilization, National Orientation Agency, (NOA), Grace Mamman, said the Agency will partner NWRI in the area of advocacy and sensitisation.
Earlier, in his presentation, NWRI Head of Drought, Flood and Erosion Control, Engineer Julius Onemano, said that the historic rainfall events that devastated parts of Nigeria in recent years exposed the Nation’s vulnerability to flooding.
He said that considering the frequency and severity of the flood events, erection of flood marks across the country becomes a vital project that can serve a very useful purpose such as; River Flood Watch (rise of river levels) and River Flood Warning.
“In the light of the above, some states of the country were selected as the sites for the proposed Flood Mark Monuments to be constructed.
These sites include; Lokoja in Kogi State, Makurdi in Benue State, Onitsha in Anambra State and Yola in Adamawa State.”