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  • News - North Central - FCT
  • Updated: April 17, 2024

FG warns over looming flood risk in Lagos, Anambra, 29 other states

FG warns over looming flood risk in Lagos, Anambra, 29 other

The Federal Government has sounded a warning about the looming threat of heavy flooding in various states across Nigeria

According to Joseph Utsev, the Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, a total of 148 local government areas spanning 31 states are at high risk of flooding in 2024.

Utsev delivered this cautionary message during the unveiling of the 2024 Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) in Abuja, with a focus on utilizing data analytics and modeling for flood risk assessments and food security.

The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) is responsible for forecasting these yearly predictions.

The states identified as vulnerable to flooding include Lagos, Anambra, and 29 others such as Adamawa, Delta, Kano, and Rivers.

Emphasizing the importance of preparedness and proactive measures, Utsev stressed the potential impact on various aspects including population, agriculture, infrastructure, and the environment.

He highlighted the period of heightened risk from April to November 2024, urging concerted efforts to mitigate the potential consequences of flooding.

Utsev also noted Nigeria's history of severe flood disasters, citing 2012 as one of the most devastating events on record.

“The World Bank estimated the total economic damage from the 2022 floods, including damage to residential and nonresidential buildings, infrastructure, productive sectors, and farmlands, at approximately $6.68 billion.

“In response to the ongoing challenges posed by flooding, President Bola Tinubu initiated the National Economic Council Ad-hoc Committee on Flood Mitigation, Adaptation, Preparedness, and Response,’’ he said.

The minister said the committee’s mandate was to proactively develop a comprehensive roadmap to enhance Nigeria’s flood mitigation, preparedness, adaptation, and communication infrastructure.

Earlier, Charles Anosike, director general of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), referenced a UNICEF report on the damage inflicted by flooding on agricultural lands in the previous year and stressed the urgency of integrating forecast information into national policies and interventions.

He reaffirmed NIMET’s dedication to collaborating with NIHSA and other stakeholders to deliver timely and accurate weather forecasts tailored to meet the diverse needs of communities nationwide.

Zubaida Umar, the director general of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), underscored the significance of the AFO released by NIHSA.

Umar noted the increasing prevalence of flooding in Nigeria and its devastating consequences, including loss of lives, property damage, displacement, and disruption of livelihoods.

She stressed the urgent need for proactive measures to mitigate the impact of flooding across the country.

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