By Paul Efiong,Abuja
The Director General of Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) has cautioned stakeholders and states government to heed to the Annual Flood Outlook recently released by the agency to prevent floods, which also serves as mitigation and preparedness during this rainy season.
Eng. Clement Onyeaso Nze made the call in a statement signed by Mrs Ifeoma Ndefo, Assistant Director and Head, Press and Public Relations and made available to newmen in Abuja.
Nze condemned non adherence to early flood warnings by NIHSA as well as Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet), saying that it one of the major problems militating against prevention, mitigation and preparedness against flood disasters in Nigeria.
Speaking to journalists in the Abuja office of NIHSA, the NIHSA DG, identified non- adherence to flood early warnings as the major problem militating against prevention, mitigation and preparedness against flood disasters in Nigeria.
“According to NIHSA’s recently published 2019 AFO report, some parts of the 8 Hydrological Areas of the country within 9 Sub-Basins comprising Sokoto, Niger.
“Others are Adamawa, Benue, Anambra, Imo, Edo, Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross River, Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Oyo and Yobe states are predicted as highly probable flood risk areas in 2019.
“ It also covers about 74 LGAs, while the report also predicted that flood incidents would be less probable in about 279 LGAs.
“Moreover, the 2019 AFO report stated that coastal states like Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Lagos.
“ Ondo and Rivers are expected to experience coastal flooding due to rise in sea level and tidal surge which would impact on fishing, habitation and coastal transportation. “These states were predicted as highly probable to flood risk areas in 2019, covering about 74 local government areas, also flood incidents will be less probable in about 279 LGAs.
“This is because of the rise in sea level and tidal surge which will impact on fishing, habitation and coastal transportation,“ Nze said.
The NIHSA director said that the 2019 AFO predictions were scientifically crafted and strict adherence were advised to the state governments in particular.
He advised the general public to desist from building structures on water ways, blocking drainages to avoid actions that could impede free and easy passage of water through its natural courses to avert devastating flood disasters.
Nze said that the agency’s mandate was to provide timely, accurate data and information to guide stakeholders to ensure that water being a free gift from God was properly managed in ways that make it more beneficial and less disastrous.
According to him, NIHSA is working with sister agency like the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), National Orientation Agency (NOA) to monitor flooding.