Dr. Iziaq Salako, the Minister of State for the Environment in Nigeria, has issued an order recommending that people living in low-lying areas, particularly near the River Benue, move to safer land. This information is a direct response to the flood prediction report disseminated for October, issued by the Federal Ministry of Environment’s National Flood Early Warning Systems (FEWS) center. In collaboration with other partners, the Ministry established FEWS to keep an eye out for flood warning signs across the country and issue alerts when necessary to minimize loss of lives and property.
Salako underscored the utmost importance of expeditiously undertaking measures, given the reports emanating from Adamawa and Taraba states that clearly indicate the commencement of the anticipated flooding. He said that quick actions must be undertaken by all relevant stakeholders involved in the comprehensive oversight of flood control across the country. The minister advised people residing in other regions are anticipated to encounter flooding, urging them to maintain a state of heightened awareness and adopt a proactive stance in fortifying their communities.
Govt agencies urging to promptly initiate their flood response measures.
Given the circumstances at hand, the Federal Ministry of Environment has issued a summons to a multitude of relevant entities, such as the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Federal Ministry of Humanitarian and Poverty Alleviation Affairs, Red Cross/Crescent, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Federal Ministry of Health, State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMA), and various others, urging them to promptly initiate their flood emergency response measures to handle the situation.
According to Salako, these responses should be centered on raising awareness, enabling evacuations, supplying essentials and temporary housing, and providing medical care and amenities. He said Nigerians can rest assured that the country’s Federal Ministry of Environment will keep a tight eye on the National Flood Early Warning Systems (FEWS) Central Hub. The ministry will also keep the public informed of developments on a regular basis as part of its efforts to stop flood-related disasters from happening again,
Authorities have earlier warned about heavy rain and floods.
Multiple reports of impending heavy rain have been coming in since early this year. The Nigerian authorities have earlier issued warnings regarding heavy rain and floods, imploring the residents to be vigilant and promptly activate their emergency response plans. The Federal Ministry of Environment issued the warning on the National Flood Early Warning Systems (FEWS) Central Hub in Abuja, the country’s capital, stating that torrential rain was expected in at least 15 of the 36 states, which would lead to flooding in communities and large farmlands.
Communities near the Benue and Niger rivers, including those in Bayelsa state, are kindly urged to take safety precautions as a result of the rising water levels in both rivers. More importantly, the flooding may exacerbate economic hardship and suffering that many farmers and Nigerians already confront. The country was awakened by last year’s disastrous flood calamity, one of the worst in recent years, which prompted the early warning signs and signals were sent to the people, the states, and the local government areas.
Proactive measure and swift approach is necessary.
In this regard, it is of highest priority that the federal government adopts a proactive and swift approach, through its various associated agencies in order to mitigate the impacts of flooding and safeguard the well-being and property of the Nigerian populace. It is imperative to institute pre-emptive measures aimed at mitigating the probability of flooding, exemplified by the enforcement of building codes that guarantee the construction of buildings on elevated terrain, thereby avoiding flood-susceptible regions.