There is a high probability that a total of 74 Local Government Areas across the country will witness high flood risk when the rainy season begins in full this year, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency announced recently.
In its 2019 Annual Flood Outlook, which was unveiled in Abuja by the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, the agency classified the country’s flood scenarios for this year into three categories of vulnerability.
The Director-General, NIHSA, Clement Nze, while explaining some of the findings in the report, said, “The three categories of vulnerability include the highly probable flood risk areas – to be experienced in 74 LGAs; probable flood risk areas – to be experienced in 279 LGAs, and low flood risk areas – to be experienced in 421 LGAs.
“All the 36 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory are expected to experience different levels of flooding.”
He, however, stated that the predicted probable flood area coverage in 2019 is expected to be lower than that of 2018, adding that river flooding was expected in the Niger, Benue, Sokoto-Rima, Anambra, Imo, Cross River, Niger Delta, Komadougu-Yobe and Ogun-Osun River Basins.
Nze said coastal flooding was likely in Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta, Ondo and Lagos states due to the rise in sea level and tidal surge.
“Flash and urban flooding are forecasted to occur in Ibadan, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Sokoto, Kaduna, Yola, Maiduguri, Makurdi, Hadejia and other major cities due to poor drainage systems,” he added.
In its recommendations, the NIHSA stated that to mitigate the impact of flooding, the country should build flood-resilient communities, adding that there was a need to close the knowledge gap around the issue of floods among the decision and policymakers and planners at the national and local levels.
The agency called for improved synergy among all the government agencies whose activities were related to flooding prevention and/or mitigation, as well as the prompt sensitisation of the public on the information contained in the Annual Flood Outlook as a measure for flood early warning and flood disaster prevention.
In his address, Adamu stated that the 2019 flood outlook was built on the achievements of the six previous forecasts by the NIHSA.