By Abdulkadir Badsha Mukhtar
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has said this year’s rain forecast points to negative impacts on the agricultural, infrastructural, hydrological and health sectors of Nigeria with attendant socio-economic consequences.
NEMA Director General, Muhammad Sani-Sidi, made the revelation at a stakeholders’ consultative meeting on challenges of 2011 flood prevention, mitigation and preparedness in Abuja, yesterday.
While also noting that the forecast also indicates that the onset of rainfall may be earlier than normal, he said the agency has embarked on a paradigm shift from mainly providing post disaster relief to disaster risk reduction.
He said the agency had, after the release of NIMET 2011 weather prediction, met with relevant stakeholders in February 2011 and set a committee which identified potential threats and risks. “Some of the envisaged causes of flooding are: Erection of buildings across waterways; Poor management of dams; Excessive rainfall; Construction of buildings along waterways,” he said.
He also informed that the agency sent a formal letter to state governments and relevant stakeholders drawing their attention to these issues and proffering remedies to forestall possible incidents as witnessed in many parts of Nigeria in 2010.
It would be recalled during the 2010 rainy season, Anambra, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Sokoto and Yobe witnessed excessive flooding.
“The major cause of the flooding was excessive rainfall, with dam breakages and blockage of drainage systems exacerbating the problem as predicted by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET),” he said.
Source: Daily Trust, Thursday, 19 May 2011