Niger Delta states of Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers, Cross River and Edo states are among eight states that will experience high tidal surge as the rains intensify this year, the Federal Government has warned. And this year’s flooding could affect 20 million people and damage property worth $80 million (about N40 billion), according to the Nigerian Metrological Agency (NiMET)
The minister of Water Resources, Mr. Suleiman Adamu, who gave the warning at the unveiling of the unveiling of the 2022 Annual Flood Outlook, said the outlook also indicated that high flooding will occur in 233 local government areas of 32 states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
Adamu noted that the AFO has helped to reduce the risks that usually came with flooding in Nigeria by its early warnings and forecasting, and praised NIHSA for improving on its predictive capacity.
The 2022 AFO captures three scenarios of flood outlook for the months of April to June (AMJ); flood outlook for September to July (JAS); and flood outlook for the months of October to November (ON) respectively.
The minister said, “The general outlook of 2022 shows that 233 local government Areas in 32 states of the federation and FCT fall within the Highly Probable flood risk Areas, while 212 local government areas in 35 states of the Federation including FCT fall within the moderately probable flood risk areas.
“The remaining 392 local government areas fall within the probable flood risk areas.
“The highly Probable Flood risk states include Adamawa, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River, Delta and Ebonyi. Others are, Ekiti, Edo, Gombe,Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara and FCT.”
He said eight states will battle with tidal surge and rise in sea level in2022 based on the AFO. “Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Lagos, Ogun and Ondo will experience coastal flooding due to tidal surge and rise in sea level”.
He warned that flash and urban flooding will be experienced in parts of major cities including Lagos, Kaduna, Suleja, Gombe, Yola, Markurdi, Abuja, Lafia, Asaba, Port Harcourt, Yenagoa, Ibadan, Abeokuta, Benin City, and Birnin Kebbi. Others include Sokoto, Lokoja, Maiduguri, Kano, Oshogbo, Ado Ekiti, Abakaliki, Awka, Nsukka, Calabar and Owerri.
The minister however assured that the ministry was putting structural control measures such as dams, canals, storm drains and other facilities in place to divert flood waters from highly probable flood risk zones in the country.
He also disclosed that there is strong collaboration between neighbouring countries with regards to water releases from dams within their catchments and better preparedness to avert any flood incidents.
The director general of NIHSA, Mr. Clement Nze, called on Nigerians to get better informed, educated and enlightened with the 2022 AFO document
Nze said the warning is to improve safety and reduce potential damages to lives and property from flood events and to increase enlightenment and sensitization campaign for better preparedness on flood mitigation and Management, particularly in the flood risk zones all over the country.
Director-General of NiMet, Mr. Mansur Matazu, said about 20 million people were at risk of flooding. He said the floods could cause a colossal damage of $80 million if not well managed, given the rising population in flood-prone areas, worsening climate change and increasing economic activities.
Said he: “To effectively tackle flood issues, there must be sufficient information regarding surface and ground water hydrological systems.
“For the year 2022, the rainfall has already been established in all southern cities in line with the predictions. Gradually also, rainfall is getting established across the central part and in few weeks, the rainfall would be fully established across the country.
“High intensity rainfall that characterize the onset months usually come along with flash floods due to excess runoff. For this and more the Annual Flood Outlook is highly essential in reducing risks associated with all kind of floods,” he said.
Director-General of the National Emergency Agency (NEMA), Mr Mustapha Ahmed, said the agency had utilized the Annual Flood Outlook from the NHISA to develop its early warning alerts for the dissemination of timely and impact-based hydro Meteorological information to the public and its partners.
“The 2022 Annual Flood Outlook has presented another opportunity for NEMA’s collaboration with NIHSA in the area of information and data-processing of functional lifesaving tools like the flood early warning messages,” he noted.
The theme of this year’s event is “Flood Management and Food Security”.
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