Flood disasters: Having contingency plan
Flooding has remains a serious physical urban problem in most Nigerian cities resulting from overflown river levels, following heavy rainfall and limited capacity of drainage systems.
Available statistics from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), shows that in the last 11-years over 1.3 million people have been displaced from their homes, while more than 431 lives were lost, and properties worth billions of naira destroyed.
In spite of the step-up efforts at controlling flood hazards in Nigerian cities, the frequency and magnitude of the occurrence have been more than doubled in recent years.
The severity and dimensions of the occurrence therefore, calls for urgent attention to ensure sustainable urban environment.
The Director General of NiMet Mansur Matazu, had earlier released the 2023 seasonal climate prediction with a forecast of early onset of rain across the country.
However, the effect of this forecast is already being experienced by some communities.
There is urgent need for stakeholders and government intervention to advert impending impact on the environment, while ensuring sustainable climate justice in the country.
Some Civil Society Organisations such as Action Aid Nigeria had already commenced intervention by organising capacity building and town hall meetings with communities to enlighten them on possible ways of mitigating flood disaster and climate resilience.
The Country Director Action Aid Ene Obi, during a news conference on Thursday in Abuja, appealed to relevant state actors to immediately develop and communicate their contingency plans especially for communities in coastal states.
Obi who was represented by the Director Organisational Effect Mohammed Damka, listed the coastal states to includes; Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Delta, Kogi, Edo, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo and Rivers ‘where People live on water’.
She also highlighted Non Coastal states that are susceptible to floods such as; Jigawa, Adamawa, Kano, Zamfara, Ebonyi, Yobe amongst others.
Speaking on preventing the flood disaster, Obi draw the attention of stakeholders to put into consideration NiMET’s prediction of a severe dry spell which is likely to last between 15 to 21 days starting from June and early July in states like; Sokoto, Zamfara, Ebonyi and Yobe amongst others.
Speaking on Action Aid intervention so far, the Manager flood preparedness Mr David Abah said their focus had been on building the capacity of the residents of the aforementioned states to minimise possible losses.
” Action Aid provided emergency response to some households severely affected by flood in Bayelsa, Jigawa, Kogi, Anambra and Delta, within the last few months, helping them to rebuild their lives, as thousands of families are yet to recover from the disaster of last year”
Reporting by Julian Osamoto