Flooding looms in 35 states, warns hydrological agency

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Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja

Anambra, Benue, Ogun, Osun, Niger, Imo and Niger Delta areas are to experience severe flooding this year, while Lagos and Ondo will see coastal flooding due to the rise in sea level and tidal surge, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, has warned.

NIHSA also raised the alarm of imminent flooding in about 35 states, as it presented this year’s Annual Flood Outlook in Abuja on Tuesday.

Its Director General, Moses Beckley, who said the floods would spread to many local government areas, called on government at all levels to ensure early preparation.

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The states to be affected by this year’s flood, according to NIHSA’s 2017 AFO include Niger, Kebbi, Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Kaduna, Kwara, FCT, Kogi, Taraba, Adamawa, Gombe, Bauchi, Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, Delta and Bayelsa.

Others are Imo, Rivers, Enugu, Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Lagos, Ekiti, Abia, Cross River, Akwa-Ibom, Kano, Jigawa, and Edo.

Beckley said some states would see flashes of flood as the rain sets in, adding that the number of people vulnerable to devastating flood would continue to rise because of large scale urbanisation and population growth in flood prone areas.

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 He said, “The agency is sensitising the general public, especially those living in flood prone areas, on probably flooding events and advising them to take proactive steps to avoid loss of lives and property, damage to crucial infrastructure, disruption of socio-economic activities and in some cases, displacement of people in the affected areas.”

In his address, the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, said the Federal Government had in the past constructed dams and reservoirs to manage river flows in Nigeria, as well as control flooding.

“The Federal Government through my ministry and its agencies has over the years undertaken fundamental initiatives to manage river flows within the country for the ultimate good of all citizens,” Adamu said.

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