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FG Warns States to Prepare for Increased Flooding During Rainy Season


The Federal Government has issued a warning to states and local government areas to prepare for increased river flooding as the nation reaches the peak of the rainy season.

The Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Utsev, delivered this warning during a news conference in Abuja on Thursday. He emphasized the need for precautionary measures to prevent potential disasters.

Prof. Utsev highlighted that the states have been alerted following the 2024 Annual Flood Outlook released by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA).

Detailed forecasts and preventive measures tailored to each region have been provided to state governors.

Significant flood risks have been identified in 148 local government areas across 31 states, including Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, and Anambra.

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The flood outlook, divided into three scenarios, indicates heightened flood risks from April to November, with the most severe flooding expected between July and September.

“Over ten states and the FCT have already experienced varying levels of flooding since April, resulting in casualties and property damage. Notable incidents include the flooding in Trademore Estate, FCT, which led to two deaths and significant property loss,” he stated.

Prof.

Utsev urged states and local governments to intensify flood prevention measures, such as clearing blocked drainage systems, relocating residents from flood-prone areas, and constructing flood barriers.

He noted that major rivers like the Niger and Benue are expected to flood, necessitating continuous monitoring and proactive measures.

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Additionally, the minister warned that increased rainfall could worsen the ongoing cholera outbreak, which has already caused 63 deaths and 2,102 suspected cases.

A presidential committee has been formed to address cholera and other waterborne diseases linked to flooding.

A realigned 2023 flood report led to the creation of a new committee, chaired by Vice President Kashim Shettima, to tackle broader disaster management issues, including erosion and desertification. The committee’s report has been approved by the National Economic Council, with implementation strategies set to begin shortly.

As part of comprehensive measures to enhance public health and sanitation, the Clean Nigeria Use the Toilet campaign and the activation of national laboratories are underway.

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Mr. Clement Nze, Director General of NIHSA, underscored the Federal Government’s advisory role, noting that enforcement and local action fall under the jurisdiction of the states.

He mentioned that the Federal Government would continue efforts to construct buffer dams alongside the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon to mitigate flood risks.

The 2024 Annual Flood Outlook from NIHSA indicates that 148 local government areas across 31 states, including 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, and Yobe, are at high risk of flooding.


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