Flooded parts of the Kogi State

‘There will be severe flooding in 2023,’ NEMA alerts

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National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has advised Nigerians to prepare for severe flooding this year as predictions from relevant agencies indicate there will be severe flooding across the country.

Flooded parts of the Kogi State

The warning follows an earlier one issued by the Ministry of Water Resources which had alerted that 32 States including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are in danger of heavy flooding this year.

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Director-General of NEMA, Mustapha Ahmed, disclosed this in a statement, Monday, issued by the agency after a two-day Experts’ Technical Meeting on 2023 Climate-Related Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation Strategies in Abuja.

According to Ahmed, the warning had earlier been revealed in the seasonal climate predictions and annual flood outlooks by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency.

He further advised those residing in riverine areas to start taking precautionary measures to prevent the floods from affecting them.

In the same vein, the Director-General of Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, Clement Nze, disclosed that 178 LGAs in 32 states and the FCT had been predicted to experience severe flooding in 2023.

“The flood disaster in 2022 was an eye-opener. However, the agency would spread early warning messages to states and local government areas and the Federal Capital Territory.

“We have started early this year, as we are ready for early warning and early action. We will bombard every citizen, state and local government with this information as we want them to know that it is serious and we will not keep quiet, because we want them to know that there will be flood this year,” Nze said.

It would be recalled that, last month, in February, the Minister of Water Resources, warned that 178 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in 32 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) fall among highly probable flood-risk areas in 2023.

The Minister, Suleiman Adamu gave these warnings, following predictions by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), at the official unveiling of the 2023 Annual Flood Outlook (AFO), in Abuja.

The theme of the 2023 Annual Flood Outlook is ‘Flood Prediction and its impact on Soco- Economic Livelihood’.

According to him, the forecasts for the 2023 AFO, showed that 178 LGAs in thirty-two states of the federation, and the FCT, fall within the highly probable flood risk areas, and 224 LGAs in 35 states of the federation, including the FCT fall within the moderately probable flood risk areas, while, the remaining 402 LGAs fall within the probable flood risk areas.

According to him “the highly probable flood risk states include; Adamawa, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross-River, Delta, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Edo, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara and the FCT”.

He said that the level of flood in highly probable flood-risk states is expected to be high in terms of impact on the population, agriculture, livelihood, livestock, infrastructure and the environment between April and November.

Adamu also noted that Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Lagos, Ogun, Rivers and Ondo States would be experiencing coastal flooding, due to the rise in sea level and tidal surge, which would impact fishing, wildlife habitation and river navigation.

“The flash and urban flood will be experienced in urban city centres across cities of Lagos, Kaduna, Suleja, Gombe, Yola, Makurdi, Abuja, Lafia, Asaba, Port Harcourt, Yenagoa, Ibadan, Abeokuta, Benin City, Birnin-Kebbi, Sokoto, Lakoja, Maiduguri, Kano, Oshogbo, Ado-Ekiti, Abakaliki, Awka, Nsukka, Calabar, Owerri”.

He, therefore, called on all stakeholders, policymakers and agencies to rise up with the appropriate mechanism to curtail the impending floods.

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