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Federal Govt Puts States On Red Alert Over Impending Floods

The federal government has alerted state governments about an impending flooding this year, warning that as many as 626 local government areas (LGAs) in Nigeria are prone to flooding in 2023 – about 80 percent of the local governments in the country.

It urged them to start sensitisation and mitigating efforts to prevent the impending disaster.

Speaking at the presentation of the 2023 climate-related disaster preparedness and mitigating strategies in Abuja, the director-general of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Ahmed, said the 2023 Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) had revealed that a total of 66 local government areas (LGAs) are at high flood risk in the months of April to June; 148 LGAs in July to September and 100 LGAs in the months of October and November.

He said a total of 41 LGAs fall within the moderate flood risk areas in the months of April to June; 199 LGAs in the months of July to September and 72 LGAs in the months of October and November.

Ahmed also said this year’s forecast indicates a high risk of coastal flooding due to expected rise in sea level and tidal surge that may negatively impact agriculture, human settlements and transportation in Bayelsa, Delta, Lagos and Rivers states.

“The forecasts have provided many insights into what to expect ahead of this rainy  season. The reality is that this year may witness floods similar to what occurred last year if not more. You may recall that last year’s floods resulted in 665 deaths and injuries to 3,181 persons nationwide.  A total of 4,476,867 persons were affected; 2,437,411 persons displaced, about 944,989 farmlands were damaged and 355,986 houses were partially or totally destroyed by floods,” the director-general stated.

On ways of mitigating the impact of the flood, NEMA director-general said that since the release of the forecasts, NEMA had continued to engage relevant stakeholders to explore ways to mitigate the risk of the predicted floods and other related hazards throughout the 2023 rainy season.

“It is in line with this that we are here today to formally present to the public the 2023 Climate-related Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation Strategies. The objective is to highlight the predictions of the year as contained in SCP and AFO, including associated risks with recommendation of actions required to mitigate against identified hazards and provide appropriate early warning messages for public sensitisation.

“In NEMA, we believe that early warning must be matched with early action. Therefore, we have written letters and attached this document for dispatch to all the 36 state governments and the FCT administration with specific mention of LGAs at risk and actions that are expected to be taken by responsible authorities.

“We have also produced flood risk maps of areas at risk and uploaded them on our official website and social media platforms for greater access by the public. NEMA has also commenced public sensitisation through placement of flood early warning jingles, special discussions and advocacy across the states.”

“Since the release of the forecasts, NEMA has continued to engage relevant stakeholders to explore ways to mitigate against the risk of the predicted floods and other related hazards throughout the 2023 rainy season.

“It is in line with this that we are here today to formally present to the public the 2023 Climate-related Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation Strategies. The objective is to highlight the predictions of the year as contained in SCP and AFO including associated risks with recommendation of actions required to mitigate against identified hazards and provide appropriate early warning messages for public sensitization.

“In NEMA, we believe that early warning must be matched with early action. Therefore, we have written letters and attached this document for dispatch to all the 36 state governments and the FCT administration with specific mention of LGAs at risk and actions that are expected to be taken by responsible authorities.

“We have also produced flood risk maps of areas at risk and uploaded on our official website and social media platforms for greater access by the public. NEMA has also commenced public sensitization through placement of flood early warning jingles, special discussions and advocacy across the states.

“From the foregoing, it is important to emphasize that it is our desire that early warning alerts are matched with appropriate early actions especially at the community level.

“State Governments that are yet to establish Local Emergency Management Committees (LEMCs) in their respective local government areas are encouraged to do so. Let me also advise the public to imbibe attitudinal change towards disaster risk reduction and take serious all advisories released by relevant authorities,” the director general said.

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