AT least three states in Nigeria have seen heavy flooding this year as the nation awaits more downpours.
Nigeria sees heavy rains between May and September every year.
In its Annual Flood Outlook for 2021, the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) had listed 27 states as highly probable flood risk states in the country.
They included: Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross-River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo and Gombe.
Others were: Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba and Zamfara.
The NIHSA predicted that 121 local government areas (LGAs) in the 27 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) would fall within the highly probable flood-risk areas.
The organisation said parts of the 302 LGAs in all 36 states, including the FCT, would fall within the moderately probable flood-risk areas.
“The parts of the remaining 351 LGAs fall within the low probable flood risks areas. However, the predicted probable flood area coverage in 2021 is expected to be similar but lower in magnitude to that of 2020,” NIHSA said.
According to the organisation, some coastal states, namely Bayelsa, Delta and Lagos, would experience coastal flooding due to rising sea levels and tidal surges.
It said the flooding would impact fishing, habitation, and coastal transportation.
The NIHSA had also warned that there would be heavy rainfalls in September.
No fewer than three of the 27 states predicted by NIHSA to witness flooding in the year have experienced a flash of flood in the first week of August.
The three states are Taraba, Bauchi and Lagos.
Two people died in flood from early-hour downpours in Jalingo, Taraba State, on August 5.
Eight people also died in Bauchi on the same day following a heavy flood from rainfall.
This year, there have been heavy downpours in Lagos State, resulting in gridlocks on highways and affecting people in their homes.
Some states have also seen days of rainfalls, but they have not recorded major flooding.
For instance, Katsina State recorded its highest daily rainfall in a century after it had 100mm of a downpour recently, but there was no casualty.
The rain represented one-sixth of the total annual rains in the state said the Director-General of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) Mansur Bako Matazu.
“Recently in Katsina State, in our stations, we witnessed 100mm of rain in just a single day. It has never happened in over 100 years. It shows that these extreme events are being driven by climate change.
“We have previously predicted between July and September 2021, there will be an intensity of the rain and enhancement of soil moisture.
“We will have a lot of overland flow leading to flash floods or riverine foods. The climate change events is also helping to induce and increase the intensity of extreme weather events,” he said.
In 2012, floods killed 431 people and displaced 1.3 people in Nigeria, according to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
The country witnessed its worst flooding in 40 years as the Benue and Niger rivers converged and wreaked havoc.
In 2020, another flood killed five people in Gwagwalada Area Council of the FCT and submerged many houses.
Most flood disasters in Nigeria have been blamed on the blockade of drainages, lack of good waste management, building residential homes in slums and coastal lines, and poor planning of communities.
Floods have also ravaged some countries across the world this year.
As at July 18, NASA reported that 196 people had died from flooding, which hit parts of Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
The floods injured thousands while hundreds of people were missing.
At least 25 people have been killed, and some persons were missing in the provincial capital of Zhengzhou, China, following heavy flooding in the region this year.
Climate change has been responsible for alterrations in weather patterns globally.
President Muhammadu Buhari commiserated with his counterpart in Niger Republic on Friday over disasters caused by flooding.
Flood killed no fewer than 52 people in the country this week.
In a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity Garba Shehu, Buhari condoled with Niger over “devastating floods that have left many dead and affected homes.”
He said losses reported from Niger within two days “were very vast and disturbing.”
Buhari also sympathised with other countries that had witnessed flooding and its attendant tragedies globally, including states that had faced the challenge in Nigeria this year.
“The President affirms that natural disasters are symptoms of climate change which all countries, including Nigeria, have committed to taking measures to prevent the adverse effects,” part of his statement read.