Flooding: Bayelsa, Lagos, Rivers, Delta at risk in 2023 — NEMA

THE National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has warned that Bayelsa, Lagos, Rivers, and Delta states are at higher risk of flooding in 2023.

During the presentation of the 2023 Climate-related Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation Strategies in Abuja on Thursday April 13, Director-General (DG) of NEMA, Mustapha Ahmed said the flooding is predicted to result from rising sea levels and tidal surge in the states.

“This year’s forecast has indicated that there is a high risk of coastal flooding due to expected rise in sea level and tidal surge that may negatively impact agriculture, human settlements and transportation in Bayelsa, Delta, Lagos, and Rivers states.

“Flash and urban floods are also forecast over many cities and towns due to poor drainage systems and the lack of compliance with town planning and environmental regulations,” Ahmed said.

He noted that 2023 floods could be similar or worse than what occurred in 2022 if adequate preparatory steps were not taken, and called for early action to mitigate or avert possible disasters.

“In NEMA, we believe that early warning must be matched with early action. Therefore, we have written letters and attached this document for dispatch to all the 36 State Governments and the FCT Administration with specific mention of LGAs at risk and actions that are expected to be taken by responsible authorities.

“We have also produced flood risk maps of areas at risk and uploaded them on our official website and social media platforms for greater access by the public,” he said.

Ahmed said the agency had commenced sensitisation of the public on the predicted floods and urged state governments to establish Local Emergency Management Committees (LEMC) in areas where they do not exist.

In 2022, several lives and properties were lost to floods which affected about 33 states.

According to NEMA, 665 people died and 3181 others were injured as a result of flooding.






     

     

    Over 200 thousand people were displaced and nearly a million farmlands partially or totally destroyed.

    A report by the National Agricultural Extension Research Liaison Services (NAESRLS) also stated that agricultural investment lost to the 2022 flood was worth about N700 billion.

    NEMA had issued a similar warning in March during a technical training on climate disaster, describing the 2022 flood as a wake up call for emergency responders.

    “The 2022 flood disaster which is unprecedented in the history of Nigeria has wreaked havoc in all the states of the country. Many of the affected communities are still yet to recover from the impacts of the devastating event,” Ahmed said.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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