NEMA Alerts 314 LGAs of Impending High Risk Flood

NEMA Alerts 314 LGAs of Impending High Risk Flood

*Says 312 local govt areas prone to moderate flood risk 

*Bayelsa, Delta, Lagos, Rivers to battle coastal flooding 

Kasim Sumaina in Abuja

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has alerted 314 out of the 774 Local Governments Areas (LGAs) in the country to brace up for high risk flooding in the months of April, June, July, September, October and November this year.

Giving the breakdown, the agency noted that while a total of 66 LGAs were prone to 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.  

In addition, a total of 41 LGAs, according to NEMA, fell within 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.

The Director General, NEMA, Mustapha Habib Ahmed, disclosed this, during the public presentation of 2023 Climate-Related and Mitigation Strategies, in Abuja, yesterday.

Ahmed, while speaking, noted that sequel to the public presentation of the 2023 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) by NiMet on January 24, 2023, and the Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) by NIHSA on February 17, 2023, NEMA convened a technical meeting to review the two forecast documents.

He said the technical meeting was attended by experts from relevant stakeholder organisations that thoroughly appraised the risk implications of the forecasts and developed an early warning document based on thematic sectors covered by both NIHSA and NIMET.

According to Ahmed, “This document is expected to aid responsible organisations carry out preparedness and mitigation actions to safeguard lives, livelihoods, properties and the environment against hydro meteorological hazards in Nigeria during the 2023 rainy season and beyond.

“Permit me to highlight excerpts from the SCP which predicted rainfall onset to be earlier than the long term average in most parts of the country. The prediction also indicated rainfall amounts range to be average and above average during the year.

“The exception to these are for parts of Yobe, Jigawa, Kano, Bauchi, Kaduna and the FCT that are likely to observe below-average rainfall. Furthermore, states that are expected to record rainfall amounts of 2700mm and above are Bayelsa, Akwa-Ibom, Delta and Cross River.”

The NEMA boss explained that this year’s forecast indicated that there was 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.

“Flash and urban floods are also forecasted over many cities and towns due to poor drainage systems and the lack of compliance to town planning and environmental regulations.

“The forecasts have provided the much insights into what to expect ahead of this rain season. The reality is that this year may witness floods similar to what occurred last year if not more.”

He added, “You may recall that last year’s floods resulted in 665 deaths and injury 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.

“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.”

Continuing, he stated that, “at NEMA, we believe that early warnings must be matched with early actions. 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 sensitisation through placement of flood early warning jingles, special discussions and advocacy across the states.

“From the foregoing, it is important to emphasise 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.”

On his part, Director-General/CEO, Nigerian Meteorological Agency, Prof. Mansur Bako Matazu, urged all actors within the disaster risks reduction and management value chain to adopt the early action documents.

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