From Teryima Ajijah, Jos
North Central Zonal office of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has said 233 local government areas from 32 states in Nigeria are likely to experience flooding this year.
North Central Zonal Co-ordinator of NEMA, Mr Eugene Nyalong, made the disclosure at a one-day stakeholders meeting on preparedness, mitigation and response to flood and other related rainy season hazards in north central states, held in Jos, Plateau state on Wednesday.
According to Mr Nyalong, the flood prediction was made in February this year by Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), hence the need to mitigate for a possible prevention rather than control.
“233 local government areas from 32 states, including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja might be affected by flood this year, 2022, between the months of August and October; the prediction indicate that rainy season within our region might last till November,” he stated.
Mr Nyalong revealed that most flood disasters in Nigeria are man made, he pointed out that, Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State is prone to flooding due to lack of drainage system and indiscriminate building of structures on water ways among others.
He, however, said climate change has also contributed in flooding, through excessive amount of rain fall in some states of Nigeria.
He revealed that flood disaster that occurred in 2012 affected 7 million people, 364 persons died, with 2.1 million displaced, 618 houses damaged; and according to him, the disaster caused damages worth 2.6 trillion naira across Nigeria.
Speaking on the need to prevent flood and other disasters, Mr Nyalong implored all stakeholders to constantly hold sensitization meetings to educate citizens about the danger.
He further revealed that flood brings about outbreak of water borne diseases and destroy crops, thereby causing food insecurity.
Similarly, an official of National Environmental Standard and Regulation Enforcement Agency (NESREA) John Ngbede, in a paper presentation stated that lack of good sanitation was a major source of flooding.
Ngbede, who is the Media Officer of NESREA, Plateau State, the said meeting was apt and would aid in creating awareness to mitigate flooding.