The Federal Government on Monday in Abuja inaugurated a high-level committee for the development of National Flood Emergency Preparedness and response plan to effectively checkmate flooding across the country.
Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development in her opening remarks said the inauguration was necessitated by reports from National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the multi-sectoral nature of disasters in general.
“it is therefore pertinent that we are all here to develop a National MultiSectoral and Flood Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan towards disaster risk reduction of flooding hazards in the country.
“Since February 2020, the Ministry has played a vital role in monitoring floods and calling stakeholders for action in response to the 2020 seasonal rainfall prediction by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET).
“I have attended several meetings at the National Economic Council, chaired by the Vice President with all state governors in attendance to provide high level sensitisation and advocacy.
“The key messages were the need to mitigate root causes of flooding and to provide structural and nonstructural measures including town planning, infrastructure design, temporary resettlement and relocation of vulnerable communities and dam management.
“Hence the overall objective of today’s meeting is to activate efforts towards developing a National Multi-sectoral and Flood Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan.
“It also serves as an inaugural meeting for the High-Level Committee to which you are all members,” Farouq said.
According to her, the Committee will set and approve realistic timelines to developing the new Plan and receive briefing on the efforts by the various stakeholders.
The stakeholders that form part of the Committee include Ministry of Water Resources, NEMA, Ministry of Information and Culture, Ministry of Environment, NiMET, NAN, NTA, FRCN and others.
Also speaking the Director-General of Nigeria Hydrological Services (NIHSA) Mr Clement Nze said it came up with Annual Flood Outlook to ensure that all stakeholders were informed on the issues relating to flooding.
Nze identified Coastal, Urban and River Flooding as responsible for the floods in all parts of the country.
He said Flooding in other African countries like Republic of Niger, Burkina faso, Cameron and others usually affect Nigeria’s water that also result to flooding in the coastal and river areas in the Nigeria.
“The Middle and Southern Parts of Nigeria are yet to get out of flooding. However, we will ensure that the room cause of flooding is address”.
Similarly, the Director-General of NiMET Prof. Sani Abubarkar represented by his Technical Assistant, Prof. Mansur Bako-Matazu said it is cheaper to provide early warning than do the needful after disaster has struck.
In same vein, the Director-General of NEMA, Mohammed Alhaji said so far, no fewer than 77,520 farm lands were affected by flood and 129,200 persons were affected.
Alhaji added that NEMA is currently working with 64 military units across the country stressing that the relationship is excellent.