By Deji Elumoye in Abuja
The Senate Thursday urged the federal government to convene a stakeholders meeting to X-ray the perennial flood disaster across the country with a view to proffering a lasting solution to the menace.
The upper legislative chamber, while also urging the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to rehabilitate the existing dams to be able to take in flood waters, commended the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other relevant government agencies, organisations and individuals for their efforts in creating awareness that has led to the reduction in casualty level.
The Senate particularly enjoined NEMA to send relief materials to the affected victims in Kano South senatorial district and other states of the federation.
The Senate resolutions were sequel to a motion titled: “Recent flooding across the country”, co-sponsored by Senators Kabir Gaya (APC Kano South) and Stella Oduah (PDP Anambra North), and 106 other senators during plenary.
Leading the debate on the motion, Senator Gaya said: “Torrential rains have unleashed floods in different parts of Nigeria over the past few months, claiming hundreds of lives and damaging thousands of homes.”
According to him, the floods have so far ravaged 34 states with Kano South the worst hit where 14 out of the 16 local government areas were ravaged by the floods.
Gaya lamented that “in the last three decades, the impacts of flooding have increasingly assumed from significant to threatening proportions, resulting in loss of lives and properties”.
“Though detailed statistics are not available regarding the losses sustained by the urban dwellers and flood victims, it is obvious from the available records that irreparable loss have been sustained by the citizens of Nigeria due to what has become perennial natural disaster in our cities.
“Apart from houses (built with mud brick, traditional building materials of the area and those not built with modern flood resistant structure) that collapse by flooding, schools, buildings and bridges sometimes collapse as well. Market places and farmlands are submerged for weeks and sometimes are washed away,” he stressed.
The lawmaker noted that the recurring annual floods, especially arising from the release of flood waters from various dams have caused avoidable loss of lives in many communities across the country.
He added that the disaster had also resulted in colossal loss of property and livelihood as well as dislocation of families thereby worsening the crises of the internally displaced persons with NEMA estimating the losses at over N2.6 trillion.
Some senators, in their contributions to the motion, lamented the enormous damage floods have done to many Nigerians in various parts of the country and called on the federal government for a lasting solution to the natural disaster.
In his remarks, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, commended his colleagues for their concerns over the recurring annual floods and stressed the need to save the lives and properties of Nigerians being lost every year.