The Bayelsa State Emergency Management Agency (BYSEMA), says the floods have affected no fewer than 1.3 million people.
This is according to data released Monday by Yenogoa and obtained by the Nigeria Agency .
The agency said as many as 1.2 million were displaced and forced to seek refuge in temporary camps.
"As of November 4, 96 deaths were reported and the Yenagoa local government area was the most affected," said Mr. Walamam Igrubia, president of BYSEMA.
Ibnubia said data collection from the field was still ongoing.
”The flood affected several farmlands, school buildings, health structures and other facilities.
”The flooding also affected some 300 communities in the state's eight LGAs.
“Preliminary reports and data available to SEMA and other agencies indicate that Bayelsa continued to be the most affected by the floods among the states in the country,” he said.
reports that the agency said that among the most affected areas in the state are: Biseni, Tombia-Ekpetiama, Tombia-Amassoma Road, Akenfa, Akenpai, Igbogene and Swali, all in the Yenagoa local government area, as well as Kaiama, Odi, Otuoke, and Ogbia communities.
Others include: Agbere, Odoni, Bulu-Oria, Agoro, and Sagbama.
reports that floods have affected parts of Nigeria in the last two months.
Some of the other affected states are: Kogi, Benue, Ebonyi, Anambra, Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Jigawa, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto, Imo, Abia, Edo, Delta, Kogi Plateau and parts of Abuja.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has said that around 2.5 million people are affected and more than 603 people have died in the country.
Source Credit: NAN
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has donated relief materials to flood victims and vulnerable persons in Bauchi State.
The Director-General of the agency, Mr Mustapha Ahmed while presenting the items to the State Government on Thursday, said the materials made up of food and non food items.
He said that the Federal Government through NEMA could not compensate for the traumatic experiences of persons affected by disaster impacts.
“Yet, we have to help people alleviate their sufferings with these FG-approved relief items.
“To ameliorate the suffering of the affected persons, FG has approved the delivery of food items and non-food items,” he said.
The d-d, represented by Alhaji Adamu Usur, Deputy Director Planning Research and Forecasting of the Agency, said the items include 1,000 bags of 10kg rice, 1,000 bags of 10kg beans, 1,000 bags of 10kg maize, 75 bags of salt (20kg).
Others are 75 kegs of vegetable oil, 150 cartons of seasoning cubes and 75 cartons of tinned tomato.
The director-general said the non-food Items include 8,000 pieces of mats, 1,000 pieces of treated mosquito nets, 600 cartons of toilet soap, 2,500 pieces of guinea brocade.
Others are 1,000 pieces of children’s wear, 1,000 pieces of women’s wear and 1,000 pieces of men’s wear,” he said.
Ahmed explained that to assist the most vulnerable individuals, the federal government approved the distribution of the assorted food items to the most vulnerable persons in the state.
“The assorted food items were 166 metric tonnes of maize, 142 metric tonnes of sorghum and 62.5 metric tonnes of millet,” he said.
He said the grains would be distributed directly to deserving persons in collaboration with the senators from the ministers from the state, “Other partners will be officials of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, Bauchi State Chapter, Religious and Community leaders, officials of the Bauchi SEMA and the NEMA Gombe Operations Office,” the directir-general said.
Receiving the items on behalf of the state government, Mr Ibrahim Kashim, Secretary to the State Government , appreciated the FG for coming to the aid of flood victims and the vulnerable in the society.
He assured that the items would be distributed to the victims and the deserving people in the state.
The Federal Government on Wednesday commenced the distribution of relief materials to the victims of windstorm disaster in Umuahia North, Arochukwu, Obingwa and Ikwuano local government areas of Abia. Presenting the items to the state government, Dr Mustapha Ahmed, Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said the materials would be distributed to victims of the disaster in different communities in the four council areas.
The director-general, represented by Mr Ifeanyi Nnaji, Head of NEMA, Owerri Operations Office, said that the relief materials would be transparently distributed in the presence of all concerned.
He said that it would be jointly distributed to the affected persons by officials of NEMA, Abia State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and representatives of the communities and other relevant stakeholders.
He said that a joint team of assessors from NEMA Owerri Operations Office and SEMA had visited the communities to carry out an on-the-spot assessment of the damage from the disaster which occurred in July. According to him, the team also conducted a need analysis of the affected persons.
He said: “You should please note that the relief materials provided to you today is not to pay you back for all that were destroyed by the disaster.
“They are only meant to cushion the effect of the unfortunate incident, as some things are intangible and cannot be replaced.
“I, therefore, emphasise that communities that are vulnerable to natural disasters must embark on Disaster Risk Reduction Initiative to curtail losses during disasters.
” He commended Abia Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu for his effort in attending to disaster issues in the state.
Receiving the items on behalf of the state government, Dr Sunday Jackson, the Executive Secretary of SEMA, thanked NEMA for its continued support to the welfare and well-being of the downtrodden, especially those affected by the disaster.
Jackson, who represented the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Chris Ezem, especially thanked the Head of NEMA, Owerri Operations, for his proactive measure towards ensuring that the state got what was meant for it.
He assured that the items would be equitably distributed to the affected persons.
One of the affected persons, Mr Chimezie Okoroafor of Amanagwu community of Arochukwu, appreciated NEMA and SEMA for the timely intervention.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the items distributed included rice, beans, garri, kegs of 20-litre vegetable oil, cartons of seasoning cube and bags of cement.
Others were bundles of roofing sheet, bags of 3-inches nails, packets of zinc nails and pieces of ceiling board.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), on Wednesday, donated drugs and consumable items to three hospitals in Kano, to support victims of disasters in the state.
NEMA Director-General, Mustapha Habib, said the donation was part of Federal Government’s effort to support people affected by gas explosions and other forms of disasters.
Habib, represented by the Territorial Coordinator for Kano and Jigawa offices, Dr Nuraddeen Abdullahi, said that the agency had earlier promised to support the three hospitals for the prompt medical attention given to the victims of explosion.
The hospitals include: Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital (MMSH), Ja’en Primary Health Care and Sharada Primary Health Care. He listed some of the items donated to include 10 cartons of IV infusions, including five per cent normal saline, hand sanitiser, methylated spirit, 50 cartons of Hydrocortisone Injection, surgical gloves among, others.
On his part, the Executive Secretary, Kano State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Dr Saleh Jili, on behalf of Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje, commended NEMA’s kind gesture.
“We hope this kind of synergy between SEMA and NEMA will continue,” Jili said.
He urged the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the items.
Speaking earlier, Kano State Commissioner for Health, Dr Aminu Tsanyawa, said the donation would go a long way in improving healthcare services in the state.
Tsanyawa, represented by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health Kano, Amina Aliyu-Musa, Commended NEMA for the support, especially to Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, which was used as referral point for almost all disaster cases in the state.
“The state government spent over N15 million on drugs and consumables on Sharada disaster victims in the three hospitals, which offered emergency health services,” Tsanyawa said.
According to him, the state government will not relent in its effort to improve the wealth and health of its citizens, including during emergency and disaster situations.
NEMA, in collaboration with the Nigerian Air Force started the airlift of relief supplies to flood victims in Bayelsa on Thursday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that items received were 1,400 bags of 10kg rice, 1,400 bags of 10kg beans, 1,400 bags of 10kg maize and 75 (20kg) bags of salt.
Non-food items received were 8,000 pieces of nylon mats, 1,000 pieces of mosquito nets, and 600 cartons of soap, among others.
The operation started with the airlift of the items from Benin by the Nigerian Air Force 107 Air Maritime Group.
Receiving the items on behalf of Gov. Duoye Diri of Bayelsa, Mr Angos Dide, Secretary, State Emergency Management Agency, commended the Federal Government for the supplies.
He also commended the Nigerian Air Force for assistance rendered to victims and recalled similar assistance in 2018. Dide said NEMA and SEMA would collaborate by moving to the most affected areas to distribute the items.
Mr Godwin Tepikor, the Coordinator, NEMA South-South Zone said the items approved by the Federal Government would be judiciously distributed to victims.
He said the Federal Government had long directed the issuance of relief materials to flood victims across the country.
“We could not access Bayelsa readily because the state was cut off from the rest of the country and due to that it was difficult to move down with the materials provided by the Federal Government.
“We had to rely on our partner, the Nigerian Air Force for assistance to move the items down,’’ he explained.
Tepikor commended the Chief of Air Staff for approving the platform for the airlift of the food and non-food items to Bayelsa.
Only on Wednesday, Gov. Diri said Bayelsa had not received relief materials for flood victims, though 21 states were listed for immediate succour.
He spoke when Gov. Udom Emmanuel visited to donate N100 million to Bayelsa flood victims.
Perennial flooding is one of the most prevalent natural disasters in Nigeria, as more states in the North-East experienced devastating floods during the rainy season.
The Nigeria Metrological Agency (NiMet) in its 2022 Flood Outlook predicted flooding in many states across the country.
The Agency advised governments and the people on safety and preventing measures to avert flooding.
According to some environmentalists, there is a link between increase flood incidences, human factor and climate change.
The experts said that floods triggered by increase volume of rainfall could be controlled with proper planning and deployment of necessary infrastructure.
The noted that human induced factors, poor urban planning practices and inadequate environmental infrastructure are largely responsible for flooding in the country.
During the 2022 rainy season, Nigeria recorded its worst flooding in recent history, thus escalating humanitarian impacts.
Mrs Alice Gombe, General Manager, Adamawa State Urban and Regional Planning Development Board, attributted perennial flooding in North-East to human and physical factors such as poor environmental sanitation and erection of illegal structures on waterways.
According to her, lack of town planning and the inability of town planning agencies to enforce compliance with environmental regulations compounded the situation.
In his contribution; Mohammed Suleiman, Executive Secretary, Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), said flood negatively impacted security and agriculture in the state.
He said the disaster has been recorded across 11 local government areas of the state.
“The disaster affected many farmers and dashed their hope for bumper harvest,” he said.
In Jigawa, Executive Secretary, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Sani Yusuf said poor attitude to the environment by the residents contributed to devastating flood in the state.
He said the state government in its response to NiMet early warning, constructed embankments in flood prone areas to control the disaster.
The scribe attributed the floods to vandalisation of the flood control facilities by the people.
“Some residents, who are expected guard the embarkments for thier safety and property, converted the sands used for erecting the structure for personal use.
“Others cut it to channel the blocked water to their farms.
“The government also deployed equipment to clear typhar grass on Hadejia River to ease flow of water to control flooding,” he said.
The DEMA boss urged the Federal Government to dredge the Hadejia River to provide lasting solutions to control perennial flooding in the state.
Statistics of the Jigawa government in its 2022 Wet Season Farmland Flood Assesment showed that the disaster ravaged 1,554 communities and 138,422.36 hectres of farmlands across 22 local government areas of the state.
The report recommended for construction of reservoirs, dams, embankments and spillway, desilt of water ways, afforestation programme as well as food and inputs support to the victims of the disaster.
To address the disaster, Mr Isma’il Bima, Chief Executive Officer, Jewel Environmental Initiative (JEI), a Gombe-based, non-governmental organisation, advocated enforcement of town planning and environmental laws to control the disaster.
Bima said the menace manifested itself due to non compliance or enforcement of environmental laws.
“If there is proper town planning, proper sensitisation of communities on the dangers of flooding, more lives and property would be saved.
“In Kwami, Funakaye, LGAs, people living in the riverine areas, they have been affected heavily with communities displaced.
“When the Dadin Kowa dam project completed, there was clear boundary on areas to be flooded but people encroached, built houses or farm in these areas without regards to possible environmental disaster.
“Government needs to ensure that people do not build on these areas by taking necessary measures to enforce compliance to proper town planning,’’ he said.
He said the impact of the disaster would be minimal when people respect environmental laws and shun erecting structures on water ways.
“For instance; If you look at areas hit by flood in Gombe, Jigawa and Kano States, the people in those communities build without creating proper water channels so that when the rain water comes, it can easily pass”.
He advised governments to carry out detailed assessment of flooding situation in the country in collaboration with key stakeholders and come up with solutions to forestall future occurrences.
“The response of the government to flooding is not enough; beyond issuing warnings and providing relief materials, government should not wait for next year’s rainfall beyond acting’’.
He also called for more awareness creation activities to sensitise communities to understand the impact of flooding, and discourage erecting structures on waterways.
The environmentalist further urged communities to desist from indiscriminate dumping of waste on drains, tree felling and adhere to town planning regulations.
In Yobe, the state government decried spate of deforestation and poor waste management which exposed communities to flooding.
SEMA’s Executive Secretary, Dr Muhammed Goje, said logging and other unfriendly environmental habit aggrevated desertification which also resulted to flood in parts of the state.
“Peaple engage in tree felling without replacing the cut down trees resulting to large scale deforestation in spite of government’s effort to control the menace.
“Some residents are also building structures on waterways without complying to the guidelines of ministry of land and Geographical Information System,” he said.
He said the Agency had sensitised the people in flood prone communities on the flood warning by NiMet and other agencies.
“We issued early warning after receiving alert from NiMet and Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), which predicted that Yobe, among other states in the country would likely experience flood.
“However, most of the communities ignored the warnings, which exacerbated effect of the disaster,” he said.
Corroborating the stance, Mr Ibrahim Abdul-Rahman, said that town planners play significant role in flood mitigation to attain sustainable environment.
He charged town planners to work towads creating green settlements where people would be safe and protected against environmental disasters.
“Government at all levels should recruit qualified town planners, train and retrain the exiting ones.
“Effective measures are also necessary to ensure that residents and other land developers obtain building permits before erecting structures”.
Moreso; Dr Manu Joseph, Executive Director, Environs and Tech Consult in Bauchi State, decried spate of non compliance to flood early warning by NiMet and other relevant environmental authorities.
He noted that lack of compliance to Land Use Act aggravated natural disaster effect on the people and the economy.
“This is a serious problem in the country, cities are growing without adequate planning amid poor waste management and population growth,” he said.
According to Joseph, uncontrolled urbanisation and rapid population growth, without the expansion of the necessary infrastructure to address them would exacerbate the destructive force of natural disasters.
Similarly; Malam Yusuf Mai-Abba, Lecturer with the College of Agriculture, Bauchi, said that human induced activities resulted to flood and deforestation ravaging farmlands and the ecosystem.
He stressed the need for sustainable agriculture to meet the increasing demand for food to achieve food security.
“We need to understand the climatic changes around us, how it affect agricultural productivity and rural livelihood.
“The greenhouse emission from gas flaring, open burning, vehicle emissions, deforestation, and use of fossil fuel for cooking are some of the causes of climate change,” he said.
According to him, practicing rain fed agriculture exposed the country vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.
“Preparing disaster is generally more cost effective than responding to its aftershocks.
“It should be a priority to design adaptation measures that reduce the cost of climate related disasters and build resilience against future shocks.
“For a place so exposed to calamity, building such resilience is not a matter of choice but of survival,” he said.
Yobe Emergency Management Agency, on Sunday, assisted 2,000 households displaced by recent flood in Bade Local Government Area of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the items included: rice, roofing sheets, cooking oil, cement, ceiling and cash donations of N44,000 to each household.
Distributing the items in Gashua, the agency’s Executive Secretary, Dr Mohammad Goje, said that the support was part of the state’s flood victims’ recovery response.
He said that Gov. Mala Buni had earlier directed the agency to ensure that flood victims were supported in order to cushion their hardship.
“Preliminary data from desk review, LGA data, virtual analysis and community leaders showed that more than 7,000 households were affected in Bade LGA across 58 communities.
“Depending on the severity and the need of each , SEMA is concurrently responding across Bade and other LGAs affected by the 2022 flooding, within its available resources.
“About 2,000 households have so far received government’s support in Bade,” Goje said.
In his remarks, the Emir of Bade, Alhaji Abubakar Suleiman, thanked the agency for the support.
He, however, appealed to the agency to ensure that more victims benefit from the support.
Environmental experts and other stakeholders in Northwest have called for the strict enforcement of laws on preservation of the environment to check the recurrence of flooding and other environmental disasters.
In their responses to a survey conducted by the News Agency of Nigeria , stakeholders lamented that the daily habits of most people were hardly ‘environment-friendly’, thus providing conducive atmosphere for flooding and other related disasters to occur.
They also faulted some personnel of environmental laws enforcement agencies for not only failing in their responsibilities, but also aiding and abetting practices inimical to the environment.
They warned that unless those in the habit of erecting structures on waterways, disposing garbages in drains or violating town master plan provisions, flood disasters would continue to occur, with all its distasteful consequences.
The stakeholders also stressed the vital role that could be played by Town Planners, but lamented that most times, directives on doing the needful were hardly respected by individuals, and sometimes even the authorities.
Dr Nurudeen Abdullahi, Territorial Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Kano, said most environmental disasters could be attributed to unwholesome conduct of the people.
“The Federal and State Governments are doing their best but there is need for enforcement as early warning prediction alone, is not enough.
“There is high resistance to warning predictions and we have people who always insist on doing things their own ways, no matter the danger; someone will say this is where my forefathers lived and where I was born, and will therefore not leave the area”, he observed.
He stated that the role of Town Planners in redressing the issue, could not be overemphasised as they were the ones who set the rules on building and allocation of land.
He noted that most town planning agencies limited their activities to satisfying the needs of authorities, no matter how detrimental, instead of insisting on doing the needful.
On the effect of flood on food production, he said that flooding this year impacted negatively on food production as crops were washed away.
“Many farms have been washed away, houses destroyed, and communities submerged; when you are not secured on food, a community or country is at risk”, he stressed.
On his part, the Executive Secretary of State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) in Kano, Dr Saleh Jili, explained that the state government had organised a workshop for stakeholders such as traditional rulers, faith-based and voluntary organisations, on ways of curtailing disasters.
Dr Kabiru Getso, Kano State Commissioner for Environment also blamed occurrence of most disaster incidents to the recalcitrance of residents, who hardly heeded to warnings on environmental hazards.
“The state government, through various environmental agencies, conducted a lot of activities since the warning was given by the Nigerian Metrological Agency (NiMet), yet people considered it a joke.
“Government embarked on series of enlightenment to educate people on their expectations before, during and after the rainy season, but most residents never took the issue with utmost seriousness.
“Therefore, there is need to ensure the enforcement of laws bordering on management of the environment for people to be doing the needful”, he said.
NAN reports that SEMA confirmed that 23 persons were killed and 20,399 houses destroyed by flood and windstorm in 25 Local Governments Areas of the state, from April 2022, to date.
The Agency further confirmed that 20,399 victims were affected by , 23 persons lost their lives, 20 persons were injured, 14, 364 farms destroyed, and N2.1 billion worth of property, lost.
In Katsina State, Commissioner for Environment, Alhaji Hamza Faskari, revealed that from 2015 to date, the State Government had expended over N8 billion in addressing flood, erosion, waste management and other ecological challenges, occasioned by climate change “The state government, through the Ministry for Environment, assessed the situation in various communities prone to ecological challenges in the state, recommendations were made, and the the problems were addressed.
“The ministry undertook the construction of flood and erosion control structures in 122 sites covering over 150 communities across the 34 local government areas of the state” he said.
Meanwhile, a community leader in the state,Alhaji Musa Bello, observed that attitude of some people towards the environment, had not helped matters.
Bello, who is the Ward Head of Sabuwar-unguwa in Katsina metropolis, therefore advised residents to desist from practices that could cause flooding, such as dumping of Refuse on drains and waterways.
Prof. Aliyu Tambuwal of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoko, also noted that human factors aggravated occurrence of flooding in Nigeria.
“In Nigeria, some times we are not proactive because the current problem of flooding had been envisaged earlier.
“NIMET released its 2022 rainfall forecast and the likely areas to be affected, just as the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency did same, and what was anticipated happened; we always wait for disaster to happen before action is taken,” he lamented.
But in Kaduna State, some Environmental Experts noted that incidents of flooding was minimal compared with what obtained in other states, attributing this development to the effort of the state government.
Gloria Bulus, Coordinator, Network for Civil Society in Environment (NCSE), said strategic planning and synergy with all relevant stakeholders were responsible for minimal flood in the state.
Gloria observed that the state was able to control to a large extent, ‘man-made’ hazards, just as she emphasised that flooding could not be completely mitigated as there were other natural causes.
Yahaya Mohammed, Controller, Safety Awearness and Environmental Support Initiative (SAESI), said that non-compliance with building regulations were some of the reasons responsible for the minimal flooding experienced in the state.
Mohammed said that many structures were erected on drains and in flood-prone areas due to the compromise by some supervising agencies.
However, he commended the state government’s efforts at recovery of land, as well as demolition of illegal structures , hence the reason for minimal cases of flooding recorded.
Muhammed Mukaddas, Executive Secretary of SEMA in Kaduna, said that the Agency did not work in isolation, but with stakeholders as a team to tackle disasters.
According to him, the Agency coordinated all stakeholders in promoting access to multi-hazard early warning systems, another factor responsible for minimal incidents recorded across the state.
He said NIMET prediction on flooding had indicated that Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Chikun and Igabi Local Government Areas would be affected.
He stated that the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), in collaboration with the State Ministry of Environment, installed Automated Flood Early Warning System (AFEWS) in flood-prone areas.
” Christian-Aid had earlier installed flood gauges in three communities of Unguwan Rimi, Bashama and Karatudu in Romi.” “These are clear demonstrations of the state government’s collaborative efforts to promoting access to multi-hazard early warning systems in our communities”, he said.
On the Agriculture sector, Mr Bage Bungwon, Director, Agricultural Services, State Ministry of Agriculture, observed that the annual occurrences of flood had continued to threaten the country’s food potentials.
” Flood has washed away several farmlands in the northern parts of the country and this will affect food prices” he said.
Also, An Environmentalist with Kebbi State University of Technology, Aliero, Malam Muhammad Idris, described the incessant flooding in some parts of the country as being ‘human induced’ and exacerbated by ‘human-nature interactions’.
“Nigeria’s flooding is mostly human induced and exacerbated by human-nature interactions; poor or non-existent drainage system are a major cause of flooding.
“Many residential areas have no drainage system and rely on natural drainage channels; “Poor waste management is another recognised factor; citizens’ poor attitude to waste disposal and non provision of waste disposal services by municipal authorities, contributes to flooding”, he enumerated.
He added that another factor is the unregulated urban expansion, saying that the country now witnessed high urbanisation rate largely due to insecurity in some parts of the country.
“Nigeria is experiencing high urbanisation rate, largely due to insecurity, and without commensurate provision of urban infrastructure and amenities.
“Kebbi state in particular, agricultural lands are increasingly being converted to residential areas to accommodate housing needs.
“But there is laxity in the implementation of planning laws, resulting in the construction of projects on natural floodplains and storm water paths.
This has exacerbated flooding.
“It is not uncommon for Town Planning officials to accept bribes and overlook issues; these may include unauthorised use of land and alteration of approved construction plans,” he added.
On her part, Mrs Mariyatu Suleiman, Project Manger, Zauro PRODA Project, Rima Basin Development Authority, Birnin Kebbi, said they had created awareness on possible flood.
“We create awareness by distributing what we call ‘Action Plan’ to Village Heads, Ward Heads and Chairmen of Local Government Councils and Commissioner for Water Resources.
“We often urge them to notify farmers about the quantum of water to be released daily or monthly.
“Then we advise them on the kind of plant they should cultivate across these areas like short duration of plants or long grains, so that even if there is any flood, it may not affect them much”, she said.
Suleiman advised farmers to imbibe what she described as “cropping calendar” by obeying advices and instructions from NIMET.
Experts in environmental matters in the South-East have recommended pragmatic measures to combat perennial flooding in the zone.
They spoke in separate interviews during a News Agency of Nigeria survey on the huge environmental and fatal impact of this year’s flooding in different cities and communities in the zone.
In Abia, the state Chairman of the Nigeria Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Mr Stephen Nwazue, blamed the phenomenon on non-adherence to land use regulations.
Nwazue told NAN in Umuahia that although there were other causative factors, uncontrolled land use due to non-adherence to land use regulations remained a major cause of flooding in the southeast.
He said that many developers pay little or not regard to expert advice on the dangers in building houses in either flood prone areas or waterways.
According to him, the infractions have continued unabated because of the lack of political will by the relevant agencies of government to deal decisively with them.
Nwazue said that most persons that flouted the land use regulations were often emboldened by their “connection to government officials”.
He, therefore, called on the government to collaborate with the institute to ensure strict implementation of urban development master plans at the state and federal levels.
Also, the Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency, Dr Sunday Jackson, spoke on the impact of this year’s flooding in the state.
Jackson said that the agency had so far recorded 21 deaths from the disaster.
He explained that 16 of the 17 local government areas (LGAs) of the state were affected.
The LGAs included Aba North, Aba South, Ukwa West, Ukwa East, Arochukwu, Umuahia North and Bende.
Jackson said that the situation in seven of them became very critical due to flooding from the nearby rivers.
He said that many residential buildings were destroyed, while hundreds of people were rendered homeless.
The SEMA boss said that the extent of the destruction was beyond the capacity of the State Government.
He recalled that a woman got drowned recently, while trying to rescue her daughter, who still got drowned.
Jackson said that the government had continued to sensitise the people, especially flood-prone communities, on the dangers of flooding and preventive measures.
He, however, regretted that people hardly take proactive measures of early warning actions to relocate out from the riverine areas.
He said that relevant government agencies always released early warnings and predictions.
“The problem is that people would like to see the flood really happen before they start moving and by that time, a lot of damage had occurred.
“But, if people can be proactive to observe the safety net of flooding, the impact would not be much,” Jackson said.
In Ebonyi, some of the respondents advised the Federal Government to enter into an agreement with the Cameroonian authorities on a more effective way to forestall flooding arising from the release of water from the Lagdo Dam. Mr Ifeanyi Onu also charged the Federal Government to take proactive steps ahead of the opening of the dam to safely channel the waters out to prevent huge flooding as often experienced in the country.
Mr Willson Nwali called for the implementation of the extant legislations banning the building of houses on natural waterways and drainages.
Mr Kenneth Nwegede urged the river basin development authorities, SEMA and town planners to efforce regulations criminalising the building of permanent structures on waterways.
Nwegede also charged the National Orientation Agency to carry out massive sensitisation and awareness campaign on flooding to discourage people from engaging in acts that cause flooding.
He also advised state governments to set up task forces to monitor and ensure that houses were not erected on drainages to avoid flooding from blockages.
A civil servant, Mr John Mbam, also advised governments in the southeast to construct sufficient drains and modern drainages for proper channelling of rain water to major rivers and canals to end flooding.
Mbam also recommended the desilting of blocked drains ahead of every rainy season to allow for free flow of rain water.
Another civil servant, Mr Chijioke Onwa, called for proper designing and construction of housing estates and layouts in the cities to avert the risk of flooding.
In Enugu State, the NITP Chairman, Udeh Ogbonna, said the developmental law in the state empowers them to ensure that no one builds on drainages and waterways.
Ogbonna said the law only allows people to build permanent structures 10 metre away from the drainage and rivers in order to check flooding.
“We discourage residents from dumping waste indiscriminately on rivers because it causes blockage that automatically leads to flooding.
“The institute also advises residents against illegal felling of tress and bush burning.
“They are also encouraged to plant at least one tree in their compound,” Ogbonna said.
He advocated the strict enforcement of environmental laws to check indiscriminate dumping of refuse.
Mr Chinedu Ozochioke, the Head of Physical Planning and Development, Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA), said that the authority does not hesitate to demolish houses built on waterways.
According to him, ECTDA makes sure that residents build according to plan and design.
“We take flood areas into consideration before approving a layout or structure for anyone that wants to build,” Ozochioke said.
Mr Emeka Obinwa, the Media Assistant to Gov. Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra on SEMA, blames flooding on poor environmental attitude by many people.
Obinwa said that many urban dwellers do not heed to governments advise on proper refuse disposal.
He said, “People usually throw solid waste into the water channels, thus blocking the free flow of water.
” He argued that flooding would be minimal, if people should obey environmental regulations against blocking the water channels.
An Awka-based town planner, Mr Emmanuel Okoye, said that flooding could also result from the abuse of settlement plans.
Okoye called on Nigerians to always obey professional advice on issues that could result to flooding.
For Mr Jude Nwankwo, Programme Manager, Agricultural Development Programme, the current flooding meant that the prices of foodstuffs would soon hit the rooftop.
Nwankwo regretted that the local government areas submerged by flooding in Anambra happened to be the food basket of the state.
He said, “When we boast of rice production in Anambra, it is from farmers in Ayamelum, Ogbaru, Anambra West, Anambra East, Awka North and Ekwusigo.
“Unfortunately, these are the areas hit by flooding.
” Nwankwo, therefore, warned the government and residents to be prepared for imminent food shortage in the state.
A media practitioner, Mr Casmir Maduforo, blamed this year’s flooding on Federal Government’s alleged failure to take adequate steps to avert the disaster.
Maduforo said: “Nigeria recorded serious flooding in 2012, we have it again this year due to excess water released from Ladgo Dam in Cameroon.
“Available information is that when Cameroon wanted to build the dam in 1977, it engaged the Nigerian government for the project to be jointly executed so as to mitigate the impact of flooding.
“Cameroun finished their own dam almost 50 years ago and Nigerians are today suffering from its effects.
“Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any plan by the Federal Government to find a lasting solution to the problem.
” Maduforo, therefore, urged the Federal Government to urgently construct a buffer dam around River Benue to put an end to the perennial flooding.
In Imo, some farmers feared that this year’s flooding would lead to acute food shortage and exorbitant prices.
They recommended an immediate review of the 2023 budgetary allocation to agriculture, especially for the procurement of foodstuffs to ameliorate the looming famine.
Mr Charles Uwa, who commended the government’s efforts to boost food production in the country, called for a judicious implementation of the budget.
Uwa also called for more efforts towards ensuring that farmers benefited from the existing government’s agricultural schemes to make their impact more meaningful.
He said that the agricultural sector had contributed significantly to the nation’s GDP, hence should be given more government attention.
Alao, Mr Udochukwu Anyanwu advised the government to conduct a needs assessment amongst farmers to ensure that the budgetary allocation was properly invested in specific areas of need.
The Federal Government on Tuesday donated multi-million naira worth of relief materials to flood victims in some communities in Enugu State.
The food and non food items included 1,000 bags of 10kg rice, 1,000 bags of 10kg beans, 1,000 bags of 10kg maize and 75 bags of 20kg salt.
Others were 75 kegs of 20-liter vegetable oil, 150 cartons of seasoning cubes, 75 cartons of tomato paste, 7,350 nylon mats and 1,000 treated mosquito nets.
The rest were 600 toilet soaps, 2,500 pieces of five-yard Guinea brocade, 1,000 children’s wears, 1,000 women’s wears and 1,000 men’s wears.
Presenting the items to Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi in Enugu, the Director-General of NEMA, Alhaji Mustapha Ahmed, commiserated with the government and people of the state over the disaster.
Ahmed said that NEMA had been inundated with reports of floods in more than 450 Local Government Areas in the country and still counting.
He regretted that the unfortunate development had caused colossal damage to the country, including the loss of lives, livelihood, property and infrastructure.
The NEMA boss called for “concrete and deliberate” action that would lead to substantial reduction in flood disaster risks and losses in lives, livelihoods and health, amongst other issues.
“To be able to achieve these we need to have a better understanding of flood disaster risks, by looking deeply into the previous disasters.
“A deeper questioning of what happened and why, could prevent a repetition,” Ahmed said.
He also called for the strengthening of State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs) and establishment of Local Government Emergency Management Committees to manage disaster risks.
“As a people, we must listen and take full advantage of early warning alerts from hydro-meteorological agencies and NEMA and ensure that new infrastructure does not introduce new risks.
“Locating infrastructure out of harm’s way is one way to achieve this,” he said.
Ahmed further said that the country must have the political will to invest in disaster risk reduction activities through adequate budget appropriations in line with the National Flood Response Plan that was recently approved by the Federal Government.
He commended Ugwuanyi, public-spirited individuals and corporate bodies for providing the first line of support to the victims.
He also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, for the timely intervention and commitment to the welfare and wellbeing of all Nigerians.
Receiving the items, the governor thanked the Federal Government and NEMA for their interventions with succour to the flood victims in the state.
The governor, represented by the Executive Secretary of Enugu SEMA, Mrs Nkechi Eneh, said that the state took the necessary steps concerning the early warnings by NEMA.
He also said that the state government monitored the level of water in rivers within the state before the sudden release of water from the Lado Dam three weeks ago.
Ugwuanyi said that the state lost one person, while at least 30,000 persons were directly affected by the floods.
He said that the disaster affected most communities in Uzo Uwani Local Government Area and other boundary communities in the area.
He said: “The state government had relocated all persons in the affected communities to holding camps.
“It has also provided some relief items and daily food to the camps.
” The governor further said that the government planned to continue to care for the communities until the flood water had receded.
“We will find means of getting these relief materials from NEMA to them and ensure that they would definitely get to the affected persons within a very short time,” he said.