Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has dispatched special teams to deliver urgently needed assistance to 12 states most ravaged by seasonal rains, after taking stock of the flood situation in the country.
The directive was contained in a statement the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu issued yesterday.
The statement said the states to receive the teams conveying reinforcement of reliefs and other equipment through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), “are Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, Kogi, Edo, Anambra, Delta, Kano, Jigawa, Rivers, Bayelsa and Adamawa.
“Some of the states that have been reached with the first wave of support from the Presidency are: Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, Sokoto, Jigawa and Kaduna.”
The President again expressed the nation’s sympathy to the victims of the floods, many of whom had lost family members, homes and valued investments in agricultural crops and livestock.
He also underscored the need for additional coordination between the federal and state government agencies dealing with the issues, and for improved forecast and warning systems to avert similar calamities.
In May, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) released the 2020 Annual Flood Outlook (AFO). Based on the forecast, 102 LGAs in 28 states fall within highly probable flood risk areas with 275 LGAs in the 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The states include Rivers, Cross River, Delta, Lagos, Ondo, Bayelsa, Sokoto, Kogi, Niger, Kaduna, Gombe, Adamawa, Benue, FCT, Nasarawa, Delta, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Ebonyi, Edo, Abia, Anambra, Imo, Borno, Kano, and Kebbi.
In Kwara State where flooding was not expected, a bridge embankment recently collapsed, killing three when a vehicle conveying five passengers was washed away by flood. In Akwa Ibom, also not listed, hundreds of houses were destroyed in Eket following heavy downpours that have rendered thousands homeless.